Forms for the Common Man
Contact-us forms are de-rigueur. Everybody else has one on their site so why shouldn’t we?
But what about those sites that ask everything including your hat size and what color socks you wore yesterday?
The more your visitors have to work to contact you the less likely it is you’ll ever hear from them. Even if you’re not requiring they fill out all the fields, perception is reality. If that form looks too demanding or too intrusive most of your visitors will pass.
What’s the minimum amount of information you need in order to return a phone call or an e-mail to someone seeking information about your company? Their name, phone number, e-mail and a comments field. Leave the “How did you hear about us?” “What industry are you in?” “Who’s your mama?” to your first point of contact. It’ll give you something to talk about.
That’s not to say there are reasons to request more information. If you’re promising to send a free sample of your latest gourmet moose jerky then by all means you need their address and perhaps whether they prefer smoked or spicy.
The fact is, most web forms are designed with the site proprietor in mind rather than the visitor. Take a look at each field in your form. Is it really required. Really? And if not, does its inclusion enhance your visitor’s experience? And if it
doesn’t… delete it.