Nearly 4m UK adults only access the internet on a mobile device, which can make filling in long forms difficult. The user experience of your forms should reflect this continuing shift to on-the-go logging on.
One of the best ways to make it easier for mobile users is to deploy mobile-friendly keyboards. This simple optimisation decreases errors, increases completion speeds and significantly helps conversion rates.
Moving beyond the default setting of a text-only keyboard can turn a good form into a great one.
But our research reveals that a third of home insurance companies aren’t taking advantage of this quick trick.
Our analysis of 33 home insurance forms from both direct insurers and aggregators, showed which companies are using the following three input types:
Email – a keyboard which includes an “@” and a “.”, removing the need to switch between two different keypads while inputting your email address.
Telephone – a keyboard which shows the familiar telephone keypad that appears on-screen when you make a mobile call.
Number – a numerical keyboard which reduces the number of taps needed to input information such as a house number. It looks very similar to a telephone keypad, and makes entering numbers much faster.
Overall, 59.38% of the insurers analysed use email keyboards, 50% use a telephone number keyboard and 52.13% use a number keyboard. The breakdown of mobile keyboard usage between direct companies and aggregators can be seen below. The differences here may appear small but they often swing the balance between form completion and form abandonment.
Many Insurers Are Missing Out On This Quick Win
Adding this capability to a form is simple, but the uptake on insurance forms is low. The following table shows the number of mobile-friendly keyboards, based on the three we surveyed, used by each insurer:
|All three mobile keyboard types used||Just one or two mobile keyboard types||No use of mobile keyboards|
|Lloyds Bank||Nationwide||Swift Cover|
|Saga||Swinton||Quote Me Happy|
|Sainsbury’s Bank||Go Compare||Marks and Spencer|
|Virgin Money||Tesco Bank|
If the leading insurers in the second two columns don’t want to get left behind, they need to take some of the pain of data entry away. Using mobile-friendly keyboards, described by Google Product Director Luke Wroblewski as a “comfortable, touch target-based” option, is a great way to do this.
And the latest research into mobile device use vs PC use further highlights the wisdom of this approach.
Mobile Devices On The March
The March 2017 quarterly snapshot of digital trends by UKOM shows that 50.4m UK users accessed the internet via their desktop, smartphone or tablet. Of those, three-quarters use a PC and a mobile device, but 9% are now mobile-only: a growing trend that isn’t going to disappear.
Their research revealed that smartphones accounted for 48% of all online minutes between January-March 2017, with tablets at 15% and desktops at 37%. So although more adults use a PC than a mobile device, they are spending more time on their smartphones.
And the rise of the app shows no sign of stopping. Four in five mobile minutes are spent on apps with just 18% on web pages. Much of this can be accounted for by social media use, but the switch away from standard web pages can’t be ignored.
Put Smartphones First
For some of your customers, their smartphone is their only computer. And these smartphones come with their own unique issues.
Think about the differences between using your PC to fill in a form and doing it on your smartphone:
- Sitting comfortably in front of your computer, probably at an ergonomically-correct desk, you enjoy good lighting, reliable connection speeds and a full keyboard.
- Smartphone in hand, with its small screen and lack of keyboard, you could be multi-tasking, multi-screening, replying to a text, trying to a cross a road, walking up a flight of stairs or only have one hand free for typing. Your lighting may be compromised, you may have intermittent connection or even time restraints if you’re paying for data.
All these environmental distractions increase the likelihood of form abandonment when your customer uses a mobile device.
So, make it easy for them while they’re dealing with this high cognitive load. Use mobile-friendly keyboards to restrict their input and help them stay within boundaries.
These virtual keyboards boost efficiency for all and there are plenty to choose from to make data entry on a mobile device even easier.