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Web Form Usability & Accessibility

FormSmarts is dedicated to providing universal form accessibility: our web forms should be accessible to anyone, using any browser, on any device.

FormSmarts aims at making our web forms accessible to any anyone, using any HTML-capable browser. We are actively testing that HTML forms created using our form builder work with all browsers and devices, and strive to comply with the relevant web standards.

  • JavaScript is preferred for interactivity, but not required
  • Cookies are used if present, but not required
  • We make no systematic use of CAPTCHAs

Form Usability vs. Spam Protection

It is today standard practice to protect web forms against spam and abuse by challenging users with CAPTCHA systems. Such systems are meant to ensure forms are only submitted by humans, not by automated software agents. The systematic use of CAPTCHAs to prevent form spam seriously affects web form usability and accessibility. At a minimum, CAPTCHAs interfere with users goals, and slow them down.
  • CAPTCHAs annoy web users
  • They increase the time needed to complete a form — some sources report that 150,000 hours are lost globally every day on CAPTCHAs
  • They increase the chances of form abandonment: potential customers go elsewhere
  • They prevent some visitors from using web forms — not only visually-impaired users, but also those using some mobile devices, or non native English speakers in the case of audio CAPTCHAs
For these reasons, we have developed a “smart” form spam filter that limits our reliance on challenge techniques such as CAPTCHAs. FormSmarts only challenges users as a last resort, when evidences reveal a likely spamming attempt. Most users will never have to take a challenge, because analysis of the submitted form content, browsing behavior, and network standing show their submission is unlikely to be spam. Only a minority of borderline users are required to complete challenges to proceed.

Submitting a form with, or without a CAPTCHA protection

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