For many small business websites, a form of contact is the ultimate goal. You want someone contacting you about your services. When we design our websites, we keep this important idea at the top of our design criteria – we want to make sure every user can easily contact the business from any page of the website.
One mistake we’ve seen on some websites is an overly complicated web form. In particular, we’ve seen some forms ask for some really unnecessary information. For example, if someone has a general question about your businesses services, why would you require them to provide their address? Many people see this as asking for very private, sensitive information. As a result, they may be likely not to fill out the form at all.
When putting together a form, think about what the minimal pieces of information you need from the user. Do you really need a person’s address to answer a simple question from a prospective new customer? 99% of the time – no. In general, you want to make your form as simple as possible for a user to fill out as this will make it much more likely the user will fill out the form.
However, there are instances where you want to collect a lot of information from a person without trading emails. This is the reason we have a general contact form and a website quote request form. The general contact form is much more simple – this is to be used for general questions. The website quote form is intended for people who know they want a website and are ready to get a cost estimate. In order for us to give an accurate cost estimate, we need to know all that information in the form.
So as you build your forms, make sure not to over complicate them or you risk losing potential new customers. This goes with anything on a website – the more complicated the less likely it will work.