Almost every one of us has filled out forms online. Forms are everywhere: on signup pages, upon checkout, and maybe even inside our mail inboxes. Satisfaction survey emails may have piled up in there, unread.

Because, let’s admit it, we’re sort of allergic to forms. Well, most of them anyway. We complete certain forms and surveys, especially if we care about the company behind it — or if we have a sheer need to do so.

It is a tad more convenient to place an order through an online form than pick up the phone and talk to a salesperson, right? Or completing transactions online via payment forms than wait in line in a physical store.

As a web form builder, we’ve compiled a list of the things people find annoying on your web forms. Feel free to use this as a reference when making your own form so you don’t randomly drive target clients away.

Form Peeve #1: It’s too long.

How would you feel after seeing an infinite scroll survey with large chunks of text? People don’t like to read. Also, more than half of the customers said that they would not spend more than 3 minutes filling out a feedback form.

Keeping it short is the easiest advice, but if you need a gazillion of information from your users, you can do the following trick.

How to fix it?

Break up long forms into shorter pages using our multi-page feature. The shorter pages wouldn’t overwhelm the users and will encourage them to keep on going.

Displaying their progress at the top of the form gives them a bit of motivation. It’s like saying, “Hang on, you’re near the finish line!”

Form Peeve #2: Your error messages are unclear.

“07-16-1987 is incorrect. Please enter your correct birthday.”

Imagine your form saying this to your client after he has typed in his birthday for like 5 times already. His confusion was now replaced by sheer annoyance, “But, I was born on July 16, 1987. This form is just broken. I’ll just go somewhere else.”

Broken forms. Ugh.

Okay, you have just lost a prospective client over… a birthday box? That’s silly.

How to fix it?

Your error message should have told him that the day goes before the month. It should have said, “Please enter your birthday in the DD-MM-YYYY format.” That should have solved the problem.

To make sure you just don’t go losing clients over confusing messages, create web forms with error messages that directly tells the user how to correct it. You can have it checked by your team’s copywriters.

With our web form builder, you can customize your validation messages easily.

Form Peeve #3: Everything suddenly disappears.

Oh no, the information that your form filler has typed for 15 full minutes completely vanishes for random reasons. Maybe because an error appeared that triggered a refresh? Or did she accidentally press the F5 key or hit the refresh browser button?

small team working together
I have no idea what just happened.

So, what now?

This wouldn’t have happened if…

How to fix it?

If you had short forms. See Form Peeve #1.

Or if your forms have the Save & Resume feature. With our web form generator, you can enable the user to save their filled-up forms to preserve their answers and save their progress.

With this feature, they are assured that their efforts in answering your form weren’t wasted. This also allows them to pause for a while, do an errand maybe, and get back to the form when they have the time again.

Form Peeve #4: It’s too bossy and demanding.

You may ask, “How can a form be bossy?”.

By directing you how to makeup a “strong password” with impossible-to-remember requirements, that is!

Not everyone would be happy memorizing a password that’s at least 8 characters long with at least 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, 1 special character, 1 number, and 1 emoji. Kidding, no emoji. insert joy emoji here

You get it now, don’t you?

How to fix it?

Just add a password strength indicator like what (ahem) our company does.


At least you’re reminding clients that they’re responsible for the first level of protection that they’re giving themselves. Most users know that they are sticking with a Medium or even a Weak password and they’re okay with it.

Form Peeve #5: It’s low-key discriminatory.

Be perceptive when creating drop-down or textbox options for your form.

Sensitive data like gender, nationality, and even country can imply prejudice and cause unwanted emotional reactions to your users.

Not being able to choose the right element that speaks about oneself can be offending for some people.

confused over website forms
Can’t find my job title on the options

Okay, brushing off the drama here. Being conscious about these things will reflect your company’s values. Showing your users that you care will not only make your users feel valued, it’s also the right thing to do.

How to fix it?

You don’t have to enumerate all the socially-acceptable gender types. Or all nationalities ever recorded. Besides, it’ll make your form look crowded.

You just have to know your target audience and know what applies and matters to them. Then, put those crucial things. Don’t forget to include the ‘Other’ button and the ‘Please specify’ text box so they can type in their answers if they can’t find it in the options.

create web forms with radio buttons
Always have the “Please specify.” textbox.

Form Peeve #6: The CAPTCHA is horrible.

captcha on website forms
Can you read anything?

blink, blink

Can you see the word in this CAPTCHA? Because I can… not see anything!!! Might as well type a bunch of ellipses and hope for the best. Or go to another website.

If your form pulls off captcha like this, you’d get zero replies in a hundred years. Good luck with that.

How to fix it?

Make sure that your form’s CAPTCHA is readable. Don’t assume that everybody has a 20-20 vision. Don’t assume that you don’t have colorblind clients. Don’t assume that everybody loves long words like you do.

Oh, and do you know what CAPTCHA means? It’s “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” I just thought you’d like to know.

Form Peeve #7: It’s too intrusive.

Snoopy forms don’t delight users, especially when your users don’t see a clear reason why they need to share intimate or sensitive information.

skeptical over website forms
Now why are they asking for my credit card number? I just want to signup for now.

As much as possible, avoid asking your clients for their passport number, credit card number or tax ID number upon sign up. You can ask for these details when it’s totally needed at the right time.

How to fix it?

Just avoid asking intimate information when you haven’t yet established a relationship with a client.

You have to build up your clients’ trust in your company first if you want to get sensitive types of information.

Also explain your privacy policy and assure them that their information will be handled with the highest level of security. And show proof (ie., logos of the encryption software you use, customer testimonials, etc.).

Form Peeve #8: It just goes blank after submitting the form.

After submitting the checkout form for a $500 item, your customer was just redirected to a blank page.

How would you think he would react? That was a $500 order! Would his credit card be charged? Did his order came through? Or was he just completely robbed?

Pretty sure, he’d reach out to your support team after a few minutes. You shouldn’t allow your clients to feel this negativity.

dont create web forms that are confusing
Why did this form leave me hanging? Can’t concentrate now.
How to fix it?

A simple confirmation page would have avoided the negative reactions. Better yet, you should set up autoresponders to notify your users that their order placement or form submission was successful. Our web form builder has this feature.

web form generator autoresponder feature
Customize and use dynamic tokens on your autoresponder message.

Honestly, though, you should assure clients with a confirmation regardless if they placed a $500 or $5 worth of orders. Or even if they just filled up any online form on your website. It’s courtesy.

No matter how many revisions and improvements you do on your form just to get more replies, you’ll still get that snobby “I don’t like your form” feedback from time to time.

It’s okay as long as it’s just one or two. Ensure that the majority of the form takers are comfortable with your form. You’ll see it on your form’s completion rates and number of form entries. Good luck!

Author Aiza Coronado

Aiza Coronado

Aiza is a Content Developer and Marketer at EmailMeForm. She easily gets upset when random dogs don't bark back at her hello's.

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