When compared to our control version, the inline validation form with the best performance showed compelling improvements across all the data we measured. Specifically, we saw:
* a 22% increase in success rates,
* a 22% decrease in errors made,
* a 31% increase in satisfaction rating,
* a 42% decrease in completion times, and
* a 47% decrease in the number of eye fixations.
After method helps users to complete forms more quickly
When we used the “after” method in the first half of the form, participants completed the form seven to ten seconds faster than when we used the “while” and “before and while” methods respectively. Why? Here’s what happened when we used the “while” and “before and while” methods: When several participants noticed an error message while trying to answer a question, they entered one additional character into the input field, than waited for the message to update. If the updated message continued to show an error, they entered another character, then waited for the validation message to update again, and so on, resulting in longer average completion times.
The “before and while” method not only caused longer completion times, but also produced higher error rates and worse satisfaction ratings than the other inline validation variations we tested. Our participants articulated their strong distaste for this methodology: