How to deal with long forms (Not conventional ways like form wizard etc) and what could be some alternative ways to gather information instead of a form layout? I really liked how TypeForm looks at forms.
Company wants to sell something and customer want to buy something, but the real factor is none of the users don't like to fill webforms especially the long ones. So you must careful when you are presenting a long form in front of a user. Few factors which will help you to build conversion forms.
- 3 Principles : 1. Make the from short and sweet, 2. Provide helpful prompts, 3. Provide immediate feedback.
- Don't ask the user to login or signup to your application right away. Just ask when you need it. Example : If you are building a pizza application which will help the user to buy pizza. Ask user to signing when they need to track their order or see the purchase history. The signing or signup option doest required if they only wanted to purchase a pizza.
- Try to fetch the data from the social media and other popular(secure) app. You could use the fb for Signup, signin and paypal and google wallet for payment details.
- Try to represent you from part by part. Don't include the shipping address, payment details, personal details in a single view.
- Try to use the existing data which is already used by the user. Auto complete will help you on this.
- Autofill - Give the suggestion to the user when they trying to fill a form.
- Ask the user about the location only when they need it. Also you could automatically fill the PIN Code, place etc.
- Try to provide a realtime validation method on the form field. It would be great if you can inform the user about the error when he typing on a text field. Don't wait until the user click on the submit button.
- Try to use the html5 form elements. Example: don't ask the user to type the date in the date field manually. use calendar plugin or html5 calendar input element.
- Use Placeholder : Placeholder will help the user to enter the right data on the form fields.
Please find the following course to build the conversion webform. https://www.udacity.com/course/building-high-conversion-web-forms--ud890
Each request to the user for info should ask only for the info that's necessary at the time, and makes clear why it's necessary.
That is, registering for a site might only ask for an email address and password. Ask for the user's mailing address only when they're buying something to be shipped. Ask for their interests when they're trying to improve their recommendations.
Focus your forms on the task at hand. You'll avoid overly long forms that ask for info that makes users say, "Why are they asking for that?" then bail.
The usual method (at least on the Internet, so I'll assume your "product" is a web page) is to divide the form into smaller sections.
If the user is trying to buy something, make a first page asking for the payment info, then a second asking for the delivery adress, etc. Try to keep the user informed on the number of steps required though (even if there's a lot of them) since the lack of information can be more discouraging than the information itself.
I don't have any exemple to show sadly, so if someone want to complete this answer go ahead.