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Module 4: Checkpoint 15—Optional form fields

Conformance: Mandatory

Requirements

Reduce the number of optional form fields.

Benefits of conformance

  • Increased data reliability and integrity.
  • Decreased data volume (only collecting essential data).
  • Increased levels of trust, reliability and credibility.

Risks of non-conformance

  • Reduced data quality (e.g. unusable data).
  • Increased privacy risks.
  • Possible misuse of personal data.
  • Reduced completion rates due to cognitive load.
  • Increased length of form and task complexity (confusion).

Implementation advice

More information

Form fields that are not required should not be included in the form. In order to increase the number of users that will complete the process, only request information that will be used.

Any information requested that is not required raises a question in the mind of users - 'If this information is not required, why are they asking me for it?'

If a user encounters this repeatedly, it can affect the level of trust the user has for the application, and potentially lead to transaction abandonment.

Where it is not possible to remove an optional field, you must explain why the information is being collected and the situations under which it will be used. This will help users understand the value obtained from their effort and will encourage completion of these optional fields.