Have you ever come across an event registration form link and didn’t fill it up because it was too lengthy? Or maybe the efforts were too much in comparison to the event benefits? We all have been through this at some point of time, haven’t we? And so have your prospective registrants.
Event planning is a thrill in itself. Back in graduation days, while planning conferences for college, I remember how much time and energy it used to take in convincing people to register at the event. In spite of good marketing tactics, we didn’t reach our goal.
The reason being our registrations forms were repealing. And hence I realised that not only the marketing is essential but design and aesthetics plays a crucial part as well. We were making the mistake of not considering the power of good and organised form but you DON’T.
Therefore, in this article, I am going to discuss what it takes to design the registration form which is efficient in converting your website visitors into potential attendees.
Understanding the psychology behind the registration form design can significantly increase your event registration process and data collection while creating a smooth experience for the registrants as well. Learning this will help you collect the exact data you need quickly without confusing or distracting attendees.
What is form fatigue?
Form fatigue is a term coined for what happens when an attendee feels that the energy to be spend on filling out the form is not worth the benefits it is going to reap.
While considering the opportunity of data collection, the most common problems faced are: gathering maximum information about the attendee as much as possible in the shortest time possible. In other words, you’re trying to get the most out of your attendee while at the same time reducing the chances of your attendees getting ‘form fatigue.’
Here are a few tips to improve your event registration form.
#1 Ask only what you need: Nobody likes seeing a long list of questions as soon as they hit the ‘Register’ button. Simplicity should be your primary aim when it comes to designing the event registration forms.
Don’t ask for the information twice like ‘confirm password.’ That extra data might be useful for the future endeavors but is it really worth loosing a potential attendee presently? No. Hence, short is sweet.
#2 Be clear and concise: This one is very obvious. When you keep your labels short, precise and up to the point, it gives breathing space to the eyes as well as registrant. It won’t be commendable if you’ be opting for large and unambiguous labels.
Don’t make your attendees think too much. By asking complex questions, you’re not only making them think but also having them work upon interpreting these questions.
#3 Leverage Gestalt Principle: Gestalt Principle states that when things are organised or grouped in a certain manner, our brains tends to assume that they are interrelated.
Hence, place specific and related questions (like name, username, password, company, country, etc) in their own specific group to make it easier to see and interpret. This cuts down on time as well as makes the form look cleaner and smarter for attendees.
#4 Save energy with defaults: Save your and your attendees’ time by making the format of certain information as default like time and date. This will automatically reduce the amount of errors made while filling out the form.
For example, if the label says Date of Birth,h then the field itself should have an example of how the user is supposed to be entering the data like: DD/MM/YYYY.
#5 Provide progressive disclosure: According to a psychological research, people like it when they have control over how much information they see at a time. Also, they want simplicity so that they don’t get overwhelmed by too much information. This is where progressive disclosure enters!
On a simple note, use progressive disclosure to reveal specific part of form upon certain actions or conditions. For example, if you want a text reply when an attendee selects the ‘other’ option, then don’t make it visible unless he/she chooses that option.
#6 Take time to test: Even if you follow all these tips, the biggest error you’d be making is not checking its usability. Testing the form will acknowledge what sort of errors are likely to occur and hence amend them. This will result in increasing the likelihood of your attendees actually completing the registration form.
A good registration form isn’t the only one which can get you a good amount of data but will also leave a positive impact on your attendees.
☐ Field labels: Traditional labels work best. This isn’t the place to show your creativity. Don’t frustrate your user by making them stop to read.
☐ Minimise text: If you need to repeat a certain instruction, group all those questions under one column and put the instruction only once.
☐ Field width: Keep width and breadth of the text boxes in a column. It makes it easier on the eye.
☐ Field alignment: If you have more than a couple of fields, you should consider the idea of a 2 column alignment to keep the form shorter and precise in appearance.
☐ Label position: Placing the fields labels on the top of the entry box is much easier to use. Watch for word wraps and if necessary reword so that the labels fit nicely.
☐ Font style: Have you keep all of your fonts bold? Bolds are tempting and there is a natural tendency to overdo them. But don’t do it. Scripts and italics are hard to read so keep it simple.
☐ White space: Keep consistent and reasonable amount of white space between and at the side of the form. Seeing the text touching the edge of the screen is a sure sign of a rush job.
☐ Optimise images: Use quality and properly sized images including logos. Bad images make your work look shabby.
☐ Optimise CTA: Make your Call-to-Actions stand out. Use vibrant and bright colors so that it catches the eyes of the registrant. Also, consider the text for CTA. ‘RSVP Now’ works better than ‘Submit.’
☐ Mobile friendliness: If your audience is on the go, so should your registration form. If you’re not available where your potential attendees are, you’re missing out on many things.
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