Single-Page vs. Multi-Page Forms: When to Use Which

Should you use a single-page or multi-page form? Many designers have wondered which approach provides a better user experience. The answer, though, might not be so absolute. There are advantages and disadvantages to both that you need to consider. Deciding which is best depends on the context of your form.

Better For Editing Fields

A multi-page form spreads data fields across multiple pages. This spreading makes it difficult for users to navigate back and edit their input. They have to click the back button several times and wait for each page to load. Then they have to track where the specific field is in the page order. This process requires more effort and is much slower.

A single-page form makes it easier for users to go back and edit their input in previous sections. It makes checking their input easier as well. All they have to do is scroll up and find the field.

You should use a single-page form if the input for future fields depends on the input from past fields. Putting the fields on one page allows users to reference past fields quicker.

A single-page form is also useful if users tend to change their minds about previous input. Changing their mind can often occur with input involving personal preferences rather than personal information.

For example, the user won’t likely change their mind about their name or email. However, they could easily change their mind about the color and size of a shirt they’re buying. As such, a form that contains a lot of preferential information would benefit more from a single-page for easier editing.

Better First Impression for Starting Forms

Most forms are divided into different sections. Placing many sections on a single page can make the form look long and overwhelming. If it looks overwhelming at first impression, users might not even begin the form.

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