3 Reasons for Form Abandonment and 6 Steps to Bring Users Back

Form abandonment is a big issue for many organizations, but the good news is, you can fix it!
Sunny Gonzales
Reading time: 6 minutes.

Most online businesses rely on online forms for lead generation, registration processes, surveys, and more. It’s a super common issue - people start filling them out but then get frustrated and just ditch the whole thing. Can you imagine losing out on over 80% of your potential customers like that? Imagine how much of your supposed sales and ROI are those!

But don’t worry, we’ve got some great tips to share that can help turn that abandonment rate around. We’ll dive into some smart strategies to keep people engaged and actually get those forms completed.

Three reasons for form abandonment

As business owners, unraveling the mystery behind form abandonment is key to our success. According to some observations and studies, there are usually three main culprits behind form abandonment. Now we’re about to dive into the nitty-gritty details!

1. Unfriendly form design

Poor design can definitely send users running for the hills before completing your forms. Let’s dive into those warning signs with some real-life examples:

Length is a huge factor. For example, when you’re signing up for a new service and they want your life story - address history for the past 10 years, multiple references, job details going back decades. No thanks! Apps like TurboTax are notorious for their endless forms during tax season. People get fatigued and bail.

Lack of clear guidance is maddening. I remember trying to fill out a form for a doctor’s appointment and it used all this confusing medical jargon without any instructions. I gave up after spending way too long squinting at fields like “anamnesis” and “idiopathic”. Give your users context!

unfriendly patient online form

Mobile unfriendliness will stop folks in their tracks, too. Ever struggled with a form on your phone? Tiny text, minuscule buttons, constant scrolling and zooming—it’s a nightmare! Companies need to optimize for all devices, pronto.

Those are just a few examples, but you get the idea! Complicated, confusing, non-mobile forms are surefire ways to encourage abandonment. Does this resonate with your experiences or have you encountered other struggles?

2. Excessive information collection

Let’s talk about the dreaded information overload! Ever filled out a form that felt like a marathon? Yeah, that’s what we’re trying to avoid here. Asking for too much info is like serving a 10-course meal when all you wanted was a snack - it’s just too much!

Imagine this: you’re filling out a form and the instructions read like a novel. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Users bounce quicker than a basketball. Plus, if you’re asking for stuff that’s totally unrelated to the topic, it’s like a red flag waving in their face. ‘Why do you need my shoe size to sign up for a newsletter?’ they wonder. Trust goes out the window, and so does your form.

Sure, we get it, more info can be helpful, but there’s a fine line between being thorough and being invasive.

3. Lack of security measures

Imagine you’re on a website, ready to fill out a form, when suddenly you see the words ‘Not Secure’ glaring at you. It’s like a warning sign flashing in your face! That lack of security can make users bolt away faster than an Olympic sprinter.

When a form lacks security measures, it sets off alarm bells for users. They start questioning if they can trust you with their information. One big worry is the possibility of a data breach. If word gets out that your company’s data has been compromised, users will lose faith in you.

two-factor authentication

Data breaches often occur because forms are transmitted over insecure connections, like HTTP instead of HTTPS. This leaves user data vulnerable to interception by hackers.

Then there’s the risk of unauthorized access when forms don’t have two-factor authentication. This can lead to hackers getting hold of user data and causing all sorts of trouble.

Six strategies to recover from form abandonment

Ah, form abandonment, it’s a real pain for many industries and organizations, isn’t it? But hey, the good news is, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeve to tackle it head-on! And here they are!

1. Optimize your web form design

Forms are key for user interaction on your site or app. Improving their design can boost user experience and conversions.

  • Simplify form layout and fields

Remove unnecessary form fields and only ask for essential information. Group related fields into sections for better organization. Prioritize critical inputs first, then use progressive disclosure to show additional optional fields only if needed. This streamlined approach reduces clutter and cognitive load, making forms quicker to complete and more user-friendly overall. Bloated, overwhelming forms deter users from finishing.

  • Provide clear guidance and Progress indicators

Ambiguous form fields can be confusing. Clearly label each field, provide hints, and use placeholder text to guide users on what information is required. Progress indicators showing how many steps remain also help motivate users to complete longer forms. The goal is to make the process straightforward by providing enough guidance and reassurance to avoid frustration.

  • Ensure mobile responsiveness

With increasing mobile usage, ensure forms are mobile-friendly through responsive design that adapts layouts and fields to different screen sizes. Use large tap targets and avoid hover interactions unsuitable for touchscreens. This prioritizes a seamless experience across devices.

2. Streamline information collection

Streamline forms by only requesting essential upfront data and using progressive disclosure like multi-step formats. Additionally, leverage logic jumps to dynamically skip irrelevant sections based on user input, and use conditional fields to show/hide follow-up questions. This tailored approach minimizes overwhelm, improves UX, and boosts completion rates by providing personalized, efficient user flows.

3. Provide data security assurance

When collecting sensitive health information via online forms, prioritize data security, privacy, and HIPAA compliance. Implement robust encryption like SSL/TLS to protect transmitted data and encrypt stored data. Ensure forms and data handling procedures adhere to HIPAA regulations.

Clearly outline HIPAA-compliant privacy policies detailing permitted uses, data safeguards, and patient rights regarding their protected health information (PHI). Provide easy form access to these policies. Demonstrating HIPAA-compliant security measures and transparent data practices builds trust when users share PHI.

4. Offer real-time help and support

Convenience is a big factor that affects user behavior, so you should make every effort to make your online form convenient for them. One of the best ways to do this is by adding help center links or chat channels where they can easily ask for help while filling out their forms.

For example, some forms have a live chat channel, that allows users to contact customer service in an instant while filling the form. Others leave contact details at the end of the form where users can ask them questions regarding the topic or the form.

5. Enhance mobile experience

Make sure your online forms work smoothly on all devices, especially mobile. Test and tweak them regularly for optimal display and usability. Check your forms on various devices to catch errors early and ensure a seamless user experience. Keep it simple on mobile—a clean interface helps users navigate effortlessly without distractions or delays.

6. Gather user feedback and continuously improve

Gathering user feedback and continuously improving your forms based on that feedback are essential practices for enhancing the user experience in many ways. They can provide information about the needs, preferences, and pain points of your audience resulting in a better understanding of what you need to improve with your online forms.

gather user feedback


With user-friendly design, strong form security, accessible online support, and continuous user feedback, we can tackle form abandonment. If your abandonment rate is high, don’t worry. Keep refining your forms with these steps.

Stay committed. Establishing trust and security is vital for a great user experience. And remember, consider Platoforms for an online form solution that tackles these challenges head-on.

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