I’m pretty sure you’ve watched the Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere already unless you belong to the 1% world population who aren’t watching the show.
Uhm yes, forms are our expertise, but we are huge Game of Thrones fans!
We all share the love for the show so much that we talk about it in our #random Slack channel all the time. And we sort of name our projects after GOT themes. In addition, each of us has a GOT character as our Slack avatars.
For newbies who want to join us, try your luck being a raven. Kidding.
Maybe I’m obsessed with my job. That’s why I was still thinking of forms while chilling out and watching the episode.
And strangely, I managed to connect how making effective forms is like playing the game of thrones. Here are the form making tips that I have gotten from the strongest GOT characters season premiere.
Do your research. (Inspired by Sam)
GOT Story: Sam’s new stint at the Citadel may stink, but he is uncovering important information by stealing some of the secret books. If you could remember, there’s the book with the map that illustrates a mountain of dragonglass in Dragonstone.
He’s just about to break the news to his best pal, Jon Snow. Ex-Lord Commander needs it to protect the 7 realms from ice-cold walkers.
Translating to Reality: Like the books that are hidden from the public, user research also needs some digging. It may not be fun, even boring. And you need to look in difficult places (ie., your customers’ brains).
You need to know your users first in order to make an effective form. For us, it took data mining in our custom messaging tool and A/B testing to actually get our users to respond to our surveys using our own forms. But once you get to know your customers, you’ll know how to make them talk.
Shape the form based on your interests. (Inspired by Lyanna Mormont)
GOT Story: Oh, do I have to re-tell the entire scene? This one marked so good. It’s when Lyanna shuts down Lord Glover for questioning Jon’s command of preparing everyone for battle. Everyone, including little girls.
As Bear Island’s girl queen, Lyanna stands up and gave her retort, backing up the King of the North. I can’t stop re-reading her speech. This girl knows her interests and that is to protect her kingdom and Westeros as well.
Translating to Reality: To get the performance that you want from your forms, you should know what your specific intention is in the first place. Is it to get signups from new users? Is it to gather company information of your clients? Is it getting more sales?
Once your interest is set, use this as a basis in shaping your form’s design and questions. And avoid those online form practices that annoy your users.
Know your target users. (Inspired by Arya Stark)
GOT Story: The Season premiere’s opening scene is mad. Arya channeled her Faceless Academy persona and pretended to be Walder Frey, throwing out a feast to the Freys. She had the red wine, Arbor Gold served to everybody and initiated a toast, killing all the living Freys who sipped the poison. All the living male Freys anyway.
When the girl servant was about to drink her wine, “Walder” prompted her to stop, snapping that he’s not wasting a single wine on a woman. Arya just knows who her targets are.
Translating to Reality: Take this cue from Arya. Know who your target users are. Only send out your forms to your intended audience or else you’ll get disappointing results. Or you’ll get backlash from your non-qualified users.
Check your autoresponder filters, email automation sequences and funnels. Make sure that your users don’t get irrelevant surveys or forms.
Give clear instructions. (Inspired by Jon and Sansa)
GOT Story: Then there’s the Winterfell Hall Meeting for the dragonglass hunt headed by Jon Snow. With him was his sister Sansa at the table. Jon, just like the dead Starks, was once again letting their goodness prevail, refusing to punish the offspring of the Northern lords who betrayed them and fought for Ramsay.
Sansa interrupted and questioned his orders, saying that treason should be punished and loyalty rewarded. There was tension and confusion inside the room for a moment.
Translating to Reality: When your form’s instructions are unclear, users will not know exactly how to answer or react to your forms, leaving them confused or causing them to abandon your forms at the worse.
Make sure that your forms don’t have contradicting radio button options. Double check on the instructions too. They should be crystal clear. Another thing that you need to check is the form flow; it shouldn’t interrupt.
Keep it short, but powerful. (Inspired by Daenerys)
GOT Story: It’s only in the 7th season when Daenerys is finally close to realizing her dreams of sitting on the Iron Throne. She has crossed the Narrow Sea and has effortlessly settled into her new castle, the Dragonstone.
You saw Khaleesi in her signature “I’m holding my breath and savoring my victory” look from the ship, on the sand, up to the throne room… She has been silent and she spoke only 3 words, “Shall we begin?”
Translating to Reality: What Dany has shown is one of the key factors in creating a form — keeping it short. You must have heard us give out this tip for quite a while already, but there’s a reason for that. It works and it’s backed up by a case study. The fewer fields, the higher the conversion.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t make longer surveys work if you really need to. You still can and we have awesome and powerful form features that can help you create effective surveys.
That’s pretty much everything that I can relate.
Online forms, if they were existing for the Seven Kingdoms, would have hastened kingdom-to-kingdom communications (no need for ravens), provided an efficient debt payment system (not only the Lannisters will be quick to pay), and minimized town hall meetings (send a survey instead).
In case you’re wondering where you can you use online forms in real life, you can check out this post.