3 important elements of the ideal mobile form

Every business has its own unique reasons for deploying mobile form software, but rest assured, they're all using it for something. There's a goal in mind - either it's something consumer-facing like selling a product, or an internal use like logging employees' hours for HR purposes.

Whatever the reason, every company that uses tablet- or smartphone-based forms needs to think about their end goals and how their specific design choices help them achieve those goals. What are you trying to get people to do with your forms, and how can you make sure it gets done?

Every little choice matters, but according to Optimizely, there are three elements that often have the greatest impact. Jeff Blettner, web designer and conversion optimization specialist, told the news source that companies using forms need to think critically about their design practices:

"I've seen firsthand how important online forms are to businesses, large and small. It's where visitors sign up, leads are generated, and sales are transacted. And as a result, there's been a proliferation of best practices for online forms that have been developed and discussed across the web."

Ultimately, these are the three pieces of an online form that end up making the biggest difference:

Length of the form
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is how long a given form will be. Blettner recommends staying on the short side, as it will reduce the risk of "friction" - an industry term for the frustration people naturally feel when they have to sit through a long, boring form. If you ask only the most essential questions and leave out extraneous stuff, you'll save everyone some trouble.

The call to action
When you're getting people to fill out a form, you want them to know why they're doing it. So feature the reason front and center! Have a call to action - a brief phrase telling people what to do and why - and display it with pride. If you're selling a product, it might be "Order Now." If you're offering a piece of software, it could be "Download Your Free Demo Today." By putting this language out there, you're encouraging people to follow through and finish that form.

The finish line
Speaking of finishing the form - the final step should be the submit button at the bottom. This is an important design element, because you want it to look enticing. If the button to apply the finishing touches and submit is an engaging one, people will feel more compelled to slog through to the end. One button might not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to mobile user engagement, every little element really does matter.

Cal Brown