Mobile Forms: What And How To Use

mobile devicesIn today’s technology world, we’ve reached that point where a lot of online traffic occurs on and from mobile devices. In an interconnected environment, we want to have the flexibility to search for information on smartphones, do online shopping from our tablets, take part in contests by filling out information on mobile phones, and even be able to pay bills online.

In order to comply with the growing number of mobile devices, as well as with an ever increasing online traffic coming from them, the best thing you can do is have a mobile optimized website. That means your website will scale automatically depending on the device your customers are using for accessing your site.

If your site is mobile optimized, your web forms should make no exception from this mobile optimization. Having non-optimized web forms will lead to mobile device users abandoning form completion. This is to expect, because it is obvious we don’t want to waste our time and pain ourselves with trying to fill out a form that’s too big to nicely fit our screen.

Whether you are using a contact form, a request a quote form, or a marketing survey, here is what you need to have in mind when designing web forms for mobile devices!

Imagine yourself using the form. Start by picturing yourself as filling out your form on a mobile device. Is it intuitive enough? Can people easily slide through the questions, select their answers and navigate the way they wish to? If your answer is ‘No’, you might want to think your mobile form design through.

One column layout. Use an one column layout for your form fields, where possible. Especially for simpler forms, such as the contact form, it makes no sense to crowd more fields on the same row, so that respondents have a hard time when jumping from one field to another.

Complex mobile forms. For complex forms and surveys, using a multiple column layout is possible, as long as everything fits in smoothly. Just make sure not to have too many columns that do not scale well on the mobile device, by appearing too small.

Surveys. Administering surveys to your customers or potential users on mobile devices can be a good way to gain valuable data. If your survey is built in a smart way, it will encourage respondents to fill it out. This way, people who are waiting for the tube might feel like using the waiting time to give you some feedback towards your product.

Limit fields number. While it is recommended to generally use the minimum number of fields possible on a form, this recommendation gets another dimension when talking about mobile forms. Mobile device users have more limited navigation possibilities, thus it is important not to make them scroll too much through tens of fields.

Multi-page forms. If you really need to create longer mobile forms, a multi-page feature can let you group fields into several pages that make navigation easier.

Available answers. With miniature screens and keyboards, it is recommended to avoid asking respondents to type in a lot of information. Try using questions where people can select their answer from radio buttons and checkboxes.

Field labels. For best user experience, align your field labels above the fields. Choosing other alignment options, such as left or right, can reduce their visibility.

Additional help. Lowering the number of fields that need to be completed only aids the respondent. You can contribute to this by using a form builder that provides IP geolocation, allowing for example for the country to be filled out automatically in the Address field.

To sum things up, when designing a mobile form or survey it is important to try and put yourself in your respondent’s shoes. Best way to go is to fill out the form by yourself from a mobile device and see if it is user friendly enough.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 3:41 pm and is filed under Business Forms, Mobile Surveys, Online Surveys. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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