Form Usability Is Important

So I’ve been trying to fill out an important online form for my bank all morning. And I am completely and utterly frustrated. It’s completely unusable. I’ve now had to call three times and I’m about to give up which means lost business for the bank.

When using online forms on your website, especially ones geared towards prospects and customers, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that they work. You’d think that was obvious but apparently not as I come across these sorts of errors often.

So test your forms. Test them again. Test them regularly. Have your staff test them. If certain characters are not accepted in them say so. If you require things such as phone numbers in certain formats say so. And have your phone number in a prominent position so that if people still have trouble they can call you for help.

Let’s face it in this economy you probably want all the business you can get so don’t lose it by making silly mistakes.

To Captcha Or Not To Captcha

Like many businesses we have online forms on our website to make it easy for prospects to get in touch with us. Unfortunately like many businesses this means we also get a lot of spam. Did I say a lot? I mean a ton. It’s frustrating and takes time to be cleared out of the in-box each day. So much so that my husband and I have discussed adding a captcha option to our forms.

If you’ve not heard of captcha before I’m sure you’ll remember a time you’ve filled out a form online and had to enter some funny looking characters before you could submit it. I also suspect you had to fill it out a few times because they never seem to be accepted first go. Now I don’t know about you but this frustrates the heck out of me – I just want to submit a form – why are you making it so difficult?

So I suspect you know what we decided. Not to captcha. Its a fantastic idea, and definitely has some uses, but why should we make our prospective clients lives that much harder to make our lives easier? It just doesn’t make (business) sense.