Site performance is often directly related to the quality of your forms. There are lots of things that will stop a visitor from filling them out completely, and one of the big killers is when the visitor does not understand what to do.
A Simple Example
I was reviewing the site Ripzor today. They rip videos from online so that you can save them to your hard drive. Ever try saving a YouTube video to your hard drive? You will need a service like this to do it. Taking a look at their form, download videos from YouTube, you will see that it is about as simple as you can get. One text box to enter url, and the “Get Video button. How hard is that?
Well without that example text below, I bet the form would be very hard to fill out. In fact I know for a fact, because I have a site of my own that allows visitors to create polls using YouTube videos. Visitors didn’t really start taking advantage of the service until I showed the example of how to find the ID number of the video. Most people are not tech savvy, and this changed my confusing form to an easy form.
More Form Tips
A few more for tips to help improve your sites performance are easy ones as well. The first is the best, and makes it easier for the webmaster as well. Only get information that you absolutely need, and keep your form as simple as possible. Let users add additional information later if they feel so compelled. The second tip is to group like form elements. An example is to put all the drop down boxes in one spot, and all the text boxes in another. Don’t make the visitors go back and forth between the keyboard and mouse. My third tip to improve the forms performance is to make it clear to the user why they are filling it out. It sound basic, but asking for an email to subscribe is not enough. It might work,Â but give your visitors a little more beef. When asking them to subscribe for example, make sure they see the benefits of subscribing. Oh, and if you need to, use an example:)