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I am looking for some confirmation.. research or article or otherwise.. that having forms with a whole host of required fields that are not strictly necessary to communicating the data/message the user is trying to submit will turn people off of bothering to submit it. I know there's mention of this in Steve Krug's 'Don't Make Me Think' book, but I'd like something I can link to if possible!

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Each case is different, but in general the more required fields you have on a form the higher the likelihood that your user will get frustrated (aka form fatigue).

If you have a specific page you are vetting, i'd recommend doing an A/B test. Variant A has all the required fields, variant B has the minimum set - see which form converts better, then make a decision.

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+1 for real-world testing of your exact scenario. That said, I'm willing to bet right now that the one with less required fields wins. –  scunliffe Dec 9 '10 at 13:01
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You should read up on forms at Luke Wroblewskis website. It is full of good information on the subject and I consider his book Web form design: filling in the blanks an invaluble source of knowledge for most questions like yours.

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