As an avid believer that less form fields = better, I was recently surprised to read research that indicated more form fields don’t drastically reduce conversion rate. According to the author, Dan Zarrella:
I found that as the number of form fields increases, conversion rates decrease slightly, but not as steeply as I expected. I then looked at specific types of form fields, starting first with simple, one-line text fields. Again, to my surprise, I found that there is very little decrease in conversion rate as the number of single line text fields increases.
Like him, I was taken aback. Did users really not mind answering more questions? Well, actually, not quite. It turns out they did mind certain questions:
I then turned my attention to more sophisticated fields, first multi-line text entry “textareas”. Here I found that multiple textareas have a powerful depressing effect on conversion rates. Finally I analyzed drop-down select boxes. Again, I found that multiple drop down fields on a landing page tends to be associated with lower conversion rates.
Why would this be? Why would users quite happily accept extra questions of one sort but shy away from another?
The answer, I suspect, is that the textareas and dropdowns that Zarella’s users avoided forced them not to just provide data, but make decisions, choosing from large ranges of data. These questions imposed so much cognitive workload, even one could outweigh several slot-in queries. Continue reading ‘When do extra form fields reduce conversion rates?’ »