What is friction in the context of a web form?
Friction is anything that slows the student down when completing it. A friction-free web form can be completed almost intuitively.
- It tends to be small, not big.
- The language is uncomplicated.
- The imagery is helpful and simple, not showy or irrelevant.
- The field labels are clear.
- Any help text is useful.
- Any place-holder text gives a good example of what you are expecting the student to enter.
- There are no hidden surprises.
- It does what it says on the tin.
How to build a friction-free form
It really is super simple. Involve others in the testing. Anybody who is not as invested in the web form as you are is well-placed to provide a talking commentary as you watch over their shoulder. In all the times I have watched I have always had a really good and obvious suggestion for an improvement, almost always simplifying something.
If a friction-free form can increase completions from 30% to 40%, this is the best value work you can do on your web form.