Test Your Web Forms
businessman marked checklist on a clipboard paper

I wanted to update my email address associated with my credit card, so I went to their website to change it and ran into a problem. The credit card website said my email was invalid! what the heck?

Email: 1@marioseijo.com

I’ve been using this email for several years on other websites and it has never been a problem, so why would a large credit card company think my email was invalid?

I knew that someone must have programed it to reject emails with a single character before the @ sign, and according to the credit card company, the only way to make the change was to call their customer service number. Ugh.

Let’s review what form testing is and how to implement it in your forms.

What is form testing

Form testing is the process you go through to test functionality and effectiveness of your forms. You can test for things like design, copy, validation, calls to action.

In addition, you can test functionality to ensure the forms are displaying the correct elements and sending users to the appropriate confirmation page.

What to test

Functionality

  • Validation – This is how you’ll make sure the information you receive is accurate. For example, you can check that only numbers are entered into phone fields and email addresses are correctly formatted. Users will not be allowed to continue if there is an error. A message should appear letting the user know what’s wrong. Make sure the messaging is clear to your audience.
  • Notifications – You should be notified when a user submits your form. The user should also receive a confirmation message or email letting them know the status. Make sure the notifications are working.
  • Thank you page – Users are typically redirected to a thank you page after submitting a form. Make this this is working and ensure the copy is clear with next steps.
  • Mobile devices – It goes without saying, but you should be testing your forms on mobile, tablet and desktop browsers. On the mobile side, make sure the form displays nicely on a small screen, with an easy to read font size, and that users can navigate the entire form flawlessly.

Effectiveness

  • Design – Consider the overall design of your form. It should have a modern look and not be confusing.
  • Copy – keep your copy short, clear and to the point. Avoid using jargon.
  • Call to action – Calls to action are like road signs when you’re driving. Use a call to action to guide your visitors and let them know what to expect.
  • Requirements – make sure critical form elements are marked as required. For example, address fields should be mandatory if you plan to ship products.

Web form testing best practices

  • Keep it short – be succinct and to the point.
  • Only ask for information that you actually need – I often wonder why companies ask for so much personal information on their forms. Collecting personal information just in case you might need it later is a really bad practice.
  • Use a call to action – Use a call to action to set expectations and guide users into doing what you want them to do.
  • Measure performance – Are you trying to capture sales leads with your forms? Use Google Analytics to measure performance and track the usage of your forms.

Are you ready to test your forms?

When was the last time you tested your forms? I recommend testing your forms every few months. Your goal is to provide a great user experience on your website and filling out your forms should be as painless as possible.

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