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October 2009

Increase Conversions in Long Web Forms by Resolving the Accidental Back Button Activation Issue

In this article, originally published at Evolt, I talk about the issue of accidentally activating the browser back button through the keyboard while interacting with a long web form that is applicable to users across expertise levels. The time and effort wasted by the user can be said as proportional to the number of input fields filled by the user before accidentally exiting the page.

Since no application feedback indicating cause of the error to the user is provided, depending upon user expertise, the user may or may not realize the cause of the error. Realizing what is wrong does not guarantee the possibility of reverting the error either.

This leads to unnecessary loss in form conversions despite favorable user intent. A solution to resolve this issue (that I hope becomes standard practice) to plug the hole for lost conversion that translates to big numbers in absolute terms for high traffic websites is also provided.