How to Pick Images for Better Form Engagement

F.M. Dostoyevsky used to say that beauty will save the world. We’re saying it should save the digital world, too. 

In the endeavor of making everything as beautiful as possible in your work, maybe you’ve wondered how you can make your forms look… well, less formy. In the end, a nice-looking form is a converting form. You need to ensure your web form is visually engaging in order to get a response from your audience. Especially if you are in an industry where the product is visual – photography, design, architecture, online stores, or in industries that rely on visual results like beauty salons, fitness, healthcare.

Understanding what type of responses your images attract is essential for better form building, so we want to make your life easier and hand out a few tips on what images to use on your forms in order to increase conversions. Of course, you can keep the form simple, but then apply these rules to the webpage you post the form on, whether it’s a contact page, a sign-up page or a blog post.

Use images that REAL people can relate to

Forget the stock photos with unnatural emotions and unrealistic situations.

Remember those smiling housewives while using the latest vacuum cleaner? And how about those incredibly joyous corporate people having great laughs in meetings? Who holds that type of meetings to analyze data anyway? Or even worse, a man at the office engaging in ridiculous efforts to look cool?

Big image no-no’s

You get the picture, so to say.

You have to ask yourself: Who are those people? Can you really relate to them? And more importantly, can your users?

So when building your online forms, make sure you use photography resources in the right way. We’re not saying you should absolutely avoid stock photos, we’re just advising you to first take into consideration some important factors that will help you embellish your web forms in a way they will attract positive attention.

Are your form images unique?

If you’re using stock photos, they evidently aren’t. When using web forms for business – like online order forms – there’s no guarantee your competitor isn’t using the exact same image you’re using.

What’s more to the point, imagery helps shape your brand. You can’t help your USP unless you make a habit of using high-quality and unique pictures. Otherwise, you cannot gain user trust as an authentic, tangible brand.

People feel more at ease when doing business with teams they can see. In the same manner, they feel more comfortable buying your products if they are depicted in authentic, plausible settings.

Of course, not everyone in your office will be willing to be included in photographs. But if some of them do, that’s more than enough. At 123FormBuilder we’ve found it to be a fun team exercise! Here’s a screenshot from the 1-year anniversary video for our WordPress plugin, CaptainForm.

real life images

Our main advice is: use images of real people as often as possible.

If still using stock photos, follow these rules

Creating unique images is not always feasible, as not all of us have access to a professional photographer. So it’s ok to sometimes resort to stock photos.

Just take into consideration these guidelines when choosing photographs for your forms or web pages:

  • the pictures should be relevant to your business or activity;
  • they should be believable and realistic;
  • be consistent in terms of setting and lighting when showcasing a range of similar products;
  • make sure your images provide a better understanding of what it is you try to accomplish with your form;
  • and to conclude, is your form better if you remove the image?


Cristina is a Content Writer for 123FormBuilder. She helps the company communicate the product through blog posts, landing pages, brochures, infographics, and email marketing messages. She's always eager to learn new skills, so when she's not writing she's brushing up on UX Design principles or flirting with photography.

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