Making form-filling faster, easier and smarter

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Webmaster Level: Intermediate

One of the biggest bottlenecks on any conversion funnel is filling out an online form – shopping and registration flows all rely on forms as a crucial and demanding step in accomplishing the goals of your site. For many users, online forms mean repeatedly typing common information like our names and addresses on different sites across the web – a tedious task that causes many to give up and abandon the flow entirely.

Chrome’s Autofill and other form-filling providers help to break down this barrier by remembering common profile information and pre-populating the form with those values. Unfortunately, up to now it has been difficult for webmasters to ensure that Chrome and other form-filling providers can parse their form correctly. Some standards exist; but they put onerous burdens on the implementation of the website, so they’re not used much in practice.

Today we’re pleased to announce support in Chrome for an experimental new “autocomplete type” attribute for form fields that allows web developers to unambiguously label text and select fields with common data types such as ‘full-name’ or ‘street-address’. With this attribute, web developers can drive conversions on their sites by marking their forms for auto-completion without changing the user interface or the backend.


Just add an attribute to the input element, for example an email address field might look like:

<input type=”text” name=”field1” x-autocompletetype=”email” />

We’ve been working on this design in collaboration with several other autofill vendors. Like any early stage proposal we expect this will change and evolve as the web standards community provides feedback, but we believe this will serve as a good starting point for the discussion on how to best support autofillable forms in the HTML5 spec. For now, this new attribute is implemented in Chrome as x-autocompletetype to indicate that this is still experimental and not yet a standard, similar to the webkitspeech attribute we released last summer.

For more information, you can read the full text of the proposed specification, ask questions on the Webmaster help forum, or you can share your feedback in the standardization discussion!

Comments:

Congratulations! You've discovered botcoins, a new currency for webmasters! You can use botcoins for your daily searches, even without typing anything! (100 botcoins = 1 free search). To redeem your botcoins, simply find a Google Search Team member in person, hand over your botcoin certificate, and request your query. The Googler will then make the search for you. Note: Googler may ignore you or choose to search for a different phrase or topic if they are in a bad mood. And, currently no mining opportunities are provided for botcoins.