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. Involves 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.

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