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Mike Rockett

Quotation Request Form - Critiques

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Greets :)

I'm building a quotation request form for my teeny business, and I'd like to know what you all think about it - if you don't mind. ;)

http://www.foundrybusiness.co.za/quote

I've tried to keep things simple, and to the point. Do you think that's the case? Have I asked too many questions? Am I missing anything important (except for the submit button, hehe)?

Thanks a ton!

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Hi Mike,

Your form has good questions and a reasonable number of them. I have a few random observations, though:

  • I don't know about the table border and the lack of clear textbox outlines. The table borders make it feel more like a paper form; that, along with the font, gives it a more conservative look than I'd expect from a design firm. The lack of outlines make it harder to recognize as a web form; I didn't instinctively know where to type. You may want to at least consider shading the text fields.
  • The all-caps text makes the long labels harder to read.
  • You're assuming that the person contacting you has or represents a business.
  • The phrasing of some of the optional answers might overwhelm the technically-inexperienced inquirers, such as the web address question, and the tone used through the form varies substantially. Some of the phrases seem informal ("As soon as humanly possible", "Yes!"), but this doesn't match the look of the form.
  • When the submitter chooses "Other", a focused textarea should appear below the radiobutton. You might want to consider adding an Other option to more of your questions.

Anyway, feel free to take my suggestions, but it looks good as it is.

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Hi!

I don't know about the table border and the lack of clear textbox outlines. The table borders make it feel more like a paper form; that, along with the font, gives it a more conservative look than I'd expect from a design firm. The lack of outlines make it harder to recognize as a web form; I didn't instinctively know where to type. You may want to at least consider shading the text fields.

I thought this may come up. For me, this is a design choice. I'm one of those people who swims away from the stream, and so I like to make things different, as I believe they have an appeal. At least, this is what I have come to find with some of my customers, as well as theirs.

That said, if more people find this to be an issue, I'll rework the design.

The all-caps text makes the long labels harder to read.

Again, this is a style thing, but I do agree with you. I'll make the labels clearer, and easy to read.

You're assuming that the person contacting you has or represents a business.

I did give this some thought. I mainly deal with businesses, and have only had one experience working with a professional (a site for a spiritual musician). That said, I think I may land up breaking the form into a wizard, so that the correct questions are shown, dependant on whether the person filling out the form represents a business or not. What do you think?

The phrasing of some of the optional answers might overwhelm the technically-inexperienced inquirers, such as the web address question, and the tone used through the form varies substantially. Some of the phrases seem informal ("As soon as humanly possible", "Yes!"), but this doesn't match the look of the form.

Agreed - I think it'll be better to formalise, but keep simple at the same time. Yes?

When the submitter chooses "Other", a focused textarea should appear below the radiobutton. You might want to consider adding an Other option to more of your questions.

It is only one box - but yes, I'll do that.

Thanks for the input - much appreciated :)

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Just a quick observation: The font also doesn't render very well in this small sizes, at least for me (newest Chrome on Mac). This makes reading quite exhausting. I'll attach a screenshot.

post-874-0-76817200-1415730003_thumb.png

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This is a nice looking, clear design. I don't miss borders around the form fields or focus styles at all. But this depends on personal preference, I guess.

The light grey type renders clean on Linux Chrome and FF

post-1920-0-74892900-1415774517_thumb.pn

But to me it could need a little more contrast.

Personally, I hate long forms like this. Maybe you want to split it up and make it a multi page form.

Your idea of breaking the form into a wizard would help in keeping it shorter.

From my own experience it is easier to obtain the info that you want to collect through your form in a personal chat with the client.

A long form like yours would drive me away. So you might want to consider asking less questions and trying to put the focus more on convincing the clients to give you their contact details. Then you can call them and talk about all that other stuff.

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Looks good to me.

In the text on the left, I would clearly say that they can contact you by phone and talk about everything or if they prefer they can fill the form.

I wouldn't recommend anyone nowadays a non responsive / or non mobile website.

I'd rather explain this somewhere else as a quality aspect of your websites.

I also wouldn't make Company Name a required field.

just my 2cts

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I can't fill the email and phone field etc on my mobile. There's js going on that makes it impossibLe.

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Email and phone are extremely annoying in Firefox desktop as well. They’re very picky and don’t work well with standard keyboard commands. My first instinct was that the tab key takes you behind the @, instead it took me to the next field and threw out all my previous input. Then I tried End, which didn’t work at all. It never occurred to me that you have to type the @ yourself. Also pasting doesn’t work and neither does arrow-down to show the browser’s suggestions. Those are probably the most common ways people enter their email addresses.

The lack of outlines make it harder to recognize as a web form; I didn't instinctively know where to type.

+1

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As a tech demo I think it's great. As a mechanism for turning browsers into leads, I'm not so sure it'd give you a great response.

Have I asked too many questions?

I don't think you have provided someone is at the stage where they know

  1. what they want

    or

  2. they're ready to divulge that info

That's quite a gamble up front. IMO you want to start off with the broadest conversation possible with the least amount of fields. Before you start funneling people down into specifics you could have a form which asks for :

  • Name:
  • Email:
  • Company:
  • How can we help?

This way people can free type in the "how can we help" field. If they have specific details at hand, they can tick a box titled

  • I have project details ready (Yes/No)

which loads the larger form. But make it clear to people that they don't have to go down this route.

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gebeer: I'll definitely be turning it into a wizard, preferably one that assists in showing what to expect. There are a few questions I may remove as well - we'll see what those are when I get to re-organising everything.

Thomas108: I'm tending to agree more and more with the responsive website question - I think it can be removed. If the client doesn't want it to adapt, then they can say so. I should explain why it's good to have one - this will appear in the quotation (proposal) itself.

Soma: Yeah, I'm using a masking plugin - only because I think it's cool. :P But perhaps I should remove it for mobile... Or completely?

Jan Romero: I see the problem there. It all boils down to instinct. Naturally, because I installed the plugin, I know to type over the @ sign with an @s sign. Others will probably be different. Essentially, I use plugins like these because so many people enter incorrect data - I have seen it so often with my old websites.

So, I'll need to rethink this plugin. There is another, where the End key works, and your data isn't thrown away when you exit an incomplete field. I'll probably switch over to that.

Peter: Your input is quite constructive indeed - I like the idea, quite a bit! I think I may merge your idea with the wizard idea. In a nutshell, the first part of the wizard would ask the basics. Two buttons would be present in this part - "I have project details ready, let's continue", and "Submit Now". I foresee only two parts to follow the initial part - just to keep things simple. Do you agree with that?

Thanks for all the input everyone :) Much appreciated :)

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Essentially, I use plugins like these because so many people enter incorrect data - I have seen it so often with my old websites.

I think it is better to handle incorrect data inputs with proper form validation. To me your plugin is very confusing, too. Maybe you can have a placeholder text instead that shows the expected input format.

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I think it is better to handle incorrect data inputs with proper form validation. To me your plugin is very confusing, too. Maybe you can have a placeholder text instead that shows the expected input format.

Will do :)

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