Contact, Connect, Communicate: Designing Your Contact PageBy Jennifer Farley
When a visitor comes to your site and has a look around, one action you’ll want them to take is to contact you. They may be contacting you for more information, or if they’re very impressed, to hire you for your services. All going to plan, your contact page will be something they will actively seek out on your site. So what should information should appear on your contact page and what information should you be attempting to get from your visitors through your web form?
Let’s start with the blatantly obvious. You should have a phone number and an email address on your contact page. A postal address is required if visitors want to meet with you and also to provide a sense of security that there is a real and physical address that your are operating from. Some designers place this sort of contact information in the footer of every page, as well as on the contact page. I believe in making things as easy as possible for the visitor, and if they can find what they want quickly and easily in the footer of any page they visit, that can only be a good thing.
Google and Bing maps are easy to embed on any page and certainly make it easier for potential clients to physically find you if necessary. These maps also allow you to provide driving directions from where they are to where you are and are just another small element that improves your visitor’s experience.
If you’re an online social butterfly, don’t forget to add buttons to let people know where you are on Facebook, Twitter, Gowalla or whatever your social network of choice.
When creating a form for your visitors to contact you, make sure that you are collecting all the information that YOU need from them, such as their contact details, what they are are contacting you about. Depending on what type of service you offer, you may need to add extra fields, check boxes, radio buttons or drop down menus to your contact form. For example, if someone is inquiring about the costs of your design services, you might offer a drop down box specifying logo design, web design, graphic design.
If you don’t have a contact page, you are completely missing an opportunity to engage with your visitors, and you are potentially losing clients. They are not difficult to put together, and below I’ve collected some examples to provide a bit of inspiration if you’re not sure where to start.
What do you think of these contact pages? Do you think the contact forms should be unadorned with little or no design, or do you like the contact pages with extra illustration and customization?