Testing Real Time Feedback in Web Forms

by Luke Wroblewski August 31, 2009

This week A List Apart published a new article with the results of recent testing I worked on with Etre looking at real-time feedback in Web forms. Because the majority of forms use a basic page submit and refresh model of interactivity, nothing happens until you hit the “Submit” button. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Real-time responses can help people complete Web forms with fewer errors, less time, less effort, and (surprise!) more satisfaction.

This type of immediate communication can be implemented with inline validation. Our best performing inline validation form showed some really compelling improvements across all the data we measured. Specifically we saw a:

  • 22% increase in success rates
  • 22% decrease in errors made
  • 31% increase in satisfaction rating
  • 42% decrease in completion times
  • 47% decrease in the number of eye fixations
These results highlight the impact inline validation can have in Web forms. But, what’s the best way to achieve these results? When do we validate people’s answers and how?

Check out the article for the answers...