By Graham Charlton

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Filling in forms online can be a pain, but good design can make a lot of difference to the user experience.

To coincide with our new Marketer’s Guide to Form Optimisation, produced in association with Fospha, I’ve collated some examples of great form design, or aspects of forms that are worth learning from.

Schuh: easy address entry

Schuh uses this predictive postcode entry tool on its checkout, which suggests matching addresses as you begin to type them in.

This has two benefits:

  • The customer doesn’t have to spend time typing out their whole address.
  • It reduces the risk of making mistakes and subsequent delivery problems.
  • Threadless: use of micro copy

    Some form fields can create confusion among customers, perhaps due to uncertainty about entry formats, or the information required.

    This can often be solved with some explainer text placed next to the relevant form field.

    Here, Threadless clearly explains what it expected in terms of card entry, and clarifies the security code format for different card types.

    AO.com: easy input formats for mobile users

    While form entry is always likely to be a little more difficult on mobile devices, thanks to a smaller screen, there are ways to use the features of smartphones to make it easier.

    For example, AO.com defaults to the most appropriate mobile keypad depending on the type of data required – numerical keypad for phone numbers, email keypad for email addresses, and so on.

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    Booking.com: card scanning on mobile

    Booking.com and other sites provide a card scanning option which uses the smartphone camera to shorten the process of entering payment details.

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    Moneysupermarket: addressing questions about form fields

    Here, Moneysupermarket provides useful information next to many form fields which explain why some information is needed and how it will be used.

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    Autoglass: clear error messaging

    Error messages should be clear and helpful. They should also be placed next to the relevant form field.

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    Lowe’s: offer registration at end for guest checkout

    Guest checkout is an essential option for most retailers but it’s also important to encourage customers to create an account. The key is to avoid making it a barrier to purchase.

    Here, Lowe’s presents this option at the end of checkout, and is only asking for the creation of a password.

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    Reiss: explaining why information is required

    Some sites ask for information which some may not consider to be necessary for checkout. For example, some may wonder why a phone number is required, and worry that it will be used for marketing purposes.

    Here, Reiss reassures customers that it will only contact them if there’s an issue around the order.

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    Selfridges: clear CTAs

    Sites shouldn’t leave users in any doubt about where they need to click to complete or move on to the next step of forms.

    Selfridges makes sure that the CTA for delivery is clear and unmissable on a mobile device.

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    The report, A Marketers Guide to Form Optimisation is available to download free of charge now.

    Source:: Search Engine Watch RSS