I had a request within my company to instrument Form Analysis plug-in, so I thought why not I write about the measuring form performance or the term “Form Analytics”,
- What is a form? What are its key issues
- What to measure while doing the form analysis (to know about causes of failure or the reason for abandonment of form?)
- Solutions to track form interactions
- Setup and Configuration of Form analysis plug-in
- And the Usage part of form analysis.
What is a form? What are its key issues
Form is a bridge between the user and the site owner or just a info collecting junction from the visitors or in a bit technical terms Form is just the bucket or the bowl which has many elements used to collects the data from the user, and form has to be organized such way user should feel happy about filling it up rather it should be projected in such a way user should fill in completely.
Normally, you must have seen there is lot about the analysis, tips, benefits suggestion on most of the web analytics concepts however you must have not observed clubbing all the above along with the implementation and instrumenting part of it, lets see how well I could put forward the combination of both.
Form filling is of one of the checkpoint or the lead generation stage for most of the website, wherein form has to be clearly optimized to generate the lead i.e. it should be projected in such a way user should not get bugged up in filling rather they should fill it in no time with out compromising in collecting the relevant data. This makes analyzing the form more comprehensively where its border line in making use to convert from pre sales to post sales.
Through form we tend to learn lot about the user, what they need and what they are looking, it’s most necessary to make them to fill the required form with in the website and this is the issue/challenge here and we are trying to analyze how quick and how much easy we can make the user to fill the forms.
What do we need to measure while doing the form analysis (to know about causes of failure or the reason for abandonment of form?)
This is a good question, here is where we need to make the decision, we need to decide what to capture to take a better action on optimizing the form lets break this into different parts,
- What we need from the form? or who have actually filled it?
- Possible reason for not completing the form or Why user just Abandoned it,
- Form look and feel.
So generically, we need to know why the form left unfilled and also why it was completed (you must be surprised to see this question have a look into below description)
1. What we need from the form or analyzing who have actually filled it.
If we get the successful form completion that’s not the end and don’t think you have achieved perfection.
There is lot many questions need to be answered even after form is filled completely like,
- Time Taken in filling up the complete form
- Have they filling it sequentially? Or randomly, which form element was filled first.
- Have the user filled the entire form element or anything left out which was kind of optional.
Above details would be much helpful in further optimizing complete form.
2. Possible reason for not completing the form or Why user just Abandoned it,
Again you need to know what could be possible reason in not filling the form completely,
- Technical problem? Like browser compatibility issue? etc.
- Length of the form, too much of field elements.
- Naming conventions, good labeling of each of the field is also important.
- May be even the security issue.
3. Form look and feel.
Presentation is amazingly important wherever you go and whichever field you take, for should look beautiful for user to complete it.
Solutions to track form interactions
Keeping all the above questions, reasons and analysis in mind, we need the web analytics solutions to track all the user interaction within the form and that’s the need of the plug-in to the existing solution.
As I am currently working on the Omniture SiteCatalyst Solution, it has a plug-in for form analysis which you can add to existing code, you might have to request this plug-in from your omniture account manager.
Setup and Configuration of Form analysis plug-in
There are 2 sections in the plug-in,
- Configuration section.
- Function definition section.
- Form Testing
You need to decide, whether data need to tracked into traffic reports or the commerce reports and set the config variable accordingly. Under commerce you can measure mainly three events a. Abandon, b. Success, c. Error. Based on the decision on viewing the reports (Traffic or Commerce) configuration code will get changed.
Three main configuration variables useCommerce – set to be true if you are using commerce reports, varUsed – need to be set with all the variables used to populate for example prop or eVar variables and eventList – if commerce is used then event list needs to be triggered on success, abandon or error.
Function definition section
On any event like Success, Abandon or Error you have to call below function,
For example if the user while filling the credit card details enters 10 digits instead of 16 then you can call the plug-in function along with the details like error type, page name, form name and description of the error.
sendFormEvent( error_type, page_name, form_name, element_error)
Have a look at the below image, you can see event3 is triggered on successful submission of the form and eVar1 is used to fill the details.
Click on the image for clear picture.
Click on the image for clear picture.
And the Usage part of form analysis
Here the main theme is to provide the comprehensive analysis of each of the users or a bigger picture of information on Success and Failures of the form filling.
Main metrics I would recommend to collect is
- Time Spend in filing the form
- Any unfilled elements
- What stage user abandoned the form?
- Rate of abandonment.
1. I have found some of the interesting article that was published on form analytics, one which was impressed me was from Click Tale but I am not sure how difficult to implement it to get those details of data.
2. I have also found the way of implementing of form optimization in one of the article which might interests one who is using Google Analytics as the web analytics solution “Optimize Form Length with Input Analysis“