Example of a contact form with form field accessibility

Web Accessibility: Can your Website Visitors use your Contact Form?

Caren Launus-Gamble of KreativeInc

Caren Launus-Gamble

Web Accessibility - Contact Form Fields

Can your website visitors use your contact forms?

After all contact page or lead magnet forms, are the most popular method of interacting with you from a website and to attract new sales.

But, strangely enough, form-field-related accessibility problems are the most common issues on a website!

The Main Problems with Contact Forms

The main problems with understanding and using contact forms correctly to get in touch with you are:

  • Missing or incomplete labelling of the form’s input fields
  • No confirmation that the form was submitted
  • Non-existent or ineffective handling of input errors or omissions
  • Bad control of focus, i.e. the user cannot see clearly which field they are on.

How to Test your Contact Form

The good news is you can test your contact form for these issues by following these steps:

❓ Are your form labels clear enough? E.g. are you asking for “Your full name” instead of “Name” etc.? This is important for all people but particularly for those with cognitive issues such as autism. Ambiguity in any context can be frustrating and cause site visitors to click away rather than send the contact message, which could lead to a sale.

❓ Does a message appear once the form was submitted? Is it easy to spot and understand? I think we all know how annoying it is when you cannot see whether a click action has had the desired effect.

❓Does your form highlight any input errors or omissions with a red box or text explaining what the problem is and that the form cannot be sent without the information? Isn’t it infuriating when you click submit, and nothing happens – absolutely NOTHING, and you don’t know why. Don’t give your site visitors that experience!

❓ Can you easily spot where you are on the form when typing or tabbing through? Check the following:

  • Is the cursor moving into the field when you click on the form label (the text next to an input field)?
  • If you have a select or dropdown element in a form field, does the focus move to this element when you click on the label next to it?

If you have just encountered any or all of the problems mentioned above on your contact or lead magnet form, it’s time to fix this urgently. You could be losing sales otherwise!

How to Fix your Contact Form

If you don’t know how to fix the issues yourself, get in touch with your web developer. Alternatively, contact us for help.

Correctly labelled contact form fields are only one part of form accessibility, but it’s a good place to start as it’s the basis for all the other best practices.

But that’s another blog post in the making…