Web Forms: Their Importance And How To Improve Them

Web Forms: Their Importance And How To Improve Them

A web form is only as important as its use. A car isn't important on its own but is pretty darn important when it is delivering insulin to people during a pandemic lock down. A web form on its own has no importance, but even that most pessimistic person has to admit that web forms have a lot of potential, and that a person with a creative flair may find tens, perhaps hundreds, of uses for them.

Why Are Web Forms Important?

They are still the most efficient way to pass important information from the website viewer to the website owner. On the surface, you can add forms to your website and have people send you information such as feedback or perhaps survey information. However, with just a bit of tinkering, you can go far deeper than that.

For example, you can use forms to have people sign up for new accounts. You can build forms so that people have to enter the correct information before they are able to submit their form, and you can add things like spam filters that will stop spam-bots but will not slow down a genuine user.

You can go even deeper than that and use things like adaptive forms, which is where the form changes itself based on what a user picks. For example, if a user wants help with their car, you can create a form that asks them which part of their car they want help with. Let’s say they pick “Steering.” After picking that option, the form changes itself to only ask questions and take information about the car’s steering.

You can go even further still and involve things like marketing tools. These will create offers and display marketing information based on what a user enters into the form. The marketing tools can work in real time, such as when a form offers you a direct quote, or they can work after the form is submitted, whereupon the user receives targeted messages from the host company.

Even further still, and you could use conditional logic and AI to dictate how a web form user is treated and how they are approached by the system. For example, if somebody submits a form while asking for solutions to a certain problem, your system could auto-send an email in response that offers some of the most common fixes for the stated problem. On a similar note, the marketing AI could offer upgrades, warranty solutions, cross sells, up-sells and variety of different targeted messages that suit the customer (all based on what they entered into the form).

It is fair to say that web forms are as important as you make them, but even if you only use a smattering of the functions mentioned above, you still have a very potentially powerful tool on your hands.

How to Improve Web Forms

What should and shouldn't be changed has certainly evolved over the years. Where things like security and stability have always been constant issues, things like device compatibility, responsiveness, input validation and AI are fairly new in the grand scheme of things.

Just like the Smartphone industry, you can look at what needs improving by what the developers are actually dedicating their time towards. If you recall back in the old days, phone developers were trying to make batteries last longer, and then they were trying to make their devices smaller, then they started making their devices bigger, and so forth.

Companies like Headlessforms are on the cutting edge of web forms, so here are a few things they are working to improve. Keep these in mind because as a web forms user, you can affect how these factors work to improve your website's web forms.

How to Improve Web Forms - Web Form Security

As mentioned earlier, this has always been a major concern, and where we may live in an era with SSL secured websites and encrypted, but the newer overseas threats are a big concern. These days, Chinese and Russian data-mining and security testing companies are massive. They can fill warehouses with people and technology, and their technology is more advanced than ever. Add this to the fact that on their down time they are able to generate an income through cryptocurrency, and you have a very workable hacking/brute force business model.

How does this new threat affect web form security? The issue isn't with a single person's website, but with the tools they use. Hacking groups do not often target a single website, they target its systems, like its website builder or its plugins. For example, if a hacking company finds a hole in the Shopify system, then they have found a hole in every website that uses Shopify.

Since people enter vital/private information into web forms, they are frequently under attack from hackers. Headlessforms are countering this by purposefully differentiating themselves from their competitors. That way, their exploits cannot be applied to Headless forms tools. Another clever tool is through spam protection that targets spam bots. Things as simple as invisible check boxes are still fine ways of tricking automated spam bots.

How to Improve Web Forms - Ease of Use

Be you a web form developer or somebody building your own web forms with HeadlessForm’s tools, you need to focus on ease of use. Keeping it simple is still a big issue for web forms. For example, HeadlessForms has a system where an address is added into a form automatically. This may not seem like a big deal, but to a weary website viewer or customer, it can be the difference between a pass or a purchase.

Web form developers and the people using web forms need to really focus on how easy their forms are to use and fill out. If there is any point during the process where the user has to pause for a second, or wait, or re-enter something, then you are making a grave mistake. Technology is moving forwards in a way that suggests ease-of-use and convenience will take center stage. If your web forms are still a hassle to fill out, then you will be left behind.

Shorten The Sign Up Procedure

This cannot be stressed enough. There is a time and a place for web forms. They are a great tool, they warm leads, they can be used to improve your PR, they can be used to grow your brand, and they are great support tools, but there are places where they are not welcome.

If you are having people sign up for an account or a newsletter, then you need to keep your web form as short and brief as possible. You may be tempted to have them fill in their demographic information, their address, their payment information, but unless they are making a purchase then there is no need for these delays. Sign-up/account-opening web forms are the most heavily abandoned, and this is often because they take too long to fill out. People think, “Nah, I will come back to it later” and leave it.

Do not be mistaken, if you are using web forms to help people with support issues, or to ask for people's feedback, then by all means you should create a long, complex and sophisticated web form. However, if you are trying to get subscriptions or new accounts, then the best way to improve your web form is to make it as short, brief, and concise as possible. Once you have the double-confirmed email address, then you can start badgering them for more information.