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When They Have To Hit Submit

Today I’m going to briefly approach the submit button from a trust and credibility standpoint with some usability added to the mix.  It is possible for one simple thing like the submit button to have a noticeable impact on a web site.  There are many times when a developer will take for granted the placement and implementation of a submit button.  This article stemmed from a client expressing their opinion on the poor implementation of an online form during a recent review meeting.  There are certain factors that can be addressed to make it easier for a user to submit.

Placement

The placement of a search or submit button can impact click through rates for form submission.  Regardless of the logic of placing a submit button at the end of a form, the bottom might not always be a logical place.  In some instances it might be beneficial to think logically before thinking visually in regards to submission button placement.

Where does the information go?
One question that comes up during usability studies that involve submission forms is “where does the information go after I hit submit?”  Users are particularly sensitive when they are filling out personal information.  Let the user know exactly where their information is being sent. 

Privacy Policy
Another piece of information you should nest near the submit button is a privacy or SPAM policy.  Make users feel more comfortable by ensuring the user that their privacy and data will be safely protected. Also letting them know they won't be inundated with email might give them more incentive to submit their information.

Give Feedback
After the user hits the submit button let them know that the information has been successfully sent.  This can be as simple as a thank you or acknowledgment page. If you have an autoresponder setup let the user know to check their email.  There have been a few instances when a client inadvertently broke an online form.  The issue wasn’t detected until a few weeks later.  Users are usually the last to know if a form is properly submitting information.   

Is there an alternative option?
There are instances where an online form might stop working.  In some cases the web site owner isn’t aware of the problem.  Always provide the user with an alternative method of submitting information like email or via telephone.   Keep that information near the submit button.  Let the users know there is an alternative.

Always be away of the small things you can do that have a larger impact on the user.  The ability to submit information is an important interactive element to many web sites.  Keep the process simple and provide the user with feedback.

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