How reducing donation form friction affects donor conversion

Experiment ID: #1007


CaringBridge offers free personal, protected websites for people to easily share updates and receive support and encouragement from their community during a health journey. Every 7 minutes, a CaringBridge website is created for someone experiencing a health event.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 03/03/2015 - 03/07/2015

The main donation form on Caringbridge’s site had historically used the out-of-the-box styling options that came with their donation form widget.  This styling had each field stretch the full width of the screen with each field on a separate line.  This layout created a long page that had the impression of requiring a great deal of information.

Our hypothesis was that the increased form length created cognitive friction in the donor’s mind which ultimately would be affecting the conversion rate.  As a result, we wanted to rearrange the fields to create the impression of a shorter form.

Research Question

Does reducing the visual length of a donation form reduce friction enough to improve conversion?


C: Long Donation Form
T1: Short Donation Form


  Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Long Donation Form 5.2%
T1: Short Donation Form 7.2% 39.4% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 1,103 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 7,588, and the level of confidence is above 95% the experiment results are valid.

Flux Metrics Affected

The Flux Metrics analyze the three primary metrics that affect revenue (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift). This experiment produced the following results:

    0% increase in traffic
× 39.4% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

With the rearranged form creating a 39% increase in donor conversion, it is evident that the friction created in the mind of the donor by the long page was affecting performance. In addition to utilizing shorter forms in the future, we will also look for other ways to minimize the visual impact of the donation form.

Experiment Documented by Jeff Giddens
Jeff Giddens is President of NextAfter.

Question about experiment #1007

If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.