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I'm wondering what would be a better design in regards to User Experience for a contact form. Currently the contact form on my website is an overlay that pops up that a user can fill out and submit, which is fine, but I'm wondering if it would be better for a user to navigate to a new page to fill out the contact form instead of just using the overlay. My thought behind this is basically that with an overlay there are essentially two call-to-action buttons-- the submit button and the close button.

Would navigating users to a dedicated page be a better option? Would using a modal distract from the purpose (i.e. filling out the form)?

marked as duplicate by plainclothes, Vitaly Mijiritsky, JohnGB Jun 2 '15 at 22:43

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  • If this is for a website you should consider if you want your users to be able to direct link to the contact form page to submit issues or not. – Jack Fraser Jun 2 '15 at 15:48
  • Welcome to ux.stackexchange . As for your question, it greatly depends on your intentions about the form, what is the form for, teh design of your site and such. Also, these are not the only options to display a form, so you really need to provide some info – Devin Jun 2 '15 at 17:42
  • Well the form is actually a quote form so users can request pricing on individual products. Basically, when the form appears is when a user is looking a a product and they hit the "Quote" button, then the form gets partially pre populated with meta date from the product they were looking at including an image of the product. – pantsbriskley Jun 2 '15 at 18:02
  • In that case go with the pop up form. The data in it is directly related to the previous screen, and displaying it "over" the previous page retains context. – mginn Jun 2 '15 at 18:11
  • I see that this question is similar and does address aspects of my question, so if anyone is wondering what I'm wondering definitely check it out, but I think that the main difference is audience. This is essentially an e-commerce site (although users are requesting quotes, not adding to car/checking out) I'm concerned whether using a Modal dialog for the quote form is more or less logical than using a separate page. Could using a Modal dialog distract from the purpose of the experience or vice versa. – pantsbriskley Jun 2 '15 at 21:22
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My philosophy is always to answer the question, "what is the best way to allow the user to continue the experience?" If a modal will allow them to stay on task, then I'll use a modal. However with a contact form I believe the user's main purpose is to connect with the organization in question. Which would make a page the best solution.

I don't see what could be so valuable on the page they are viewing they would want to save/stay on the page after hitting send. Also, without a modal you avoid any potential browser issues (close button) that could derail the users connect attempt. Modals are cool, but if they don't serve a purpose are you really catering the users needs?

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    True and I feel that since they already are taking the step to "get a quote" on the product that they are viewing, they are interested in continuing that process, more so than being able to navigate "back and forth" between quote form and product page. If anything the ability to navigate back and forth between the product page and the quote form quickly could be detrimental to actually completing the process of filling out the form, although I may just be saying what I want to hear. – pantsbriskley Jun 2 '15 at 20:41
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The modal pattern is great for quick low friction input. It allows you to ask for information without leaving the context of the current task or activity. If your form is complex (lots of inputs) and/or the from does not request input that is directly related to the current view use a stand alone form for your input.

  • These are all good points. I guess my main concern was the big "close" button in the top corner. I feel like there is a muscle memory for users to go quickly to that because of the constant bombardment of newsletter pop ups. So maybe the better option is not to make the quote form an actual page but rather rethink the design and change the big "x" to something more subtle that informs the user they'll be canceling the quote and returning the the product page. – pantsbriskley Jun 2 '15 at 18:40

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