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33

Top reasons that I'm aware of: To "force" customer to provide specific details which otherwise most likely be omitted by customer (like, order/invoice number, contact telephone number). To perform some basic validations on such data ensuring that the existing customer provides correct information (checking if such order does exist, validating input). ...


15

@LazyOne gives all good reasons. There are 3 additional ones that make sense. If a drop down exists in the contact form that gives a reason for the user contacting the company then the company can route the contact information to the correct group or person. The data can be entered into the companies CRM solution automatically. For instance, a company I ...


14

I prefer option #3 as it does not require the user to do anything special such as entering a special number or character. This makes it more difficult for the user to make a mistake. It also is easy to handle programmatically and, assuming you name your fields and variables appropriately, make your code cleaner and easy to maintain since the special value is ...


13

Some answers that nobody has suggested: A contact form submitted over SSL is more secure than email. Customers have a terrible habit of sending you sensitive data (credit card numbers etc) even if you didn't request it. A webpage can capture more information about a user than an email. If the submitter is logged into your site, you can link the message ...


12

Why use contact forms? Reduce spam Easier to redirect e-mails to various departments or people Can update the receiving e-mail address without forwards or address book changes Works for users who don't have an e-mail address or e-mail client on their computer Can append website usage stats and other user information to the e-mail No chance for the user to ...


10

Have a look at this study by UXmatters. It is fairly in depth, includes data on eye-tracking, and concludes that labels on top is overall the best solution. There is a similar article by Luke Wroblewski, also fairly detailed. Both articles are worth reading!


8

Depending on your target audience ('normal', very tech savvy, or originating from social networks) either: email address & password (the email address is the username) or OpenID, Facebook Connect, or similar federated login. Both have their issues. In some audiences email addresses change a lot. You need a good account recovery mechanism, ...


7

It's wise to use autofocus with a JavaScript fallback for browsers that don't support it. From Mark Pilgrim's Dive into HTML5 Forms: What’s that? You say you want your autofocus fields to work in all browsers, not just these fancy-pants HTML5 browsers? You can keep your current autofocus script. Just make two small changes: Add the ...


7

All the other answers are very good. A few more, without repeating other answers: A contact form practically guarantees the recipient will not lose your message to standard email spam filtering techniques. Those incoming messages can be automatically trusted, whereas email to the same address from random senders will generally have to follow standard spam ...


7

We do provide a contact form on our website for the reason that we assume that a user visiting our website might not have an e-mail client configured on his system and we want to ensure that he still can get in contact with us.


6

You could put Male/Female/Do not wish to disclose (or something along those lines) Due to government forms that only specify M/F, I think that most have decided on what gender they are (most trans I've met have), but it might be an idea to give the third option. It's a similar issue as with titles. If you want to include everyone then you're going to need ...


5

The most important thing is to be consistent with the rest of your site. In general most websites do the labels to the left of the text fields. In this cause it would be a long description so make sure you have room and it flows well. If to the left doesn't look right or there isn't room to do it, then I would do above. As that is very clear. The only ...


5

Unless you have some pressing need to insulate employees from contact with the world except through email, a contact page should have proper contact information on it. Every piece of information should be transparent (and accurate). People visiting contact pages are largely performing research or attempting to find information about products/services that is ...


5

Whatever the recipient needs to know to assist the user should be included on the form. Never ask for less then what you need. All you really need is a name and a contact method (email address, phone number) but in some situations asking for more information, like a product serial number if it is a warranty issue, etc, should be required as it greatly ...


5

If you're going to allow content that isn't in a valid email address format then you'll want to use <input type="text" ...> like you said. Although someone may enter a whole email address, it isn't exclusive to that field so using <input type="email" ...> would not be appropriate. You can also turn off form validation if you don't want the ...


5

On my site I use this type of contact form instead of just showing the email address. The reason is simple: I don't want that the spammers to get my email.


4

Normally, for your situation, at the top or to the left is best. Just be sure the label comes before the input field for accessibility. Still there are many different ways to layout a page and be accessible. Form labels can really appear just about anywhere you want them as long as it makes since. This recourse is worth a look, ...


4

That's entirely up to you and your audience. If you believe that hermaphrodites and/or trans-gendered persons are going to make up a sizable portion of your audience then you should be more attentive to their needs and concerns. Also, if you offer some kind of functionality that is gender-related then you may want to drill a little deeper then "boy" or ...


4

One source is MaxMind. I haven't looked at their data, so I can comment on how good it is. You will still need to make a decision about what to do if the exising, real-world city is not in your database.


4

There are cases where you could conceivably want to force the user to manually enter data: A domain registrar might apply this to the domain field to ensure accuracy and avoid the auto-filling of previous attempts. If an application might be used in a fairly public setting like a shared kiosk, you might want to prevent a form from giving hints as to who's ...


4

The Googlebot can submit forms, but it generally doesn't unless it can detect a reason to do so. So from the links, if your translations were AJAX'd and built properly, Googlebot may very well submit the form to see what the results would be. However, this behavior (especially on POST), is not guaranteed and you should probably use GET to make things more ...


3

You don't mention a budget, so I'll give you my two favorites: Wufoo - Paid (unless you have small requirements), but awesome. Non-install, but you create the forms there and then install them in your webpage. You can bulk-export to excel or CSV. FormTools - Free, open-source, self-hosted. Does all that you need, but isn't as simple to use as Wufoo. ...


3

There are two options that are considered best: labels to the left of the field, flushed right so they are close to the input. labels above the field itself another important thing to note for usability to make sure you are using the for attribute of the label, so that clicking the label focuses on the field it labels.


3

Not a complete list: USA Canada Australia China (PRC) Mexico Malaysia Italy (strictly speaking; we don't collect Italian provinces and I don't think we've ever had a problem with sending mail there) To the best of my knowledge no other European country requires states/provinces in addresses. Also see ...


3

I assume that you don't have particularly strong development experience (if this is an incorrect assumption, give me a rundown of your development background, and I may be able to provide more targeted advice). If you have some initial capital, you can probably source it out. Depending on the complexity of the initial build, it shouldn't be too hard to get a ...


3

I guess it is caused by security issues. They don't want to expose their email to spammers(by this form, they can check if IP doesn't send to much messages and block it eventually). But there is a solution to this: http://www.google.com/recaptcha/mailhide/


3

I will give you my opinion why: Sometimes companies require certain information e.g. contact number, so that they can give you a call, take an insurance company for example they have a contact form that you submit e.g. request a quote, you give them relevant information and they phone you and have already your info so that they do not need to ask you the ...


3

Wufoo is a really famous form service. I have used it in the past and I was very happy with it. Google Forms is also a pretty good solution, if you don't need to generate complex forms and if you don't have strict integration requirements. There are several other alternatives if you search for form generator.



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