Many designers use dropdown menus to make forms easier to construct. However, dropdowns aren't always the best choice, especially when it comes to user experience. If you've seen a decline in conversion rates, especially during steps that involve filling in forms, you might want to replace your dropdown menus with these superior alternatives.

Check Boxes Make Clicking and Tapping Easier

The optimum UX for a particular form depends on its contents. A dropdown menu creates a multi-step process that can become irritating, especially for mobile users. For example, on a smartphone, users must tap the dropdown menu to see the options. Plus, for long lists, they might have to scroll until they find the desired item.

Checkboxes condense this process into one step. They also allow users to select multiple options that might apply, though you can always limit options to one response if that makes more sense.

Use check boxes for form fields that have few choices — especially if the answer is as simple as "yes" or "no," or when users only have to choose between two options. You eliminate a step, which makes users less likely to click away and fail to convert.

Toggle Switches Present Prospects With Immediate Options

Toggle switches also offer superior performance over dropdown menus in many cases. They allow users to simply tap or click on the form field to change the answer from "yes to "no," or to change their selections in other ways.

For instance, let's say that you're asking users whether they want to subscribe to a particular publication. A toggle switch lets the user immediately select his or her choice. The same goes for a situation in which you want users to choose between two outcomes. 

Segmented controls sometimes work better than toggle switches for non-yes or no questions. For example, maybe you want to know whether your potential customer is a business owner or an employee. Offer both options in a segmented control so the user can simply tap or click the appropriate answer.

Typing Can Prove Easier and Less Cumbersome

Mobile forms

The mobile-first philosophy has caused many UX designers to stop offering text form fields. After all, it can slow down the conversion process — or stop it altogether. However, if you only want your customer to type 7-10 letters or numbers, typing can become easier than dropdown menus.

Birth years provide a common example. It's easier to type one's age than to scroll through several decades' worth of possible answers, especially when using mobile technology. Many form-field designers can create an autocomplete function that helps speed up the process for users. This might work well when you ask for zip codes or the user's home state.

Dropdown menus serve useful purposes, but they're not always the best UX solution for a form. To improve CRO, you can create fewer steps for potential customers and enhance your form's appearance in the process. Plus, if consumers can see their options, they might prove more likely to continue filling out the form.

To gain more insight into your CRO efforts, check out our report: How to Convert: Top 10 CRO Tips.

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