The Wufoo Blog

Fear Not, Form Fans! Import Those Predefined Choices

By Jen Bjers · April 8th, 2014

Have a lengthy list of choices for a Drop-down or Multiple Choice field? Does the thought of typing each selection one by one make your soul cry? Enter Wufoo’s ‘Import Predefined Choices’ feature. If you have a text list or even an Excel list on hand, then copy and paste that list directly into the Import Predefined Choices utility. Magically, Wufoo converts that list into choices in your Multiple Choice or Drop-down field.

Let’s see it in action!

Suppose you’d like all entries to select the country they’re contacting you from, but find no need to include an entire Address field. A quick Google search for “text list of countries” returns a short list of hits (~66 million). I find that the OpenConcept text list of countries works well for this.

Add a Drop-down field on your form and click on the Import Predefined Choices button in the Field Settings.

You’ll find a list of Predefined Categories such as Gender, Age, Employment, Continents, Income, Education, etc. And, you’ll notice an open area to the right of the categories to paste your own custom list.

Copy the text list of countries from the OpenConcept page and paste that list directly in to the custom choices area of the Import Predefined Choices utility. Click on the Add Choices to Field button.

Bask in the glory of your own awesomeness. Relish in the fruits of your labor. You’ve just added 195 countries to your Dropdown list in less than 2 minutes.


Predefining a Checkbox field is certainly possible as well. Since Checkbox fields are stored a little differently in the database, you’ll need to set it up as a Dropdown or Multiple Choice field first. Once you’ve predefined the choices, change the field type to Checkbox and well, that should do it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of Wufoo Tips and Tricks. As always, we’re here to help if you need anything!

Back To Basics: Getting Down And Dirty With Rules

By Johan Lieu · April 4th, 2014

Okay, maybe not so dirty. But if you’re new to Wufoo and haven’t yet ventured into the infinite (maybe not infinite but it’s a lot) possibilities of Rules yet, you’re missing out. Rules are that extra something that take a fairly simple form and use case and supercharges them to allow you to use Wufoo to solve some fairly complex use cases and applications.

As always, if you consider yourself a Wufoo Vet (and given how many users we have, there are plenty of you out there!) this post may not be for you. The Back To Basics series of posts are aimed at the newer Wufoo users who want to learn more about the wide assortment of Wufoo features and fully unlock the infinite (again, probably not infinite but close) possibilities of their Wufoo accounts.

Let’s get to it.

1. Make The Form!

Before we venture into setting up rules for our form, we first need a form. When setting up a complex form, I like to first create the entire form with all fields and pages, and from there, add rules and make them dynamic.

For our purposes, I’m using a form that I’ve created that uses Stripe with global currencies (a recently launched feature enhancement that allows Stripe users to accept payments in various currencies) so that people can send me bribes for various tasks they want me to do. In this form I have:

A. Price Field: This field allows people to input how much they want to bribe me with.

B. Text Field: This field is an arbitrary field that I want to be shown only if the bribe amount from the Price Field is more than 50.00 GBP.

C. Multiple Choice Field: This field allows the user to let me know if what I need to do is simple or elaborate. If it’s simple, we don’t need a long explanation (I mean, if it’s a simple bribe, why have it in writing, amirite?) so we’ll skip the page with the paragraph box and just get straight to payment. But if the task is elaborate, the user should see the second page, shown here in D.

D. Paragraph Field: This paragraph field appears on the second page. The second page will only be shown to users if they selected “Something much more elaborate” from the multiple choice field in C.

There, we have our form with all of the possible fields and pages. Now it’s time to add Rules and make it really sing.

2. Add A Touch Of Rules

To add rules to our nifty new form, just head to the Form Manager which lists all of your forms. Find your form, click the “Rules” button and you’ll be taken to the Rule Manager for your form. Now it gets fun!

3. Creating A Field Rule

The first rule we’ll be creating is the rule where we’d like to show the text field only if the price is higher than 50.00 GBP. Since this is a rule that will simply show or hide another field on the same page, it’s considered a Field Rule. Simply click the “Create A Field Rule” button and the first field rule will appear.

To make our rule, you select which field you want to monitor, in this case the “What’s your bribe amount?” field. To do this, you click the first drop down menu which lists all of the fields on your form then select the field which you want to create this rule for.

Next, we choose the rule criteria. In this case, we only care if the amount inputted into this field is more than 50.00 GBP. So we choose the criteria drop down and we select “is greater than”. Now we move over to the next input field where we’ll enter in 50.00. Note: for price fields and rules, you’ll need to specify out to the cents (or pence in this example).

Finally, we want to show the text field in our example form, so we’ll choose the last drop down menu and select the field we want to show, in this case we’ll select the “Shown only if the bribe amount is more than 50 GBP!” field. Click “Save Field Rules” and your first rule is all set.

You can see that the rule matches what we are trying to do by simply reading it in the Rule Builder:

If “What’s your bribe amount?” is greater than 50.00 show “Shown only if the bribe amount is more than 50 GBP!”.

Pretty cool huh? Now, let’s tackle that Page Rule.

4. Creating A Page Rule

Remember that we only want people to clarify their bribery task on the second page of the form only if the task is elaborate. So we’ll need to make a rule that only shows the second page of this form if the value of the multiple choice field is “Something much more elaborate.” For that, we need to create a Page Rule. To do that, simply hit the tab labeled, “Page Rules” click the “Create a Page Rule” button, and your first page rule will appear.

Like creating a field rule, we’ll first need to select which field we’ll need to monitor. In this case, it’s the “What do you need to get done?” field.

This is where things get tricky, so pay attention. In the third drop down, instead of selecting “Something much more elaborate.” we’re instead going to select “Something simple.” as the option. We do this since Page Rules allow for skipping pages and we only need to skip the second page in our form if the task is simple. Hence, we choose “Something simple.” here as our option.

Finally, we then close the loop by saying if the option selected is “Something simple.” then we’ll skip all the way to the Payment page, skipping Page 2 altogether. This way only people with elaborate tasks need to describe their task and those with simple tasks can get to paying us our bribe!

And there we have it, a fairly simple form that utilizes Field Rules and Page Rules to add complex functionality to the form and make it super powerful. There are endless possibilities and applications of using Wufoo with Rules to create really elegant solutions to hard, complex problems and workflows. If you want more in depth information about rules, you can find them here in our handy dandy Help Docs about the Rule Builder.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them below. We love to hear from our customers and readers and hope you found this guide useful!

Design Out-of-This-World Websites with SpaceCraft and Wufoo

By Kayte Korwitts · April 3rd, 2014

Buckle those seatbelts, dear friends. You’re in for a stellar ride with our latest integration. But fear not—you won’t have to travel far. Our newest integration with SpaceCraft—a fully hosted website publishing platform that’s truly out of this world—is in the business of making your business look good (really good) on the web.

You can showcase images, and now your Wufoo forms, in stunning galleries with options like adjustable padding and auto-cropping to help “create a rich, visual representation of your story and business.” Best of all, SpaceCraft specializes in designing websites that will seamlessly scale across mobile, tablet and PC.

No need to worry about your customers squinting, tapping, pinching or otherwise shaking their fist at the sky trying to view your site. Everything will be optimized. We love the sound of that here at Wufoo and so we’re thrilled at partnering up.

To Use This Integration

  1. In the “Forms” section of your Wufoo account, select the “Code” button and click the “API Information” button on the next page.
  2. Highlight and copy the API Key that appears, select your account and copy the subdomain of your brand new form.
  3. Return to your SpaceCraft account and sign in, select “Connections” > “Forms” > “Connect” in the Wufoo block.
  4. Type in the subdomain you chose for your Wufoo account, paste in the API Key and click “Save”.
  5. Go to the page where you want the form to live, click “Add content blocks” and add the “Form block.” Simply choose the form you created from the drop-down list and you’re good to go.

Check out SpaceCraft’s handy how-to video for another look.

High-fives all around to the entire crew of SpaceCraft for a fantastic integration—we’re excited to see what folks will be able to accomplish.

As always, leave us any questions in the Comments section below!

Want to join our integration family? Visit our Ultimate Guide to Integrating with Wufoo and get started today.

Take Your Help Center to the Next Level with HelpIQ and Wufoo

By Brett Ryckman · April 1st, 2014

You know the saying, Knowledge is power? Well, some pretty darn exciting things can happen for your business when you give your customers easy access to both. Guiding them in getting the help they need and finding answers quickly when burning questions about your product come up, empowers your customers even more. This is why having a robust knowledge base or help center in place is crucial.

Online help authoring tool, HelpIQ makes it simple to create an online help center for your products or services to live in. Support documents, FAQs, user guides, tutorials and more can be online in mere minutes.

Forget about complicated, time-consuming technical setup hassles and spend the time you’ve saved on super-charging your help center. With the added power of Wufoo, get ready indeed to take your help center to the next level—it’s the ideal location for pretty much all of the different form templates that Wufoo offers.

For example, add a customer satisfaction survey to get feedback on the quality of your products, services, and documentation. Pop in an elegant contact form so your customers know exactly how and where to reach out if they can’t find the answers they’re looking for. Last but not least, since revenue drives your business, why not embed a sales lead form into your site? Potential customers routinely look through online documentation as they evaluate and learn about a company. That’s the prime time to capture a new sales opportunity.

Adding Wufoo’s bug reports, feature requests, support tickets, satisfaction surveys, and other forms will remind your customers over and over that knowledge is indeed power.

In just 3 steps, you’ll be on your way.

To Use This Integration

  1. You’ll need an account with Wufoo and an account with HelpIQ. Wufoo has both free and paid plans. Click here to see which of HelpIQ’s plans will work best for you and to sign up for a free 30-day trial.

  2. Create a form in Wufoo that you want to use. If you don’t want to create one from scratch, choose from over 90 templates in the Form Gallery.

  3. Follow these instructions, or if you prefer, kick back and enjoy this how-to treat for your eyes below.

All of us here at HelpIQ are super pumped about this integration with our friends at Wufoo; big thanks to the entire team! Any questions or comments, please share them with me below.

Brett Ryckman is the founder and CEO of HelpIQ. To learn more about HelpIQ, please visit their site and get started with a free 30-day trial.

Interested in integrating with Wufoo? Be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Integrating with Wufoo.

No More Spreadsheets! How to Book 12,000+ Vacation Packages in India with Wufoo

By Iris Isac · March 19th, 2014

We love hearing stories from our customers and we love getting the opportunity to share them here with you even more. Whether Wufoo’s helping launch a fledgling entrepreneur’s dream business, wrangling up wedding guests for a busy bride-to-be, or making access to healthy foods even easier, we’re truly all over the map—and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Speaking of maps, let’s take a quick jaunt halfway across the world, shall we? We’re thrilled to shine our customer spotlight on India where Iris Holidays—a Government of Kerala-accredited tour operator—uses Wufoo to plan customized vacation packages for travelers visiting beautiful Kerala from all over the world.

Here to share their Wufoo story is Iris Isac, cofounder and CEO of Marketing and Operations at Iris Holidays.

Welcome, Iris!

Since opening our doors back in 2006, we’ve helped plan the vacations of over 12,000 tourists here in Kerala, India. Kerala is located in the southwest region of India and has quickly grown to become one of the leading tourist spots here in South Asia. Every single one of our 12,000+ trip requests has been managed and organized thanks to the Wufoo forms embedded on our website.

Improving the user experience on our website has been key in providing our clients with high quality and consistent holiday packages. Every single page on our website is linked to our contact page where a Wufoo form is embedded. When potential clients enter their contact information we get the opportunity to help a potential new adventure seeker looking for a holiday here in Kerala.

Once the client clicks Submit, all of their information is logged into our in-house CRM system. Depending on the type of information we receive, our travel specialist will reach out by email to start the vacation planning process. One of the things that we love about Wufoo? The same form can be embedded in multiple websites. Entries made in all these separate websites comes right to our single CRM system , thanks to the power of the Wufoo API.

We now have the crucial details of every single customer who has contacted us via Wufoo.

This data is used by our marketing manager for campaigns, seasonal trend analysis and to monitor our conversion rates. Wufoo’s flexibility also allows us to experiment with the kinds of data we receive by moving, deleting or adding our form fields. This is super simple to do using the drag and drop functionality. In addition, it makes the clients’ experience easier and hopefully encourages more people to want to fill out our forms.

Back in the early days, we didn’t use the Wufoo API at first. Instead we manually allocated all of the entries received with an Excel spreadsheet which was time consuming not to mention tedious. One day, we happened across the Wufoo blog and read the case studies and customer spotlights on how other businesses were taking advantage of the Wufoo API. Learning how others used Wufoo has helped save two hours, minimum, from our team members’ daily work hours. No more spreadsheets! We have also automated all of our systems and as a result, not much technical bandwidth is needed to maintain our sales funnel and more time can be spent on our clients.

After clients complete their forms, it’s incredibly gratifying to read the replies that we receive back. Clients thank us for the prompt and immediate response that they get and all of us here at Iris Holiday definitely appreciate the acknowledgement. It’s our little secret that these e-mails are also powered by Wufoo and we use these messages in order to showcase our Kerala tour reviews page.

We just might be among the first Wufoo customers from India however now we’re seeing many more local websites also using Wufoo for their contact forms. We love the fact that it’s so easy and that you can create awesome forms quickly with the drag and drop features. It spares the team from a lot of administrative headaches. We also have more time for coding, site maintenance, measuring analytics for lead optimization and can focus on strengthening our overall business performance.

Kudos to the entire team at Wufoo from all of us here in Kerala! You have made the working lives of small business owners from all over the world, not to mention their employees, far more productive—and fun!

Looking for a totally unique vacation experience? Check out Iris Holidays and get started with one of their amazing travel packages today.

Get a Wufoot-hold on the Name Field: Tips on Sizing.

By Kane Stanley · March 7th, 2014

Have a burning question or three about your Wufoo forms? Never fear, Kane is here! Kane’s part of the ace customer support team at Wufoo. He moved to the grand United States from Leeds, England so if you’re a weekend early riser and avid soccer (football) fan, don’t be surprised if you run into him madly cheering on the mighty Manchester United.

The floor’s all yours, Kane.

Aren’t names brilliant? We all have them, we often need to know other people’s and we can make great name pun memes on the Internet with them. So while we’re on the subject of names, let’s have a chat about the name field, shall we?

Just have a look at that beauty. So simple and easy going. It just wants to know your name and leave it at that. It doesn’t want to kick up a fuss or be fancy, but sometimes there could be an excuse to change it around a bit. The problem with that is that there isn’t too much customization you can do with the Name field at first look. Yeah, you can change the format from Normal format to a super fancy pants extended format and you can change the language, but after that, you have to think outside the box.

We often get asked if it’s possible to make all the boxes in the name field the same size. It is if you think outside of those boxes. While the name field generally likes to stay calm and carry on, the Single Line Text field takes a bit more after Bear Grylls. With some cheeky use of CSS keywords and a couple of single line text fields, you can ask for a name and have it look like this:

That’s quite nice. How did I do that you ask? Let me show you. First, you’ll want to create your form, add two Single Line Text Fields and give them their respective names—nice and easy.

Hang on a sec. Those fields are on top of each other. That’s not cool. You want them to be next to each other just like in the Name field. Easy. CSS Keyword to the rescue. You can add CSS keywords to any field you’d like and they’re perfect for putting fields next to each other. Let’s say we want to have each field take up half the page. We’ll need to use “leftHalf” for the first name and “rightHalf” for the last name.

Now let’s see how that looks.

A bit too big for your taste? That’s cool too. Let’s change the CSS keyword for each field.

Let’s have another look shall we?

Boom! Looking suave and fancy. What’s that? You’d rather stick with the actual Name field, but still make the boxes the same size? Well, if you insist. For this we’ll need some help from proper CSS. First we’ll need to figure out the ID of that First Name and Last Name section of the Name field. We can just inspect the element when viewing the form to check that out:

Cool. Our ID for the First Name happens to be Field4 and the Last Name is Field5. Yours will most likely be different so definitely check it out. Now we just need to create the simplest of CSS and apply that to our theme.

After creating your own stylesheet like this, you can apply it to your theme using the Theme Designer. Let’s look at the full finished product!

Beautifully simple, right? You can even use more CSS to change other bits like the font size and even the shape of the box. So get out there, collect those gorgeous names of yours and customize, customize away.

Questions for Kane? Leave ‘em for him in the Comments below!

Introducing ALLYOU and Wufoo

By Kayte Korwitts · March 6th, 2014

Avant Garde. Alluring. Appealing. Although we’d love to come up with more words that start with the first letter of the alphabet to describe how simply awesome our newest member of the integration family is, we’d just be wasting time. Please give a warm Wufoo welcome to ALLYOU—an online portfolio and website builder for creatives.

ALLYOU is for all of you who have an eye for design but want to spend your time on you know, designing, rather than on dealing with complicated interfaces. Their elegant and intuitive front-end editor makes it a snap to set up and maintain a gorgeous online portfolio. You can take advantage of built-in templates or whip up your own design.

Now thanks to our integration, you can create beautiful websites with seamless inclusion of Wufoo-powered forms. It’s incredibly easy and the results are absolutely stunning. Ready to take a look at how it works? Without further ado, we bring you Wufoo and ALLYOU.

To Use This Integration

  1. You’ll need an account with Wufoo and one with ALLYOU. Wufoo has both free and paid plans, the same goes for ALLYOU. Click here to see which of ALLYOU’s plans will work best for you.

  2. Create a form in Wufoo and customize it to your needs. You can match it to the look of your ALLYOU site by using similar font settings. Don’t worry about the size of you form: You can edit the measurements when you integrate the form to your ALLYOU site. Embed your Wufoo form: Login to your ALLYOU account > create a new page and add en embed element > Select “Wufoo” and paste the URL or embed code of your form > click “ok” and switch to “view” mode.

Take a look.

That’s all there is to it, design fans! Look forward to spending more time focusing on the things that matter most to you—designing and making beautiful things—and less time worrying about your website. Leave that to ALLYOU and Wufoo!

If you’re interested in integrating your web app with Wufoo, check out our Ultimate Guide to Integrating with Wufoo.

Questions or comments about this integration? Let us know in the Comments section below or visit ALLYOU to learn even more.

Back to Basics: Use Section Breaks To Make Your Forms Easier To Fill Out

By Johan Lieu · February 26th, 2014

It’s time for another installment of the totally irregular (really sorry for my delinquency!), but super useful (hopefully!) Back to Basics series. This time we’re going to tackle the unique and incredibly handy Section Break field type.

As always, these series of posts are meant for newer Wufoo users who are not as familiar with the incredible breadth of Wufoo features. If you’re a Wufoo Vet, then this might not be for you. If you want more Tips & Tricks, check out this archive. Super helpful.

Onward to section breaks!

The basic, but still the best use, of Section Breaks on forms is similar to what I talked about last week regarding long forms. Last week, we showed how breaking up a long form into multiple pages is crucial in reducing user anxiety and increasing completion rates. The same goes for section breaks. If you don’t want to break up your form into multiple pages, you can still get a lot of the benefits and keep to one page by using section breaks.

Let’s take a look at the following example.

This is a relatively simple form for a fundraising event looking for people to sign up, work it, and find out who’s bringing what. Asking for people’s personal contact information is also a must in the case that something comes up and we need to contact folks. We also need to know what days they’re planning to work, whether mornings, afternoons, or both are best, what dish they’re bringing, how many people their dish will feed and on and on. Simple enough, right? But after asking all of our questions, we end up with a fairly long form. Long enough that some people might see it and not fill it out.

But what if we summoned the courage and decided to use, GASP, section breaks? Well, we know we’ll need some contact info from people when they sign up for the event, so we’ll group those questions together in the same section. We also know we need to ask people some basic information about the event, like when they’ll be able to work it, so we can place those questions in a different section. Throw some section breaks in, add some salt, stir, let simmer for 10-12 minutes, and, well, look at that. Super delicious awesomeness.

Now instead of one super long, daunting form, it now looks like two super short forms. When used, section breaks quickly allow users the ability to scan the form at a very high level and get an idea of what they’re about to get themselves into. The first version of this form didn’t allow them the ability to do this as all of the form questions kind of bled into one another. But the section breaks in the second form act as waypoint markers for users so a) they know at a high level what’s going on in each section, and b) can figure out what’s going in the form without having even answered a single question. Now that’s what we call effective.

If you’ve been following along, you’re now well-versed in the most important function of the section break. Which is? The ability to help break up long forms into logical sections so that it’s easier to see what’s going on and thus easier for users to fill out their forms. Questions or comments regarding section breaks, when or how to use them, or just want to say “Hi!”, leave a comment below!

Also, if you’ve mastered the primary use of the section break and you’re interested in doing more advanced functions with the section break, you can check out the esteemed Mike Wong’s two part post (Part One, “Hyperlinks & Image Embeds”. Part Two, “Movies & Maps) detailing the advanced and super secret life of the section break.

Top Common Rule Builder Mistakes & How to Avoid Making ‘Em

By Aubriane Taylor · February 24th, 2014

Hello, WuFriends! As we close down our Valentine’s Day forms (hope yours was sweet) and begin building forms for St. Patrick’s Day (Shamrock Shuffle anyone?), you might be thinking about revisiting our Rule Builder. While it’s not all that complicated, there are some common rule building mistakes that you may encounter. Today we’re going to blaze through a few, and by the end you’ll be an expert Rule Builder yourself in no time.

Part 1: SHOW, don’t HIDE

Let’s say you’ve got a field in your form that needs to be shown in a number of different circumstances, but hidden in others. You might think that you need to set up a rule for the “show” scenarios, and a rule for the “hide” scenarios—but it’s simply not true. Just one rule will do the trick.

If you set up a condition to SHOW a field, it will only show if that condition is met. Say this is your form:

We only want to show the question about macarons if people choose macarons, right? So we set up a field rule to SHOW it:

And that’s all you need. Your users will only get to see the number of macarons if they actually choose macarons.

Part 2: Don’t double up

Now, we need to let folks choose how many dozens they need for cupcakes and apple turnovers. This is important: Make sure you don’t add a rule for both. If you do, the form might start acting funny, since rules are evaluated from top to bottom. There’s no way to satisfy both rules at the same time, so it’ll go with the bottom rule every time.

We’ll try to warn you not to use two rules for the same result, with an alarming little exclamation point on the two that conflict:

Click on one of the exclamations, and you’ll see a big scary red warning that lets you know there’s danger ahead:

When you see that, you’re not in trouble yet. Just delete rule #2, and now it’s time…to use two conditions in the SAME RULE. Like so:

And voila! No conflict—just smooth, conditioned sailing.

Part 3: Keep to the path

When you dive into the rules, you might find yourself losing track of what needs to happen when. For example, three macarons takes a week, six macarons takes two weeks, and nine macarons takes three weeks:

(I’m a really slow baker)

Set up to make sure users see the right message based on the number of macarons they choose.

I like to call this a “cascading rule” - if X happens, do Y. If Y = 3, do Z. Remember when I said that rules are evaluated from top to bottom? This also means you need to keep things in the proper order - X, Y, Z. If my rules start with Y, I’m going to run into trouble when it comes time to tell X what to do.

Just make sure your rules are listed in the order that things should be happening. X, Y, Z:

1, 2, 3:

The ordering process is smooth and simple—til they have to wait two weeks for half a dozen macarons. Promise you—I’m working on getting a better oven.

There you have it, form fans. Get started on building your rules and as always, give us a shout-out below with questions or comments.

3 Things You Definitely Should NOT Do On Your Forms

By Johan Lieu · February 21st, 2014

I usually share handy tips and tricks you should follow to help make your Wufoo forms better but today I decided to go in the opposite direction and share three things you really should NOT do when creating your Wufoo forms. These mistakes might seem like common sense to some of you but I still see these mistakes far too often in the wild.

Worst of all, these mistakes prevent your users and potential customers from filling out and completing your forms, and if they aren’t finishing your forms, you’re not getting the data you need. There are plenty more things you ought not to do when creating your forms, but we felt these three are the most egregious offenders. Our goal here at Team Wufoo is to empower you to make your forms as easy as possible for folks to fill out and complete.

With that, onward!

1. Put All Of Your Fields On One Really Long Page

You’ve experienced it. You’re cruising along on a site, really moving at breakneck speed on whatever you’re working on, and the site needs you to enter in some information. You click through to the form and then you see it. The One Form To Rule Them All, And In The Darkness Bind Them. This form is massive. It just keeps going. And going. How many fields are there on this form? They, they can’t be serious, can they? Oh man, they are. Oh forget this, I’m outta here.

This is the absolute worst thing that could happen. Your users were totally into the site, jetting along, getting stuff done, but when they got to the form, they were like, “Thanks, but no thanks” and closed the window. They went from highly prospective customer to nothing, all because of one ridiculously large one page form. Having all of your fields on one page fills your users with dread and kills any momentum they had to complete the form. What you need to do is use a Page Break. Break that crazy long form into multiple pages!

By using page breaks and breaking down your fields into logical chunks per page, you’ll help your users more easily understand what’s going on, and make it feel like they’re making progress. Additionally, by breaking down your form into multiple pages, you’re basically seducing your users into finishing the form by cultivating their innate momentum to finish the form. You get your data, and your users don’t feel like they’ve run a marathon after finishing your form. Everyone’s happy.

2. Add Totally Non-Essential Fields On Your Form

Say you’re a freelancer and you’re using Wufoo to allow prospective clients submit their data so you can contact them and follow up on their projects. Of course, you ask for all the normal types of information like name, an email address, maybe even a phone number.

But then it starts to get out of control. You’re thinking, “Wait what about (insert information type here)?” You’re like, it can’t hurt to ask for it. It’ll be useful to have!

Then all of a sudden, you end up with a form that’s asking for a nickname (so you know, you can talk to them like you’re friends), whether or not they have a pet (since you need to know if they are a dog or cat person and tailor your pitch, right?), what color their car is (people with red cars are totally willing to pay more), or what their maternal grandmother’s maiden name was (hey, maybe you guys were related).

Don’t do it. Think long and hard about every single field you’re adding to your form and ask yourself, “Do I REALLY need this field?” If you don’t, remove it. Even if you’re 50/50 on whether or not you need, remove it. Too often we fall into the mind trap of thinking that this MIGHT be useful if we had it and then some how end up with a 19 field Contact Us form. That’s crazy.

Back to our freelancer example, why did we need a phone number? Are we ever going to contact a potential client by phone? If not—remove it. Removing fields has shown that people complete them far more often (to the tune of 120% better completion rate in one study!)

Only add fields for stuff that you DEFINITELY need. If you’re on the fence about something, remove it and see if you actually do need it later on. If you do, you can add it back in since you know you’ll need it. But I’ll bet you won’t even notice it was gone in the first place.

3. Ridiculously Long, Wordy, Meandering, and Confusing Field Labels

“The name given to you at birth by your father and mother.”

“The family name given to you at birth by your father and mother.”

“The date when you were born.”

“What place would you prefer to travel to if given the option and money were absolutely not a concern and if you’d never traveled there previously.”

These are horrible field labels. Seriously, don’t do these things. These are extreme examples (btw, one of those above is real) but the lesson here is simple: just be simple and direct. Instead of asking, “The date when you were born” ask, “When is your birthday”. Be concise, clear and people will find it easier to enter their information into your forms.

Much like #2 above, you need to take the time to give a long look at each of your field labels and make sure you’re being as straightforward as possible. Microcontent and editing is as important now as it was back in 1998 when Jakob Nielsen wrote about it. If you think it’s good enough, try again to see if you can remove more words while still retaining the essence of the message. The smallest of changes could make a world of difference in the number of people who start and complete your forms.

If you follow (err, or, uh, NOT follow) these tips, I think you’ll find that your forms will be easier to digest, easier to understand, and easier to complete. More of your users and potential customers will find themselves at the finish line of your form, and you’ll collect more and even better data.

Stay tuned here for even more form Do’s and Don’ts to come. And don’t forget, if you’ve got some DON’Ts that people should avoid when making their forms, share them below!

  • Search

  • About

    The Wufoo Blog is the official online publication written by the developers of Wufoo about their online form builder, form-related technologies, and whatever else may fit their fancy—like robots.

  • Archives