The importance of best practices in web form design is becoming increasingly essential.  Research has shown that when certain elements are incorporated in your form optimization, users are more likely to enter the correct information and completion rates increase.

This week’s Tech Tip offers a variety of form usability recommendations to consider in your Caspio-powered web forms. A brief overview of each best practice is provided below, along with a link to read step-by-step implementation instructions.Web Form Design OptimizationTop-Aligned Field Labels

For public-facing web forms, it is a good practice to position your labels above the input fields for reduced clutter and a more polished, easy-to-follow layout. In form usability tests, this format scores much higher in comprehension.

Learn more about field label alignment.

Submission Button Alignment

The best place for the submit button is where the next input field would normally be if there was one.  It is especially important if you have a single column input form to make sure that the submit button is aligned the same way as your other elements.

Learn more about submission button alignment.

Rollover Hints – Mouse-Over Help Icon

If you have unusual field names, you should consider adding a mouse-over help icon for the user to read a quick tip or instruction about that particular field. You can easily add this interactive feature to your own Caspio web forms using just HTML and CSS.

Mouse-Over Help Icons

Learn more about mouse-over help icons.

Selecting Default Values

If your web form uses a dropdown or listbox field where one option is clearly the most common, you should consider setting the default value for this field instead of using generic “Please Select” text or similar instruction. A dropdown field with incorrect information is more likely to be noticed and corrected by the user than a non-descript default value.

Learn more about setting the best default values.

Color Error Messages

When input errors happen, it is important that the user can easily see what went wrong and where.  By setting both the error message and the associated field label to a new, preferably strong color, the user can quickly identify what needs to be corrected.

Setting Error Messages and Field Colors

Learn more about setting error message and field colors.

By integrating any combination of these five best practices for web form design, you can expect more satisfied users and improved completion rates.  Try it for yourself, and don’t hesitate to contact Caspio Support if you have any questions along the way.