Some Stuff About User Experience, eCommerce, Social Media & etc.

Tag Archives: forms

The Seven Deadly Sins of Sign-Up Form Design

The sign-up form is one of the most critical points in the process of users developing a relationship with your site. It’s also the point where a flaw in the interaction can be the difference between a user becoming a new customer or becoming a bounce statistic on your web analytics. While many things can be wrong with a sign-up form, here are the top seven mistakes (in no particular order) we think are critical flaws that are guaranteed to frustrate users and likely to drive them away.

1. Benefits of signing up not being clear or not stated at all

Ideally, a user will know why they want to sign up when they do. However many sites that offer a lot of content pre-login will interrupt a user’s experience with a sign-up requirement, but not explicitly state why the user needs to register. Do not assume that the user remembers or understands why they should sign up. The benefits of a site are far too often left to the user to discover on their own, yet it costs nothing to remind them with concisely worded text.

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Store Locator Forms Simplified to One Text Field

Users use forms to do many things. Finding a local store to shop at is one thing that should take them little time and effort to do. However, most store locator forms are hard to use and take up too much time. This is because they contain too many form fields. At the least, a store locator form will typically have two text fields and a dropdown box.

Why are there so many fields to do such a simple task? When users are looking for a store to go to, they want to find a nearby store quickly and walk out the door. A complicated store locator form slows them down. However, by simplifying the form to one text field, users can find their local store quickly and be on their way.

It’s better to combine all the fields into one because the user only needs to give their city and state, or zipcode to get back adequate results. If you offer all three fields to users, they will naturally try to fill in all three. This is a waste of time when all they need to fill in is one. What’s needed is a flexible text field that can take in different types of information the user chooses enter.

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Online Testing Essentials

A well-built sales funnel is never complete until every part of it has been tested and optimized. For maximum success, marketers should dig deep and experiment with every customer interaction point. What follows is a brief guide that outlines what things are good to regularly test and optimize—including PPC, media buys, landing pages, and email campaigns. You don’t have to test everything all at once. Start with the marketing activity the produces the highest return and then work your way down.

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The $300 Million Button

How Changing a Button Increased a Site’s Annual Revenues by $300 Million

It’s hard to imagine a form that could be simpler: two fields, two buttons, and one link. Yet, it turns out this form was preventing customers from purchasing products from a major e-commerce site, to the tune of $300,000,000 a year. What was even worse: the designers of the site had no clue there was even a problem.

The form was simple. The fields were Email Address and Password. The buttons were Login and Register. The link was Forgot Password. It was the login form for the site. It’s a form users encounter all the time. How could they have problems with it?

The problem wasn’t as much about the form’s layout as it was where the form lived. Users would encounter it after they filled their shopping cart with products they wanted to purchase and pressed the Checkout button. It came before they could actually enter the information to pay for the product.

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Why Users Fill Out Forms Faster with Unified Text Fields

Nothing turns users off more than a long and complicated form. There are many ways designers can simplify their forms to make them faster and easier to fill out. Using top aligned labels on your form fields is one way. Replacing your text field CAPTCHA with a lighter one is another. Even cutting the number of optional fields you have helps.

But an innovative way to make your forms faster and easier to fill out is to use unified text fields to gather the information that normally takes multiple fields to gather. This dramatically reduces the number of text fields and dropdown boxes you have on your form. And the less text fields and dropdown boxes there are, the faster and easier it is to fill out your form.

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How to Lose Money With Bad Usability

I’m kind of a nut about usability. Jakob Nielsen is my hero and I live in a constant state of frustration at all the ways today’s systems (and the people who design them) pay little attention to the issue. While usability is an issue in all types of systems, many of the usability sins committed occur on the web.

Bad usability is also expensive. Many developers don’t always connect the dots between usability and revenue but if they did, they could save their organizations time and money, as well as avoid negative branding.

Here’s a recent example. I received an email a few days ago from The Hartford. It looked like this:

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3 Usability Issues With Our Online Store Website That Were Uncovered By A Clueless Customer

Even though we’ve been running our online store with the same basic layout for a few years now, I’m continually amazed by how often I find problems with our website and how often I have to make subtle tweaks to improve conversions. I’ve also come to the realization that I’m pretty lousy at predicting human behavior and anticipating how customers will interact with our user interface.

In any case, the issues that I’m about to describe aren’t necessarily “bugs” per se but website usability issues that we discovered from talking to our customers directly.

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The User Experience And Psychology Of Colour

There is a lot of psychology in colour, and while I don’t claim to be an expert, every now and then I come across something that seems to be rather counterintuitive.

I suppose there are some cultural influences on colour as well, and people need to take these sorts of things into account when designing sites, but there also seem to be some ideas that cross over cultural lines.

Today I want to take a quick look at the colours that I would assume we’d all connect with a certain response – say the colour of success, the colour of failure, and what colours you expect to see in form fields when you are doing things right or wrong. What colours come to mind when you think of a ‘Success‘ message? What colours come to mind when you think of doing something wrong?

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