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The Reactions Engine – the First Step Toward Interactive Forms

Form Optimisation

If you are reading this then hopefully you have started to learn about the benefits of optimising the forms on your website. Welcome, and congratulations.Thumbs Up

Form tracking tools like Formisimo will give you information about the average and median times that users spend completing your form. It can also provide you with insights into the number of corrections, interactions and key presses that a person makes. Over time you will build up an average for your site. You should always try and decrease the time it takes for users to complete your forms until you reach a point where you cannot decrease the number of fields or information asked for.

These metrics are useful on their own, and you can continue to make changes on your form to try and see improvements, and in turn increased conversions.

But once you make these changes, the form is what it is. You change it, then release it onto your website and hope that it converts as effectively and quickly as possible. Your visitors may still hate it, or find it confusing (hopefully they won’t, but they might) and you will not be able to help each struggling user out. You might see the averages go up, and not be able to reach out to your potential customers and ask them what exactly they are struggling with.

This is about to change. These averages, along with one of Formisimo’s most powerful features, the reaction engine, give you the ability to help those who are struggling to complete your form in an active and engaging way that has not been previously possible.

The Reactions Engine

Reactions Engine

Formisimo reaction engine allows you to add reactions when a user exhibits certain irregular behaviour. Say for instance the average user spends 5 minutes completing your contact form. You can decide that if someone has not completed the form within 7 minutes, there may be something holding them up, confusing them, or otherwise stopping them from successfully submitting the form. They need help, or at least a bit of encouragement. Using Formisimo, you can decide to add a reaction should the user spend over this amount of time completing the form.

You have two options – either you can display an image of your choice in any location on the page you want. The image can be a friendly message, or something along the lines of ‘Arrgh! Are you struggling to fill out this pesky form? Give us a call on 0800 XXX XXXX and we’ll do everything we can to help out’, or you can give a prompt to email you instead.

Instead of an image, you can also add a nifty bit of code in the form of a javascript function which will let you do more or less anything you want. Your imagination (and coding ability) is the limit. A dancing mariachi band can womble across the top of the screen if the user gets over halfway through the form, to encourage users to stick with it and complete the rest. You can also do more sensible things using pop up boxes with other options of how to get these potentially fantastic bits of information to you.


You can decide when you want to make your reaction appear, based on users’ behaviour. The engine allows you to pick a metric of your choice (like corrections, time or number of interactions) and also when you want to display it – choose from a set value (such as 90 seconds), the site average for that variable, or a percentage over the site average (say 50% over the site average).

This feature should appeal to everyone, but may be especially important for websites that have fairly lengthy forms that require a significant amount of time and effort to complete. Previously you could give potential contacts a few words of encouragement at the beginning, but the reactions engine allows you to respond to concerning behaviour and remedy problems.

This tool gives you the unparalleled ability to speak to users that you may otherwise lose. Your forms are and always will be an obstacle to overcome, but we at Formisimo are committed to trying to help you make your forms better, improve users’ experience of them and make the world ever so slightly less angry.

If you would like to try out Formisimo and give our reactions engine a whirl, we are currently accepting requests to be a part of our Beta. Email us, or head to our sign up page. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing how you get on when you use the reactions engine!