Most websites will have some type of form on their website. Whether it’s a contact form, quote request form or even a signup option for a newsletter.

For businesses, these forms are key in getting your website to convert, but many times these contact forms don’t do what they are intended for. Instead of encouraging people to get in touch with you, they become so complex that they do quite the opposite.

To help make these contact forms less scary for your customers (sorry, but it is nearly Halloween after all) check out our top tips for website forms to ensure that you are getting the most from them.

How to avoid ghoulish Forms

#1: Only Ask for the Information You Need

We have all been there when we come across a form that starts asking us for our date of birth, address, our favourite colour, and even how many times we have shopped with them before. Before you know it you have to complete 10 fields before you can even state your query.

The more fields you need your customer to complete within your form the less likely they are to submit the form. People are inherently lazy so keep your form as simple as possible by only asking for the information that you absolutely need.

If you are a pumpkin supplier then your contact form should ask for a ‘Name’, ‘Email Address’, and provide them with an open field for them to enter their enquiry. Three lines and a submit button - this should be more an enough to enable most businesses to reach out to their customer and answer their query.

Some businesses have an audience that may prefer to be called instead of email, in that case then by all means give the option of either an email address or a phone number, but certainly no more than that.

Some companies may require more information from their contact forms to ensure that their contact form reaches the correct person within your organisation, that is absolutely fine. In this case, provide them with a dropdown so they can select what their query is regarding and include an ‘Other’ to avoid complications.

Naturally if there is a legal requirement, for example, if you were a distillery then you may want to include a ‘Are you over the age of 18, yes or no’ question.

#2: Expectations

Whether we realise it or not, when we use any website we all have certain expectations for where things are and how they are shown.

An example of this is how individuals in the UK expect to see your company logo in the top left to the top middle of your websites with your contact information to the right and the main menu running below both the logo and the contact information.

Contact forms and the expectations behind them are no different.

The first thing people expect to see when they come across your form is to see the ‘Name’ and ‘Contact Info’ field/s first. Then to see any additional fields like an open text field and then a ‘Submit’ button.

Research shows that forms that follow the expected flow get better results. It’s a mix of a normal flow for a conversation, reassurance to the customer and an automatic completion that results in this higher success rate.

#3: Treat Default Fields with Care

Keeping to the simplicity theme of any form, the temptation is there to autocomplete parts of the form for your customer.

Perhaps you make the dropdown default for the ‘What department is your query regarding?’ question your ‘Sales Department’. This is great if 9/10 of your queries are in relation to your sales department but if there is no main contact then these defaults should not be there.

People will skim read content which means that they may not notice that a section of the form has been autocompleted, therefore your sales department is going to be bombarded with contact form submissions that don’t relate to them. In this case you would need to be reliant on the individual that handles the submissions within the sales department being diligent to ensure that forms incorrectly sent to them are forwarded on to the relevant department.

If you are in a fast-paced environment or industry then the additional time it takes for the form submission to reach the intended recipient may just be enough time for your competitor to get in there first. Don’t let them.

#4: Confirm your Form Fields

Give real-time validation to your customers when they complete a field on your form that they have provided the necessary information.

We often see green ticks next to fields within a form now, and then red crosses next to fields that have been incorrectly completed -  for example when the phone number entered aren’t long enough to be a valid phone number.

These simple validation checks are fantastic encouragements to individuals who complete your form.

Who doesn’t love to see a screen of green ticks?

#5: Lastly, Consider your ‘Buttons’

We are all used to seeing a ‘Submit’ button at the end of forms, these are usually directly below the form or offset to the right.

Don’t confuse these ‘Submit’ buttons by labelling them something that is irrelevant or introducing further buttons such as a ‘Reset’ button – no one wants to accidentally hit a ‘Reset’ button after they have spent time completing the form. That will certainly turn people into monsters.


Forms may be beneficial for a company to capture data but ensure that you consider the balance of information with designing a simple and easy to complete form for your customer.

If you need help creating or optimising your forms to improve your form submissions then reach out to the team here at Digital Nachos today. We won't bite.

Published: 20th Oct 2020

« Back