Screen shot of my form - you can see I've put a "why we are asking this"

I'm wondering if it's a good idea to include a "why are we asking this?" sentence for each question. My reasoning is that users may be hesitant to fill out these questions if they don't know the context. What do you think?

Is there any articles or online guides that address this? Some conversion figures might be good too :)

Cheers, Joel

2 Answers 2


The Why are we asking this? part of your form is called hint text.

As Kathryn Whitenton of NN/g puts it for form design:

The best design solution for any given form depends on many factors: The length of the form, the context of use, and the data being collected. The exact implementation you should use may vary in certain circumstances, but this is no excuse for ignoring guidelines altogether.

Yet, in the context you specify (Car loan application), hints might serve a sensible purpose, as users might end up wondering at times of why you require that specific information. I would refrain from repeating the text Why are we asking this? with each hint text though, since it is obviously a hint.

Also, its not necessary to incorporate hint text for each and every form field. For example, you could leave out hint for trivial form fields such as name, address etc. as it would be obvious to the user that you require that information in order to process their loan request.

Suggested Read:
Placeholders in Form Fields Are Harmful


It might help the user to take the decision and even motivate them. But again by adding that kind of data point, with each data field, will increase the mental load as well. As it will increase the time to consume the form and react accordingly.

Recently in a project we have added few similar things, and we found it's not creating much impact, though time spent on the page has increased where as the conversion matrix remains linear.

Where as a commutative reasoning at the beginning of the form, for example "why we need all the data/ why you need to fill this" comes handy and solves the purpose. Which will also save some visual clutter.

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