But first: why should you even care about this?

Filling out a form is the last step where the user is pretty much ready to seal the deal on your product or service. However, they haven’t crossed the doorstep just yet, and they can opt out at any moment.

The reason for users suddenly dropping off is not that obvious, but it usually comes into light when you take a look at the form analytics. By looking into their user analytics data, an online travel firm Expedia found out that there was a single field in their form which cost it $12M worth of profit. Similarly, by making several small changes to its form and testing the outcome, a B2B IT company Iron Mountain found an increase in good-quality leads by 140%.

Your sign-up form seems like a basic task, yet it can be the make-or-break point in your customer journey. By watching your user’s behavior and exploring ways to improve the user experience in user onboarding, you mitigate user abandonment, increase their engagement, and tap into new, tangible value for your business. 

What’s the issue with forms?

Successful completion of the form depends on people's perceived value of what they will get by doing it and the effort it will take to do it, in what's called a balanced exchange of value. And here’s the thing, no matter how cool the thing you’re offering is, if it requires filling out a long and tedious form, users are more likely to find it just isn’t worth it and give up.

There are several common issues with forms, the biggest one being they are too time-consuming but are also confusing and complicated for users (more so than you might think). An important factor is also security, particularly in forms which require users to submit sensitive data.

Time is of the essence

People often don’t give forms their full attention. Their focus is on what they want to get, that is, the reason they decided to commit in the first place. This means they are distracted to start with and can quickly get bored or frustrated while trying to complete the form. 

Forms should, therefore, be made as short as possible. The obvious way to do that is to focus on the critical information you need from them and eliminate the unnecessary form fields. But what if all of them are necessary? You could miss out on valuable data about your customers and also risk getting a lot of unqualified leads. 

One method that has been proven effective is to break up the form into multiple simple steps instead of crowding all fields on a single page. That way, users will not be intimidated by many fields or perceive the form as too time-consuming. In reality, however, a multi-step form doesn’t actually take less time for the user to complete, and you’re likely to lose a substantial number of users at each step. 

There is a much better method to build a form that takes a second to fill out and has zero fields. 

Thanks to advanced machine learning and text recognition technology, we’ve built a solution that eliminates typing and instead captures all data at once. Particularly in processes where users need to fill in a lot of their personal data (such as full name, address, ID number, and so on), this solution enables them to simply scan and automatically fill out the form with all data.

A form is not a puzzle

Forms are supposed to be trivial. Users should be able to fill out a form without really thinking about it. It’s important for them to know what to expect and to be familiar with the format. Ambiguous instructions or field names can lead to erroneous data input and make users feel confused or frustrated. 

Errors also happen on a more basic level: when entering lots of data manually, people make mistakes. They misspell. This, of course, happens more in mobile forms due to tiny on-screen keyboards and a limited overview of the already filled-in fields (so it’s harder to double-check the answers).

There are different automation and pre-fill methods that limit the amount of typing and make the form completion process quick and simple. And what’s simpler than pointing your phone at your ID or credit card and filling out all data in an instant? 

Specifically, in more complex, in-depth user onboarding processes like KYC, the user is required to submit a physical identity or payment document. Submitting it via a web service on desktop was quite unfortunate, as the user would have to leave the form to scan the document and then go back and upload it. Mobile users had it even worse. 

We reinvented the form-filling process by building an effective and sleek solution that’s very intuitive to smartphone users. By introducing data entry through the mobile or web camera, we eliminated friction and created a smooth, uninterrupted process of filling out forms.

Whether in simple or more complex forms, the smartphone camera has proven a seamless tool to enter data with virtually no effort on the user’s side.

What’s more, we’ve enabled real-time validation messages. The user gets instructions on positioning the document and scanning in real time, so the whole data input process is as easy as it gets.

Forging security and trust

With increased concerns over privacy and information security, users can be hesitant to share their data. You have to do a bit more to guarantee security and earn their trust.

Above everything else, if you’re asking for sensitive information - be transparent and clear in communicating why you require that specific data, and how you will handle their data from the moment they give it to you. 

Using the latest machine learning techniques, we’ve built solutions that enable data extraction and processing on device in real time. That means that the scanning can be done offline, without any server interaction, allowing service providers to have full control over the flow of data submitted by their users and guarantee their security. 

But, these security procedures happening in the background are not the sole factor in earning trust by your customer. Creating an impression of trustworthiness needs to be woven into every part of customer-facing processes, including the very first step that people take towards you - the sign-up form. It’s been proven: sleek and straightforward user experiences create a sense of professionalism, user-centered service, and reliability.

To conclude...

There are many different types of forms and even more ways as to how to make them efficient and user-friendly, depending on their context. So remember, what is considered best practice may not necessarily be the optimal solution for your form. But analyzing your form stats and investigating your users’ behavior is the key to figuring out what you need to improve. Great user experience not only eliminates inefficiencies and costs but also plays an essential part in attracting new users and gaining their trust.

We hope this inspired you to at least take a look at your form. Let us know your thoughts!