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Common Form Design Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Forms are a great way to gather data, conduct surveys, and engage with users. However, poorly designed forms can lead to user frustration, incomplete data, and lower response rates. In this post, I’ll highlight some common form design mistakes and offer some practical tips to help you make your forms more effective and drive up your completion percent.

Overcomplicating the form

Mistake: Including too many questions, too many pages, or overly complex questions

Impact: User frustration, high abandonment rates

Solution: Keep it simple! Only ask essential questions and focus on what you really need to know. Every extra question increases the chances of users abandoning the form. Use conditional logic to show only relevant questions based on previous answers, keeping the form shorter and more relevant. This makes the experience smoother and boosts your form completion rates.

Poorly structured forms

Mistake: Lack of logical flow and grouping of related questions

Impact: Confusion, increased time to complete the form

Solution: Organize your questions into clear sections. Use headings and subheadings to help users navigate easily. Keep a logical progression from start to finish, making sure each question naturally leads to the next. A well-structured form not only improves the user experience but also ensures you get better data since users are less likely to skip or misinterpret questions.

At Outerform, our forms only ask one question per page. This helps reduce congitive load and keep the experience from feeling too overwhelming. I go more in depth on this topic in a separate post here.

Ineffective question types

Mistake: Using inappropriate question types for the information needed

Impact: Inaccurate data, user frustration, wasted time (on both ends)

Solution: It's important to choose the right type for each piece of information you need. Use multiple-choice questions for specific answers, text fields for detailed responses, and avoid open-ended questions unless absolutely necessary. These can be time-consuming and result in ambiguous answers. Clear instructions are crucial to make sure users know exactly what's needed. This helps gather accurate data and makes your forms and results more streamlined and easier to consume.

Neglecting mobile

Mistake: Designing forms that are not mobile-friendly

Impact: Poor user experience on mobile devices, lower completion rates

Solution: This is a big no-no. Maybe 10 years ago you could get a way with this, but not anymore. Not only will this lower your completion rates, it also reflects poorly on you or your company's brand. You need to have a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and orientations. Test your forms on smartphones, tablets, and desktops to ensure they work well on all devices. You can do this easily with Outerform by using the device preview picker in the Dashboard.

Ignoring user feedback

Mistake: Failing to gather and act on user feedback

Impact: Persisting issues that deter users from completing forms

Solution: Implement feedback mechanisms within the form to let users report issues or suggest improvements. Regularly review any feedback to spot and fix common problems or missed opportunities. Continuously improving your forms will help shape an experience that meets user needs and expectations, leading to higher completion rates and better data quality.

Lack of instructions & error messages

Mistake: Providing insufficient guidance and unclear error messages

Impact: User confusion, higher error rates

Solution: Include clear instructions and provide context and examples where necessary. Use real-time validation to notify users of errors as they fill out the form, allowing immediate correction. Make sure error messages are specific, clearly indicating what went wrong and how to fix it. Effective error handling significantly improves the user experience, making the form-filling process smoother and more intuitive.

Wrapping up

Avoiding these mistakes can make a huge difference in creating a great form. By simplifying your forms and considering your end users' experience, you can significantly improve your completion rates and the quality of the data you end up collecting.

Ready to create AI-powered forms at breakneck speed? Try Outerform today and experience the ease of generating effective, user-friendly forms right out-of-the-box.

Start building better forms today