Designing our websites primarily for mobile devices can have a beneficial impact on desktop versions, as we’ve discussed often in the past. There’s an extraordinarily good article on Smashing magazine called Best Practices For Mobile Form Design which although concentrating on mobile devices, will also give you many good ideas for forms on any screen size.
Forms are one of the worst parts of business web sites. Some of the problems are organisational, such as management insisting you demand prospects give you their address, mother’s maiden name and inside leg measurement just so you can email them something. The mantra here should be: “ask for no more information than you need”, and if the information you need is complicated, just ask for their phone number and call them to find out what you need to know.
But many of the problems with forms are to do with design. I’m not a web designer, but I do know enough to recognise that making forms functional and good-looking is difficult, and I suspect it’s beyond the skill set of many web designers. The article above really gets to the heart of what a successful form is all about, and will allow you to specify exactly what your forms should contain, what they should look like, and how they should operate. The rest is up to your web designer, and any lack of competence on their part should not compromise your site. Make those improvements and watch your enquiry rate rise.
Best Practices For Mobile Form Design on Smashing magazine