We have changed the design of our download form (Form you fill out to download a white paper or a guide) inline with a site redesign.

It has been 1.5 months since we did this and the commercial guys say that the response rates have dropped significantly since the redesign.

The business have made a lot of assumptions as to what might have caused this reduction in downloads and want me to make everything better based on these assumptions. But i think we need to find out exactly what is causing the issue rather than guessing and making incremental/massive knee-jerk changes that could cause more problems than they solve.

So my question is; What usability testing method is the right one for this situation?

  • How are they monitoring response rates? Number of white papers downloaded? Do you have any analytics which could show if users are bailing the process?
    – SteveD
    Jun 17, 2016 at 10:46
  • We are using Goggle analytics, and tracking the drop off and conversions i.e. downloads.
    – H Carlisle
    Jun 28, 2016 at 16:12

3 Answers 3


You can do multiple things here:

1. A/B test

Test the old form vs the new one and see if there is a difference in behavior between the two.

2. Analyzing the data

If you have GA incorporated in the website, check it for any data. You might be able to find some interesting data like bounce, time on page etc.

3. Monitor your visitors

You could use tools like Hotjar record what viewers do, check heatmaps of where people click or hover with the mouse, or see how far they scroll. You can also see where they leave the page (if they do) from the recordings, the issue might be as simple as a single inputfield.

Hope it helps!


I would consider exploring any analytics data available. Particularly for forms, there are services that allow you to understand how users are engaging with the form, what fields are giving them problems and where they are clicking. Something like HotJar might be useful: https://www.hotjar.com/ - Obviously if you don't have any analytics you will need to add and configure it and leave it to collect some data.

To supplement this it would be worth while performing some user testing on the form - running some participants through the form and observing how they complete it.

It could also be worthwhile reviewing the form against best practice guidelines. This provide some areas you could improve. Have a look at: https://www.usertesting.com/blog/2013/04/04/42-form-usability-resources/

When it comes to making the changes you could consider running some multivariate or A/B testing. This would provide you with valuable data to understand what changes have a positive/negative impact.

Doing some research into

  • Analytics will tell you "what" but will never tell you "why".
    – SteveD
    Jun 17, 2016 at 10:44

Are you sure that it is the redesign of the form that changed user behaviour? If so try using A/B testing and see if the old form design improve conversion rates.

If you are only assuming that the form is to blame get few of your users to do some user testing, I would suggest going through the flow of getting to the white paper page and filling out the form and seeing where users are experiencing issues.

Half of users should complete scenarios using the old system and half using the new. Make sure that characteristics of people are the same, think about the factors that could make the difference in their behaviour. Watching users working through scenarios and using think-aloud protocol will allow you to understand why the change happened.

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