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2 reasons your sign-up form isn't user-friendly

5th Oct 2017
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Your web forms have the potential to make or break a visitor’s experience. A bad web form is always noticeable while a user-friendly, intuitive web form makes the process go by like a breeze.

What makes a web form user-friendly? It’s not what you might think. While your colors, button shapes, and call-to-action text matter, what makes a form user-friendly is that it doesn’t create resistance.

In terms of electricity, resistance is defined as a measure of the difficulty in passing electrical current through a conductor. Consider your web form to be a conductor of information. The information you’re asking visitors to fill out should flow like an electrical current, meeting little to no resistance along the way.

Resistance makes filling out forms arduous and frustrating. Instead of blindly implementing advice that says blue buttons with white text perform better than yellow buttons with black text, shift your focus toward discovering what creates the least resistance. Even with the “right” button colors, resistance in other areas can prevent conversions.

Here’s why creating forms without resistance is so challenging:

1. Points of resistance aren’t necessarily obvious

Even in the world of electricity, all materials show some resistance to a current passing through with one exception: superconductors. If you want your web form to perform like a superconductor, you’ve got to eliminate your points of resistance.

One of the biggest points of resistance for a user is the need to visit multiple pages and websites just to complete a form. When they’re trying to book an appointment, this is especially frustrating. First, the user needs to find your booking form. Next, they have to fill out your form, which contains its own points of resistance. Finally, they’re sent to an outside website to pay which then redirects them back to a thank-you page on your site when they’re done.

Some businesses set up their booking form so that the user creates an account on their website, books the appointment on another, and then pays through a third service.

It’s easy to think that’s normal just because that’s how it’s always been done, but there’s a better way. As usual, Google is behind the solution. It’s called “Reserve with Google” and is made possible through Google’s brilliant partnership with Yocale.

This Google partnership is reducing web form resistance

Collaborating with Google to make this possible is Yocale, a leader in scheduling software. Businesses that register for a free listing with Yocale will have a clear advantage in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Users searching for a specific business will see a “book now” button next to each result. Clicking on that will give them real-time availabilities for appointments to choose from.

In essence, the user can search for, book, and pay for an appointment within their search results in Google. This completely eliminates the resistance of clumsy and awkward web forms.

Test it out. Sign up for a free account and see if you get more bookings. Stop fussing with your forms. If your website’s booking process creates any level of resistance for your users, then Reserve With Google is going to be your superconductor.

2. Your own familiarity works against your efforts

Building your own web form means you’re familiar with its quirks and subsequent workarounds.

Don’t be the business owner who refuses to fix a web form because you know how to use it – therefore, everyone should.

Calling points of resistance “quirks” is a polite way of identifying inadequate elements you don’t know how to fix. If your web form has quirks that require special instructions to fill out, it’s time to hire a professional developer.

You do have the option of doing it yourself with software. Applications like Form Assembly make it easy to create user-friendly forms, but you still need to know how to eliminate resistance in your presentation.

For example, they explain the importance of creating clear and concise labels for your form fields. The guide explains, “You want your users to understand exactly what you mean, but you also don’t want to add extra or needless information.”

They remind us that using the acronym “DOB” may not be understood by everyone. Instead of using acronyms, or the opposite – lengthy wording – they suggest a short question like, “when were you born?” Also, a helpful hint like “MM/DD/YYYY” helps the user enter the correct format.

Twenty years ago, having the best-looking website on the block was cool. Today, it’s about usability, and reducing resistance is how you achieve that goal.

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