Conventional web designing wisdom says that one should stay away from designing the long web form because such forms hurt the conversion rate of the site. Company with longer web form tends to lose customers because of the extra time it takes to fill in all the extra details. This fact is even backed by specific case studies like Expedia example. This is a very famous example because here company shortened its contact form by just one field and got a whopping $12 million in extra profit. Backed by such concrete examples one can be convinced easily that web forms must not be too long. But, can the conventional wisdom be wrong?
It is, at least in this case. While shorter forms contribute to increased conversions, this doesn’t tell the whole story because with forms we are talking about exact conversions and not just conversions in general.
If one wishes to capture high-quality info from the site visitors then one must design longer web forms. Shorter forms are known to produce a high number of conversions but with longer forms, one can produce high-quality conversions.
More people tend to fill out shorter forms but one will only go through the trouble of filling out an elaborate form if they are interested in your product genuinely. So, with the longer form, you will not only get quality info but quality clients as well.
As a web designer starts by asking yourself what information is needed from the perspective to market the product. The old convention says that three fields name, email and job title are necessary. Then according to this any form containing anything more than three fields is a long-form.
But, the marketing experiment says that a form with five fields is a shorter form since it has a better conversion rate in comparison to the seven and nine-field forms. But again remember that these forms provide a better high-quality info conversion rate.
Since forms are created for the buyers and visitors, designers must keep the user’s perspective in mind while designing the form. One important consideration to take here is to think about how easy it will be for buyers to fill in the details in the field.
One such example of the form is natural language form. These forms help in raising the conversion rate as they ask the buyer, for information sprinkled in natural sentences. This makes it easy for people to enter information into the fields.
As a designer the challenge for you is to apply this knowledge as you are creating the form.
It is important for you to know what your client (company) wants in the first place. Does it want more leads or does it want high-quality leads only? If your client is interested in getting leads only then this is your hint and you should design the short form asking for the basic information of the lead.
Now, if your client is looking for high-quality info with specific details then you will have to design a long form for the company asking for very specific information from the lead.
Many places on the earth proclaim how small web forms are best for conversion but then again they fail to take notice of the quality of conversion. So, for the designers, the only question to ask from their client is what kind of conversion/information they want and then design the form accordingly.