Definition

Form testing refers to the process of assessing your online form’s quality and effectiveness. 

Generally, form testing is done by testing elements such as design, length, and copy to evaluate its efficacy, data quality, completion rate, and conversion rate. 

Poor form design and structure will negatively impact your conversion rates and seriously hurt your chances of getting users (whether through paid ads or organic efforts) to fill them out. 

Conversely, integrating form testing into your CRO tactics can potentially improve your conversion rates. 

Your website forms act as communication channels between you and your users, collecting leads, researching your audience, and ultimately nurturing valuable customer relationships.

online form displayed on Omniconvert’s website

The Role of Forms in Digital Interactions

Online forms can be used as more than mere communication channels. 

They can also play a part in improving user engagement and facilitating data collection.

Most Common Types of Online Forms

Registration

The first interaction between a user and an eCommerce platform often occurs through a registration form. 

The form collects essential information, creating a unique user profile. 

From names and emails to personalized preferences, registration forms lay the foundation for a customized shopping experience. 

By understanding user demographics, you can refine their marketing strategies and deliver content that resonates with their audience.

Checkout

Checkout forms mark the end of the user journey, transforming browsers into buyers

These forms streamline the transaction process, requiring information such as shipping addresses and payment details. 

The key here is simplicity. 

A well-designed checkout form minimizes friction, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for the customer. 

Balancing thoroughness with user-friendliness is the art that transforms a potential sale into a completed transaction.

Contact

These forms become the bridge connecting customers with businesses. 

Whether it’s a question about a product, a concern about an order, or a general inquiry, contact forms provide a direct line of communication. 

By promptly addressing customer concerns, businesses not only foster trust but also create an environment fostering to repeat business.

Feedback

Feedback forms are used to capture the sentiments of users after their eCommerce journey. 

By seeking customer opinions on products, services, and overall experiences, businesses gain valuable insights for improvement. 

Positive feedback can be a testimonial, while constructive criticism becomes a blueprint for enhancements. 

Incorporating feedback forms demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, instilling confidence in customers and elevating the brand.

The Significance of Forms in User Engagement, Data Collection, and Lead Generation

In essence, website forms serve as catalysts for user engagement, data collection, and, ultimately, revenue generation. 

Let’s look closer at all the benefits you could enjoy thanks to well-crafted forms. 

Building a Targeted Email List

At the heart of effective lead generation lies the ability to construct a targeted email list. 

Lead generation forms empower businesses to extract contact information from users who are already expressing interest. 

This curated list becomes a powerful tool for personalized marketing tactics, steering you away from the one-size-fits-all approach.

Qualifying Leads for Sales

The journey doesn’t end with lead generation; it evolves with the crucial step of qualifying leads for sales. 

Through the strategic use of lead generation forms, businesses can gather specific information that aids in distinguishing between leads ready for conversion and those still exploring. 

This targeted approach ensures that valuable resources are allocated where they matter most, streamlining the sales process for efficiency.

Personalising the User Experience

Lead generation forms pave the way for a tailored user experience by collecting vital information about users—names, job titles, companies, and interests. 

Businesses can use this data to create personalized landing pages, emails, and product recommendations, establishing a more profound connection between their brand and their audience.

Generating More Revenue

The ultimate goal of any business is revenue generation, and lead generation forms are the sparks igniting this goal.

With a focused email list at their disposal, you can deliver targeted marketing messages where the content resonates with your audience, translating into increased conversions. 

The strategic use of lead generation forms not only brings in revenue directly but also provides valuable data for refining products and services.

Improving Website Engagement

Think of your website as your storefront. 

You want people to walk in. 

With that in mind, you can craft lead generation forms that offer incentives for action and collect user data.

From reducing bounce rates to fostering interaction, these forms lay the foundation for a dynamic and engaging online presence.

Streamlining Marketing Efforts

In a world where consumers are sick of being bombarded with ads at every step, marketers have difficulty reaching people through efficient practices. 

However, lead generation forms soften the blow by collecting user data and giving you insights to inform your campaigns. 

By focusing on qualified leads and delivering targeted content, you can optimize their marketing strategy for maximum impact.

Objectives of Form Testing

Navigating form builders can be a confusing experience, often frustrating – and the end result won’t always be your best work. 

This situation only underscores the importance of thorough testing.

This whole process, while sometimes cumbersome, is worth it, as it essentially guarantees that visitors can effortlessly navigate and submit forms according to your intended design.

To give you a sense of direction, let’s look at the main objectives of form testing.

Identifying Usability Issues

The primary testing objective is seeing whether or not the form works. 

Subject your form to real-world scenarios, so you can identify potential stumbling blocks and intricacies that users might encounter. 

This proactive approach ensures that the final form is not just a set of fields but a fluid, user-friendly interface.

Optimizing Form Length and Complexity

Form designers often have to walk a sharp tightrope between gathering all necessary information and avoiding user fatigue

In other words – you somehow have to get all the data, without frustrating respondents.

You can find this balance with form testing, as you can see how lengthy and complex your forms are, then eliminating any useless fields. 

This calibration ensures that users engage with the form without feeling overwhelmed, ultimately boosting completion rates.

Enhancing Form Accessibility

It’s important that your website forms can be used by all all your website visitors, as these forms often serve as gateways for people to engage with your programs and services.

Here are some considerations to evaluate the accessibility of your forms:

  • Check the readability and clarity of the questions.
  • Assess the mobile-friendliness of the form.
  • Verify if users who cannot use a mouse can navigate the form using the tab key.
  • Experience the form through a screen reader.
  • Personally complete the form to identify any uncertainties or challenges.

Increasing Form Completion and Submission Rates

Lastly, test forming aims to increase the number of submissions and eliminate any issues that would make people abandon the process. 

In this stage, you want to test aspects such as form validation, the handling of submissions, error message effectiveness, and compatibility across diverse browsers and devices.

Some best practices in form testing involves conducting tests on a range of devices and screen dimensions, validating both input fields and error messages, and evaluating form submissions across different network conditions.

Common Pain Points in Form Design

Form testing becomes easier when you know what you’re looking for in your tests. 

If we look at UI/UX best practices we can identify the main issues users complain about when filling out forms – thus giving you signals that your form might need more work.

Overly Long or Complex Forms

Lengthy and complicated forms can be overwhelming for users, leading to something called “form fatigue.” 

To put it bluntly, users get bored or frustrated with the form and abandon the process, as they don’t really want to invest time in completing forms perceived as time-consuming.

To avoid this situation, streamline your forms by only including essential fields. 

Prioritize the information you truly need, ensuring a smoother and quicker user experience. 

Consider breaking longer forms into logical sections to make them more digestible.

Ambiguous or Confusing Instructions

Unclear and/or ambiguous instructions will confuse users, hurting their ability to accurately complete the form. 

This confusion also generates frustration, mistakes and creates a poor user experience, while hurting the quality of the data you collected.

This situation is avoidable as long as you craft concise and explicit instructions for each form element. 

Use clear language and provide examples when necessary. 

Finally, conduct user testing to ensure that instructions are easily comprehensible, making adjustments based on feedback.

Lack of Clarity in Error Messages

Mistakes happen, but unclear or generic error messages leave users in the dark about what went wrong. 

Again, this issue leads to confusion, repeated errors, and a less-than-optimal experience.

Make error messages specific, indicating exactly what the issue is and offering guidance on how to rectify it. 

Use user-friendly language and consider providing additional context or suggestions for resolving the error.

Inadequate Mobile Responsiveness

Finally, don’t forget about your mobile users. 

Forms that aren’t optimized for smaller screens can be a significant problem. 

Users on mobile devices may struggle with navigation, leading to frustration and potential abandonment.

To avoid this isse, prioritize mobile responsiveness in your form design. 

Opt for a responsive design that adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes. 

Test your forms on different mobile devices to ensure a consistent and user-friendly experience.

Form Testing Methods

Now that that’s sorted, let’s dive into various form testing methods, understanding when to deploy each and uncovering their strengths.

A/B Testing: Comparing Two Versions for Best Performance

A/B testing is best used if you want to compare the effectiveness of two form variations. 

This method is ideal for tweaking specific elements, such as form layouts, colors, or call-to-action buttons.

This method is primarily preferred by designers because it provides concrete data on user preferences.

You’re basically presenting two versions to different users and analyzing their responses to make informed decisions about the most effective form design.

Usability Testing: Observing Real Users in Action

Besides extracting data on user preferences, you can also observe people filling out your forms. 

This method is particularly useful during the initial stages of form design or major updates.

Observing users in real-time helps uncover issues that might not be evident through other testing methods. 

It gives you a holistic understanding of user behavior and preferences, guiding form adjustments for optimal usability.

Heatmaps: Visualizing User Interaction Dynamics

Heatmaps show you where users click, move, or scroll on a form. 

These insights further show you how to optimize your form layouts, revealing areas that attract or lose user attention.

You can use this method to as a quick and intuitive way to identify usability patterns. 

It helps you understand the overall flow and engagement hotspots within a form, facilitating strategic adjustments to increase completion rates.

Field Analytics: Analyzing Individual Form Fields

Finally, field analytics are employed when you need a granular analysis of individual form fields.

This method is instrumental in identifying specific areas causing drop-offs or confusion.

By focusing on each form field, you can pinpoint where users encounter difficulties or abandon the form. 

This level of detail allows for precise adjustments, improving the overall efficiency and user experience.

Key Metrics and KPIs in Form Testing

Besides design, copy, and flow, you can also test your forms for KPIs – hard data revealing the effectiveness of your web forms. 

Form Abandonment Rate

This refers to the percentage of users who initiate a form but do not complete it. To calculate it, you need to divide the number of abandoned forms by the total number of initiated forms, then multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage. 

A high abandonment rate indicates potential friction points or user dissatisfaction. 

Tracking this metric helps pinpoint areas that may need refinement, reducing barriers to completion.

Time Taken to Complete the Form

This KPI reveals the average time users spend filling out a form.

The average time to complete is calculated by dividing the total time spent on forms by the number of form submissions.

Understanding the average time spent provides insights into the user experience. 

Lengthy completion times may suggest complexity or user frustration, prompting the need for form optimization.

Error Rate

This metric indicates the percentage of form submissions containing errors. You calculate the error rate by dividing the number of form submissions with errors by the total number of form submissions. The result is the multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

A high error rate signals usability issues. 

Monitoring this metric helps identify specific fields or instructions causing confusion, guiding improvements for a smoother process.

Conversion Rate Post Form Submission

Lastly, this metric measures the percentage of users who take desired actions after completing a form.

To calculate it, you have to divide the number of desired actions post form submission by the number of form submissions.

For this KPI you also need to multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.

The ultimate goal of form submission is to drive specific actions. 

Tracking post-submission conversion rates provides insights into the effectiveness of your forms in facilitating desired outcomes.

Best Practices for Form Design and Testing

The good news is that you’re not alone in your commitment to user-centric design. 

In fact, the subjects was studied so much, that a series of best practices emerged to guide you through your form design and testing processes.

Here’s a checklist for you to follow in order to design forms that not only capture valuable data but also deliver a positive and inclusive user experience.

Keeping Forms as Short as Possible

Generally speaking, it’s advisable to follow the principle of keeping forms short. 

Long, exhaustive forms can overwhelm users, leading to abandonment. 

While there’s no universally agreed upon form length available, you should strip dwon your forms to essential information only. 

Not only do you create a quicker user journey, but you also delight respondents showing them you respect their time and attention.

Using Clear and Concise Labels

People are more inclined to do something if you explain why you need them to do it. 

With that in mind, use clear and concise labels to help users understand the purpose of each form field. 

Avoid ambiguous labels as they usually lead to confusion and errors. 

Provide straightforward instructions so users can effortlessly navigate the form and reduce frustrations.

Providing Real-Time Feedback

Real-time feedback offers users guidance, creating a more interactive and supportive form-filling experience. 

For example, password strength indicators empower users to create secure passwords while still in the process of entering them. 

The same can be said for error messages that also contain examples of correct answers. 

It’s a proactive approach that fosters user confidence and reduces errors.

Ensuring Forms Are Accessible to All Users

Finally, we reach this important subject again: web accessibility is a fundamental principle of inclusive design. 

Ensuring that forms are accessible to users with disabilities, such as visual or motor impairments, is not just a best practice—it’s a legal requirement in many regions.

By adhering to accessibility guidelines, you create an environment where all users, regardless of their abilities, can engage seamlessly with your forms.

Advanced Form Testing Techniques

More often than not, designing the ideal web form will be more of a trial and error process, than a straightforward strategy.

Fortunately, besides the techniques we discussed at the beginning of this article, we also prepared a series of more advanced approaches, to smoothen your ride.

Multi-Step Forms

Multi-step forms improve the user experience by breaking down extensive forms into digestible sections or pages. 

Multi-step forms introduce a dynamic element to the user interface, offering a progressive and interactive engagement. 

By guiding users through a series of focused steps, this technique enhances user satisfaction and ensures a more efficient data capture process.

Progressive Disclosure

This method refers to the act of presenting additional form fields only when relevant or requested by the user.

By disclosing information gradually, progressive disclosure aligns with user preferences for simplicity. 

This method is used to streamline the initial form view, while also reduceing cognitive load, creating a more user-friendly and intuitive interaction.

Adaptive Forms

These forms dynamically adjust based on user input or behavior. 

This technique personalizes the form-filling experience, presenting fields or options tailored to individual preferences or selections made during the interaction.

Wrap Up

We’ve already discussed the benefits of form testing in terms of conversion rates and user experience. 

However, we saved the best for last. 

After you test a form and you use your findings to adapt and update it to reach the best possible variant, you gain something invaluable: piece of mind.

You know that your form performs best in terms of gathering info, sending data where it’s needed, and conserve your team’s time and resources. 

Yes, higher completion rates are great. 

But did you ever try going to sleep knowing you’ve created the best possible online for for your users?

Probably not – but why not try now?

Go ahead and incorporate form testing into your UX and conversion optimization strategies – you’ll be amazed at how it turns out! 

Remember you can always use Omniconvert’s Explore for your CRO needs – be it forms displayed as overlays, website surveys, or even A/B testing, we’ve got you covered!