SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] the point-of-whatever-ness
Re: [Sigia-l] the point-of-whatever-ness
I will ask my team to ponder your question, as we deal regularly with long
forms that require many of the fields to be answered and will let you know
what they suggest. In the meantime, we've done quite a bit of evaluation
regarding points of abandonment on long forms in an attempt to determine
what caused the user to drop out of the process at a given point--especially
at a point where they had invested significant energy.
One theory we had was that they were hitting a point where they needed to
provide information that they wouldn't readily have on had (e.g., spouse's
SSN). We added a "before you begin" page that indicated how long the form
usually takes to fill out and all the required information and that cut down
on abandonments at some of the places where we had theorized people didn't
have the info. they needed.
Another thing we've learned along the way is that a lot of people do their
banking from work, when they're away from home/files/spouse--that
contributes to the lack of info. situation described above, but it also
suggests that people may be doing forms in an environment where they're
likely to be interupted or literally not have the time to complete the form
(obviously these are also scenarios that commonly occur at home--the phone
rings, pot boils over, etc). This has led us to look at ways to introduce a
save/return later functionality into long forms. Being able to return to an
important form may encourage users to complete a form that could otherwise
There's no question that the "smart" approach you mention is critical--when
you can do it; we often run into the issue where our back-end systems are
maintained by a different group, operating under different deadlines and
when we propose changes that we think are necessary we're told we can't
change the flow, because it would require too much programming/take too
long. If you're building from scratch, you won't have that problem, of
I'll encourage folks on my team who have worked on these issues to respond
to your question as well.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason" <jason31_at_verizon.net>
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 10:25 PM
Subject: [Sigia-l] the point-of-whatever-ness
> i have recently been building and testing an online mortgage
> application and have come across an interesting question. Has anyone
> done any research that identifies the point in a person's filling out a
> form where they just start filling in the minimum in order to get the
> thing done? When does someone just start clicking "C, C, C, C, etc." in
> order to get to the end? It can apply to big long forms or even surveys.
> There are two aspects that i would love to ponder:
> 1. Ways to determine the problem - is it based entirely on each
> individual user? Is there a word for this threshold? Any ways to
> determine it?
> 2. Ways to solve it - Any ideas on ways to avoid it?
> one means by which we are dealing with this very long, multi-page form,
> is to try to make it as smart as possible. I mean, based on responses
> to earlier questions, not showing information that is not needed. Like
> "do you have a co-borrower?" indicating "no" eliminates the need for
> much of the form so we hide it. Testing has shown this to reduce the
> Jason Pryslak
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: Tue Jun 22 2004 - 15:48:07 EDT