Zuko Analytics’ Alun Lucas on Why good form design is important and common form optimization myths

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Richard Joe 0:00
Hey, it’s Richard here from the Experiment Nation podcast. Today, I’ve got Alun Lucas on the line Alun’s from zuku.io. They’re a form analytics company. And today we’re going to we’re going to cover why good form design is important, but often overlooked. Cleanliness with form optimization. And lastly, form design analytic basics. So stay tuned. Hi, it’s Richard here from Experiment Nation. And today I’ve got Alun Lucas on the line and Alun is the director of Zuko form analytics. Zuko is a form analytics software that CEOs can use on the experimentation program. Now, we all know it’s we all know that forms aren’t the most sexiest thing on the planet, and it’s not something that we naturally gravitate towards. But however, forms are very important for conversions, specifically in the funnel. And yeah, take it away. Welcome, Alun to the podcast.

Alun Lucas 1:03
Hi, Richard. Hi

Richard Joe 1:06
Nice to meet you. You’ve been with Zuko for how long was it?

Alun Lucas 1:11
Zuko two years, just over two years now.

Richard Joe 1:14
Cool. Cool. And, yeah, so obviously, they do form analytics. It’s a huge need. I think the answer that many form analytics brands around that I knew didn’t know that Hotjar had at one stage. And then they had it embedded in their, their, their platform, and they got rid of it for some reason. So yeah, there’s definitely a dire need for it. And I think it’s something that many people in the experimentation in care specifically, don’t always ignore, it’s very easy to go for the, you know, their sexy, landing page redesigns, or the AV testing stuff and just relying on, you know, the normal analytics tools like GA and other things, but maybe ignore things like forms. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. It’s

Alun Lucas 2:09
an interesting dynamic with with forms and the relationship that many optimizers have, because like you say, it’s not always seen as sexy, not necessarily by the optimizers themselves, but by the broader company, it’s easier to look at, okay, how do we refresh the homepage? Or how do we split test an advertising campaign? And spend the time on that? I think it’s an issue that comes from from probably pre, pre online days, that, you know, back in the day, when you used to fill out a form, it’d be a big sheet of paper with 50 questions on. And so when the first websites came out, they just said, Okay, well, we’ll just translate that on there. So we’ll just put the same form we’ve always been using onto our website. And obviously, you know, it was, it was bad, bad user experience, predigital, and it became bad user experience in the digital age. And it’s not really moved on much. Yeah, I mean, to be fair, in the past 10 years, it’s got a bit better, because there’s been more attention on it. But still, it seems that it’s not at the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to an optimization project, which is, you know, from a little crazy, because it’s the sharp end of any optimization, you’re spending millions driving people to your website. And you get them they you spend a lot of time converting spending and doing your tests on what you know, what motivates them to move to the next step in the funnel, but then you get to the sharp end, you know, the piece, the form, which is where people actually parked their personal data or their financial data. So it’s the most sensitive area, and people aren’t spending as much time really understanding the form, there’s almost like a black box approach. So it’s like, okay, I know how many people arrive there from from GA, I know, many people complete. And I know how many people drop out somewhere, but you don’t really know where it where it is. And now, you know, some people do hack around with GA and build some sort of jerry rigged thing where you can, you can take track some level of interaction within the form, but it takes a lot of time, a lot of effort and it’s painful. If you’d make a change to the form, you’ve got to go away and do that the whole process, which is why it’s so Zucco we built it to be super easy, just a couple of tags, and it changes for you and tracks everything so but it is a it is it is frustrating that that kind of lack of focus on on forms.

Richard Joe 4:34
And do you define that? That’s because, I mean, I might I myself as an experimentation expert, well, not not an expert, but I’m trying to be you that like I’m naturally gravitated towards, you know, paid PPC, AB testing on landing pages and, and other sort of things and forms is like it’s kind of suffering. I know it’s important, and I know like that’s where At the Met the real money’s Mater’s had been filling out the form and submitting a lead a lead or or making a final purchase on an ecommerce store. But I don’t know, it’s it’s not the sort of thing that comes to mind when it comes to optimizing the forms associated with school or going to a medical clinic and having to fill out, you know, five forms. It’s it’s not the sort of thing. And I think it’s why we use what I personally associated with not being sexy, because it’s associated with, you know, school and exams and zoo of administration.

Alun Lucas 5:38
Yeah, I think that is part of the issue. And it also sometimes it becomes formulaic, people assume the formula has been solved, because it’s been around since pre digital days, you know, what, what, why do I need to spend time improving this particular it’s a relatively simple form, or ecommerce checkout is a classic example. It’s like, oh, everyone does it like this? So, you know, let’s just just keep it like this. So, yeah, I think there’s there’s that element of it’s only, you know, we find this, the certain clients that really get it and financial secretaries are is one of these because they live and die by their forms when you’re applying for a mortgage or credit card. You know, they’re asking for all sorts of personal information, they’ve got regulatory requirements. So it’s crucial that you’re not unnecessarily scaring people off, and having the data to do that is absolutely critical.

Richard Joe 6:28
And what are the sub common issues you find with form design that you you’ve seen the market in with your clients that you serve?

Alun Lucas 6:40
Yeah, so the common issues, there’s all sorts of different different levels, I suppose it’s kind of the first issue comes sort of from way back from the full design phase of the form. And it’s often comes because people are thinking about the business’s needs, not the end user. So they’ll sit in a room with, you know, marketing, digital compliance, legal, security, and they’ll work out what questions do we need to ask the user and marketing or SEO, we need to ask about their lifestyle, their hobbies, and legal and compliance, so we must make sure they’ve, you know, answered this question and all that sort of stuff. And so you end up with a Frankenstein’s Monster Monster have a form, you’re asking all sorts of things you don’t really need to ask at the first stage. So and it’s designed to say, again, going back to what we talked about before, it’s almost like I’ll put the question in there, let’s not even think about how we ask it or what the validation is, people just put it in there. Because that, hey, it’s just a question on its own, you just look at one question and go, as simple as you know, the person shouldn’t be able to answer this question, you know, they’ve got a driver’s license, they can go and find it and put the number in. It’s easy. And on its only thing, well, maybe it is easy if they wanted to give you that information. But actually don’t think, does the customer want to give you the information at this stage, you’ve only just met them, as it were digitally. And you’re asking for their phone number, their driver’s license details or whatever, whatever your form requires? Okay, well, knowing that no one takes a step back and says, Well, actually, do we need that now? Can we get capture the lead gets enough information to progress to the next stage? And then we can always go in and ask for additional information if it’s critical for compliance purposes, or whatever you might need it for? Or do you even need need the information at all? And often the answer is no. So actually, why are you asking for it? So say, that’s probably the that the sort of high level stuff that you see, in terms of an issue with the design is that sort of big picture mistakes, which can manifest itself in in lots of different different ways. Other common issues we see is lack of lack of attention to the mobile experience. Yeah. So mobile, obviously, it’s a very different environment as any, you know, any optimizer knows. And often in organizations, if they don’t have that culture of, of testing and experimentation, what we’ll find is that they’ve just almost repurpose the desktop form for mobile. Yep. And obviously, in many sectors, you know, they get a lot of traffic through mobile. So you’ll find all sorts of issues as well as the classic keyboard issue where you know, you’re wanting a phone number and you click in and your letters come up. That’s a

Richard Joe 9:36
plus six times issue Yeah.

Alun Lucas 9:39
But then you know, things like they’re using drop downs which mean drop downs are generally pretty horrible. Anyway, so you have a list of countries you’ve got like 200 countries is terrible on desktop, but on mobile, it’s even worse because you trying to you know, doesn’t you only got you really got a very small portion of the drop down and you’re going down and up and down. And you know, that’s that’s another classic example of, of issues they find because it’s, it’s great when you start digging into data. And we do and we, you know, obviously, we’re form geeks, you find just subtle things about mobile users and desktop users and how they differ. Interestingly enough, I was looking at one last week, which was around the discount code. Field on an ecommerce checkout. Yeah. So obviously, that’s always one, we see a lot high percentage of dropouts. So with a hypothesis being that people see a discount code, right in the flow, they run off and try and find,

Richard Joe 10:35
yeah, I’ve literally gone like half an hour at leasts off of you know, off of those and Googling for, like for like, and then cheap promo codes and going to different spammy sites. And it’s very frustrating very, in very ecommerce CRM perspective. I mean, it’s probably a nightmare to live.

Alun Lucas 10:57
Yeah, exactly, which, but And the interesting thing in this case is, so we did, obviously, you usually see that big drop out. But what we did was we segmented mobile and desktop users. And it was very interesting that the different behavior. So what we found was, one of the metrics we can look at is is field returned, so people going away, coming back changing stuff, which obviously, you’d find it in the discount code, because people are trying codes and seems to get rejected. And what we found that was in the case of desktop users, that was they did it three or four times on average. And it was only about one and a half times for mobile users. Now, usually, when we look at field returns, that’s often an indication of user frustration, because they’re trying to do something that’s submitting, they have to go back to change it. Okay. And it may well, obviously, of course, frustration, but what we also found was when we looked at the abandonment rates on that field, so the people, which is sort of defined as in the proportion of people who abandoned, that was their last interaction divided by the total number of people who ever interacted with the field was actually much lower on desktop. So it was I mean, it was still 10 15%. But on mobile, it was like 30 plus. So what was happening was the desktop people were able to, they’ve seen the field, and they would then pop off and do a lot of searching, and keep popping back and forth. But that meant they were more likely to convert, probably because they found a code. Yeah, because he was just easier. Whereas in mobile, they were much less likely, possibly, because they seeing, Ah, I see the code. And obviously, the hypothesis is that in the mobile environment, it’s much harder for them to be able to jump, you know, quickly, you’re not just opening up a browser window, and doing one mouse click in between is is just a faff, and you’re gonna leave it to later. So they were dropping out in much higher res. So actually, you know, those sort of subtleties, just that’s just one example. But as I say, companies don’t take into consideration of mobile, not just the interface, but the experience of the person, that time either you know, they’re going to be out and about, or they’re going to have an inferior connection with their, you know, if you’ve got so much a form that’s going to take a long time to load if they’ve got a poor connection, and it’s getting much worse experience, those sort of things they don’t take into consideration much at all.

Richard Joe 13:23
Yeah, I think I think what you said about you know, the form design, being a sort of a care, a carryover from, you know, pre internet age, where you had this five page document that you fill out at the dental clinic, we knew, and then people were just like, oh, well, we’ve got these forms. We’ve got the internet now, let’s just code this on HTML and just trance transpose the same sort of thinking onto a website. And, you know, I must admit, like, even today, I still see one, so on some, like older websites, so I still see like, the desktop. On the mobile, it’s like, it’s a merchandise like this in the form fields or like, size of the little needle, and it’s terrible.

Alun Lucas 14:12
I had a horrible experience last year, when we obviously were still COVID restrictions. We went to Italy, one of the one particular region in Italy, and we’d filled out online all at the UK Government in Italian government forms, but then we were told in the airport that actually the particular region you had to fill out a form as well. So we were in the airport queuing up for the plane trying to fill this out before we got on the plane to Italy. And it literally was pure desktop. So let’s try to zoom in and get on so one of the dropdowns to it was all in Italian as well. So I was trying to work out what was what and you know, eventually managed to do it. But yeah, luckily my fingers just about managed to poke the bots putting the text boxes and do that. So yeah, you certainly still get that a lot.

Richard Joe 14:58
Yeah, know what it’s like. And look, I’m just moving on to. So we talked about common issues. Within design, obviously, once you’ve experienced some of the issues that you need to go about, you know, optimizing things. So what are some good kind of form design tips and practices that, you know, companies should head start heading up from the gate when they launched the website? Yeah,

Alun Lucas 15:22
well, I will obviously, say nothing’s absolute, and everything should be tested. But there are some common themes that we see both in terms of what you can be doing. And also sort of processes as to where to look where, where your issues might be an effort, one thing would always say, and this is not so much about a design tip, but just okay, get your ideation for your test is actually, you want to look at the behavior around submit buttons, on forms, because what you’ll tend to find is you get, there’s a segment of your users, which will spend the time filling out the form, click the submit button, but not successfully convert. And often these are the most valuable customers to you, because they’re ready to give you their their data, they’re ready to give you you know, to buy from you, but something is stopping them. And so what you, you find is, if you look at what the behaviors are on the submit button, you can quickly identify where the biggest points of friction are. So you’ll see they submit, they will jump back to one or two fields often try to fix it, but then drop out. So you can walk you can just see literally watch that behavior if you’ve got a tool that allows you to do it, and you can see them Okay, right? Yeah, can’t fix it gone. And it very quickly get you to your your, your biggest issues. So that’s often, you know, a great technique, if you if you’re limited in time, or just want to get a quick insight you can see, often it’s driven by error messaging, these are the error messages that trigger, okay, right, I’m gone, I can’t I can’t fix this, or I tried to fix it twice. But you know, you’re Validating my phone number in a weird way. You’re not letting me put spaces in or whatever it may be. And, and I’ve dropped out because of the bad experience.

Richard Joe 17:08
And and what would you recommend for that? I mean, I believe you are told is just play the the actual analytics. So in terms of user behavior, and watching the recording, I’m guessing hacia Lucky Orange.

Alun Lucas 17:24
Yeah, you can you can use those you can actually use Zuko, if you want to, obviously, we don’t have session recordings, but we do have session Explorer. So you can you can see the sessions, you can see how people jumping. And also we have a flow. So you can actually do it in aggregate very quickly.

Richard Joe 17:40
So what is it like? Is it like Google Analytics? Sorry, the Yeah, like Google Analytics, flow analytics, where it shows like, users went to this stage of the funnel, and then they dropped off here, then went to the, the stage and so forth. Exactly.

Alun Lucas 17:52
So So you would just set on the submit button, you would you would choose an audience segment of people who dropped out, or who didn’t, who abandoned. And then you’d see okay, your audience segment, you select the submit button and say, Okay, what happens next, okay, they jump back to the email field or the, the phone number field in much greater numbers than anywhere else. So that basically tells you it quickly. So obviously, I’m biased. So I would recommend briefly, but obviously, there are session replay tools out there if you want to see them do that as well.

Richard Joe 18:21
So yeah, I mean, I’ve used you know, things like hot jar and it’s mouse fluence. It’s funny scene, you know, I’ve used it on forms analysis, and, you know, seen people go crazy doing rage clicks on buttons that don’t work, or there’s a funny drop down, like, for instance, like you said, on mobile, and just going back to some of the common issues is, yeah, one of the things that I heard you saying, was the webinar that you guys did it was either you or that like Guy was he’s, you had a really strong Scottish accent, but Oh, cry was, yeah. Yeah, he was, he was going through some of the, you know, sort of common issues and he said, one of the main things is, like you said, the having that drop down and on mobile specifically, because like, you know, you’re having this big, fat thing we call we call a finger and trying to press that on a screen and you’re trying to do a date of birth or something out like like that, and, you know, you’re getting frustrated and you’re not able to submit them. I mean, I’ve checked these things on us recordings of people you know, getting frustrated and abandoning or they’re just trying to, you know, they’re just moving around because they’re, you know, frustrated or confused.

Alun Lucas 19:35
Yeah, that’s very common, very common. And I suppose then moving on from from that that obviously takes you to where your issues are, okay. Well, what do we how do we say, you know, issues being fixed some of the common common say, things that might work as they worth testing. The biggest consistent one we see to improve a forms performance is validation of error messages in specifically in law In validation, what I mean by that is obviously, you show the error message at the right time for the user. So they get the feedback as pretty much as soon as possible. So the typically the best time for that is, while they’re after they finished typing in when they move from one field to the next. So they refocus from field one they go to field to you give them the feedback on field one straightaway. So they get the error message almost immediately. Obviously, you don’t want to give them the error message too early customers, we’ve all been that when we’re typing a phone number into a form. And it’s there’s no it’s not enough digits, like I’m not finished yet. Oh, oh,

Richard Joe 20:36
yeah. Oh, the credit card, when it’s like, you need to enter your like, I’m like doing just I know, put, like the date. I know, put the expiry date. And but just let me do that first. And I’ll put a transaction number and

Alun Lucas 20:50
those sort of things were annoying. So basically, you do from one field to the next. And we’ve seen him that there’s sort of a famous study in the field. That was done, probably about 10 years ago now that that, on average showed a 22% uplift in conversion from if you had no validation through to inline validation. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s such a big thing. Because forms can be stressful places. And the more times you show, you know, we’ve all been, you know, spent 10 minutes filled out a form, click Submit, and there’s suddenly a field of red and you don’t know where it is, well, why does the red are you scrolling up? And no, they don’t tell you what, and they’ve got what the what the problems are right at the top of the form, and then you gotta go to the top. Okay, that’s which field and then you got to go back to the middle and try and find it and you go back. Okay, well, what was the problem? I don’t know. And, and, and those sorts of things, that horrendous form experience, and you will see a lot of abandonment with that. So yeah, if you can tell people the issue straightaway, or even if it’s if it’s done, you know, it’s, uh, you know, it works really well, for, you know, the big green tech. You’ve done that. It’s like, Oh, yeah. Okay. So it helps. You know, that’s the mental state of mind. There’s no stress. I know, it’s correct. I know it’s going to be accepted. There’s no stress of pressing the submit button. So it feels like

Richard Joe 22:05
high school, you know, you’re an exam. You go to harsh teacher, cross. Are you done? Well, okay. Victaulic. So, you know, sort of, I guess, as plainly as psychology. Exactly. I

Alun Lucas 22:16
think there is some deep seated psychological need there that, you know, the red is like it brings back bad memories. So, you know, we consistently see, you know that as one of the one of the biggest drivers of an improved conversion rate for forms. So certainly something you should test out if you’re not doing it on your forms already.

Richard Joe 22:35
And would you say, are sorry, interrupt. You mentioned mobile? Would you say that that’s another sort of mobile optimized forms? Were just single column was probably one of the other sort of things from AD 20 perspective to get results? Yeah,

Alun Lucas 22:51
definitely. Obviously depends. Well, as with all of these, it depends how bad your form is to start with. But yes, we tip and it depends on mobile is probably a slightly more dependent on your audience. Because if you’re b2b, then often you get a lot less mobile traffic, compared to desktop. But in general, yes, you make sure you go through, you test it for user experience, you look at how you’re flying through and either consider almost having a completely separate mobile experience. And you know, there’s lots of design tips that you can do that are out there, we’ve got some in our slight plug for our ebook, which is like, we’ve got an ebook on our website, which has got all this a lot of those tips in there. I read

Richard Joe 23:36
it took hours to go through it. I felt like it was reading someone’s master’s thesis. I mean, very, very good. Very comprehensive. Like it’s helped me out a lot as a CIO. But yeah, it’s awesome. Yeah.

Alun Lucas 23:49
Yeah. So there’s lots of lots of those. Because because most of those in, when you look at each them, they’re probably small in themselves, but once you add them together, you just create a much better mobile experience. And for your, for your users. So yeah, definitely. I suppose that in a way, that should be a hygiene factor testing on mobile, before you put it out, you get your cue as to to make sure that works, and, and interact and use best use cut down on things like dropdowns. And or at least make sure it’s searchable. And you know, the there’s lots of stuff like that that you can do.

Richard Joe 24:25
In our Sorry, just just to the going back for our audience, so they can know, specifically form validation. There’s sort of two ways you can go about it. There’s negative and positive. So do you just want to tell our audience the the reasons why positive validation is generally better than negative?

Alun Lucas 24:44
You’re talking about in terms of the error messaging.

Richard Joe 24:47
Yeah, like it says, like, Oh, you’ve done something bad. Yeah. As opposed to like, oh, you know, you could please enter your credit card and this format, blah, blah, blah.

Alun Lucas 24:56
Yeah, it is. If you start with the language, which is either accusatory or, or unclear. It’s just like, you know, computer says no Big Red Cross. And you don’t explain, you know, it’s much better to have a friendly error message. And you’ve done that. Have you missed out the the art? Or, you know going a step further people put in Gmail, it’s their Gmail, you might say, okay, yes. Did you mean, you know, jim@gmail.com. And so building that sort of positive validation and error messaging is critical, just because I say like it for filling out forms is stressful. So if you can make it as easy as possible, make it a friendly, you know, it’s partially about brand tone as well, you know, you can go a little, if you’ve got a slightly quirky brand tone, you can build that into your messages. And that helps reinforce it, your brand. But obviously, the crucial thing is to tell people how to fix something, is it because phone numbers being a particularly bad one, and you know, okay, you don’t accept zero spaces. Ideally, you should pretty much accept anything. But let’s assume that you can’t use for some reason you can’t change your back end, but you at least you then need to be helpful with error messages, like, oh, please add the plus, plus 31, or the plus, plus 44, or whatever your country code is, those sort of things that you need to be you need to be talking about and just just telling people what to do to fix it. And again, you should, in theory, see a decent uplift or decent decrease in people abandoning on that particular question.

Richard Joe 26:36
That’s a good point. And as you can use any of the tips and advice you’d, you’d give to people, ya know, that

Alun Lucas 26:41
they’re probably one more big one is just about explaining why you need information. So the big one, we see phone number fields typically, is the worst for this. But you know, sometimes even email you get if you if you, if you’re not telling people why you need information, you’ll see them dropping out. And so as I say, phone number fields, we see it quite a lot on our phones that if you don’t explain why you need a phone number field, then people assume the worst, particularly in E commerce and be like, you know, like you’re

Richard Joe 27:10
going to spend them Yeah,

Alun Lucas 27:12
exactly. What’s the sales call? So like, it’s like, what, why, you know, I’m buying something from you online, you’ve got my physical address, you’ve got my email address, why do you need my phone number? But if you seen it in cases where they just explained that we’ll only use this if there’s an issue with delivery, or we’ll use this to send you a text when you’re on your parcels on the way, and people are much more likely to give that information and not drop out? So in that it’s just a small piece of microcopy? You know,

Richard Joe 27:41
so microcopy? What about so you think it’s DC clients use? Use this, I guess you see this use them different ways. So they can put them on your copy underneath the form? Or they can have that little? What’s one of the typical words that you know, that little i with the round circle, you press that and a little modal,

Alun Lucas 28:02
depending on how technically complex or whatever the answer may be. So yeah, definitely, you can see us again, you can use it for brand voice. But just explaining why you need something why it’s important, what it is, if it’s if it’s unclear, just a little bit. So you know, sometimes, when you’re trying to put in an overseas bank account, or what have you is like, what do you need to put in? What do you not put in like VAT? Just want to get technical about VAT numbers, do you need the country code, phone numbers, those sort of things that just add to just the smoothness of it. So person, the user is absolutely clear what they need to provide. And so you’ll see just just small things like that can improve user experience and your your metrics, you know, in quite a big way.

Richard Joe 28:50
Yes, I guess I guess the bullet point for that. It’s really just providing clarity from a CRM perspective. Yeah, definitely.

Alun Lucas 28:59

Richard Joe 29:01
And look, what’s what’s some of the common myths that you find with form optimization design?

Alun Lucas 29:10
So the biggest one probably by far is the fact that just chopping out form fields will improve conversion rate. Yeah. So it’s, yes, it’s almost become an axiom that actually you reduce the number of form fields, your conversion rate will go up. That may or may not be true, not saying isn’t true. It can be true, if you do it the right way. But it’s not automatically a given. Just, you know, long forms don’t necessarily have poor conversion rates. There’s a lot of factors at play. And so, you know, I always I always quote though, we’ve got a lot of benchmarking data, and it’s on our website about different sectors and the biggest converting sector on average for their forms is local government. I

Richard Joe 30:02
Glocal government their most boring, yeah, kind of bureaucratic place on Earth.

Alun Lucas 30:07
Exactly. But they also have the longest forms on average, you know, there’s probably about 70 inputs, if you include all the different ones, you’ve got to click. And they still have, and yet they still have the highest highest conversion rate. And is it because they’ve got brilliant forms? Well, not really, they’re still as bad as any others. That is just the fact there’s more more motivation at play that typically local governments have monopolies on on services. So if you want to make a planning application, what you’re going to do, you’re not going to go somewhere else. So you because you can’t, so people are forced to go through and complete the form. So they got high conversion rates. So it just goes to show that it’s not always about cutting the formfields down. Now, that said, obviously, it’s, it can be important to cut the form fields down. Sometimes if you absolutely don’t need to ask something removing it will probably improve your conversion rate. But there’s lots also similarly, lots of studies out there that cutting formfields out can sometimes reduce your conversion rate, if people you’re not asking things that people are expecting you to ask if you’re applying for a mortgage, and you don’t have to look some financial questions, there might be a bit is these guys genuine. Also, if you cut things out, that are critical for qualification, you might get high conversion rate, but you’ll get a load of rubbish at the end if you’re if you’re trying to get leads. So actually, you probably need to have that barrier and a lower conversion rate. But you filter out stuff that’s not going to waste your sales team’s time. So, you know, it’s never a given. But I say, sometimes people just think, oh, we’ll just chop it down. And that’ll be fine. So that’s probably the biggest myth about form optimization.

Richard Joe 31:52
Yeah, reminds me of the myth that having a and there was some debate about this some time ago that, you know, long form versus short form landing pages. And it just because you’ve got a short form landing page, ie, you know, cutting the, the landing page in half and reducing the copy, it’s not always gonna like double your conversions or whatever, like, you know, you really just got to test it out at the end of the day. Because sometimes people may prefer a long form landing page because it explains more about the product or service. Yeah,

Alun Lucas 32:26
exactly. Yeah, no, definitely. It is great. It is critical to test and learn on those.

Richard Joe 32:33
Are there any other sort of myths that you you find?

Alun Lucas 32:39
This one is not so much a myth? Because generally it’s true. But it’s an interesting one that they when you’re looking at multi step versus single step forms? Yeah. So genuinely, and pretty much virtually every test, we’ve seen done multi step forms perform better. Yep. But actually speaking to some car agencies last week, and actually they had examples where it didn’t perform better. So actually, it’s probably, even though in most cases, I would say test them up, if you’ve got any sort of complex form, test, a multi step form, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s true. So, again, it’s it’s more about, you need to make sure you’re testing testing it, and do have an interesting one test that’s going to be coming up, hopefully, which has got a mortgage form on one page. Now, it’s a nicely visually designed page. But actually, typically, you would, you know, we would always say, you got a mortgage form, you probably got four or five discrete sections, you should probably break those up and put them into multiple steps for the user. But at the moment, they don’t so I’m looking forward to seeing the test for that one, you know, actually could it could a single page mortgage form if it if it’s well designed enough to do as well as a multi step form? The issue often is the single page forms are badly designed, they are just import the paper, the paper form online. And you see that particularly with American banks, for some reason, I think they’ve kind of because American banks are less digitally sophisticated than elsewhere in the world. They kind of they they do a lot of in branch and they still do a lot of paper. So they’ve not digital

Richard Joe 34:13
stuff still, but yeah, stuck in the 90s in terms of form optimization, and its role in feeding data into analytics. How does your sort of platform Zuko provide users their data?

Alun Lucas 34:29
So well, our sales obviously, if you used to use Zuko you would install a couple of tags on your form that would then track the anonymized behavioral data. And so you can see, you know, how many people are there, how many people are dropping out where they’re dropping out what their behavior is, like, you can dig down you can segment the audience depending on how you set it up. You could segment by traffic source by product by AB test, however you want to do that. And it manifests itself in in various different dashboard reports, ones that you can build yourself. And once there are standard standard ones, so you can see where the problem areas are. You can also use our API to push it into other reporting systems, we’ve got a direct connection with Google Data studios. So you know, some clients like to put it, so they’ve got all their data in one place, if they’re pulling data from multiple, multiple analytics sources, if they are using Google Analytics or, or other so you can do that manifests itself. But I suppose to your point, I guess it’s it is, to us at least certainly critical that you do have some sort of data however, whether Sukkot was someone else on your forms, it’s, you know, make sure you know, the specifics, don’t just have a black box, make sure you know exactly what’s going on within each element of your form, and where people are struggling, because otherwise, you’d be flying blind.

Richard Joe 35:51
What are some, for users who are new to form design and analytics? What are some sort of basic sort of analytics that they should be aware of when it comes to optimizing their form and improvement conversions.

Alun Lucas 36:13
So in terms of forms, you, as I mentioned, if you’re looking at analytics before, so you look around the submit button, that’s obviously you have analytics around, that gives you that other things you need, you know, the probably the base segmentations we are always looking at are, firstly between users who completes and users who abandon because often, that’s where you’ll get your insight. So you can see if there’s a difference in a metric, say, for example, corrections, or for abandoners, compared to people who complete you can see, okay, people who struggle, go back to the phone number field, and then they abandoned, they go out five times and abandon you any managed by breaking that out, you can see, okay, some people don’t struggle, they go through these guys, obviously, there’s a struggle on here. And it’s related to abandonment, so a segment by that as well. And then the other common one is mobile versus desktop, which we kind of talked about before, because that really will surface. And if you can do on a field level basis, like you can in Zuki, you can just look side by side and say what’s the abandonment rate for on? Keep your same phone number, but it’s easy to say. So the phone number field is is that different, significantly different for mobile users versus desktop users? And if it is, then that case that there’s an potential issue there or you know, is it to do then that’s you would then pull that site side by side with your form to create those hypotheses? Is it to do with our error messaging? Is it to do with our validation? Is it to do with the mobile UI? You know, those sorts of things. So that’s probably the places you can start. And obviously, you can dig a lot deeper. If you’ve if you’ve tracking your traffic source, you can see if certain traffic sources behave differently to others,

Richard Joe 37:53
that paid visitors organic or so for example, yeah, classic was

Alun Lucas 37:57
Yeah, certainly organic versus paid, you often see a much, much different, much different system. And also you can see where they drop out. So often, what we’ll see is you can, if you look at your data and aggregate you’ll see, okay, people get halfway through the form and then drop out. But then if you look at your paid versus organic, you might see people that would come pay drop out after 10 seconds, and people want organic. If they drop out, they drop out later on. So they’ve got two different issues there, you’ve got issues of, you know, traffic, either being put off immediately by an intimidating form, or they would just never in the market anyway. So that feeds into your advertising that’s driving them that or if that’s spending a lot of time on and then dropping out, you’re like, okay, they they’re obviously spending investing the time. So actually, there’s an issue with the form, you know, these are people that seemingly want to convert, but they’re not for some reasons. So we need to dig deeper exactly where the issues are.

Richard Joe 38:51
And I would also be curious about new versus returning users. I do know some forms obviously have the Save button that can can Zuko record stats for new visitors return users? Yes.

Alun Lucas 39:05
Yeah, that’s, that’s one of our standard segmentations as well, yes, you’re right. So you will often see depart F is a complex form, you returning users will have to convert at a much higher rate. And so you can see that and you can kind of track how, how they go, they jump on they go to stage two, and then they’ll come back later and return and sometimes that sometimes driven by silly things like form timeouts as well. You know, if you have if you see it, sometimes financial forms you asking for someone’s passport, they run away, they get it, they get timed out. Well,

Richard Joe 39:44
so like I’m on page five, and I didn’t say

Alun Lucas 39:48
return as well. Yeah. So then there Yeah, as well. Another sometimes obviously, the people will go away and it’s a important decision. They won’t commit straight away. Sometimes you’ll see returning users, they just come back you see they’ve just clicked on Complete because all they’re doing is reviewing what they’ve done and then come back next day, say, Okay, I’m ready to commit to a mortgage application or whatever it may be.

Richard Joe 40:08
That’s very interesting. And yes, so look, let’s wrap it up. I mean, you’ve talked, we’ve talked about, you know, why form design, or form analytics is really important. Yeah, we’ve talked about, you know, some of the best practices or things you hit up against running some of the common myths and also ways we can use analytics or enhanced understanding analytics as a sort of baseline for form optimization. Look, it’s been really good. Talking to Elon on podcasts. Where can our users get in contact with you?

Alun Lucas 40:46
LinkedIn, generally the best on LinkedIn a lot, or just Alan Aru and Zuko, Daheia feel free to push any emails out there. The two best ways to get hold of me.

Richard Joe 40:57
Awesome. Awesome. So thanks for coming once again,

Alun Lucas 41:00
with a pleasure. Bye

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