Reasons You Should Avoid Using Placeholders Instead Of Field Labels

Getting people to sign up for your website’s offers isn’t exactly the easiest task for brands, but it isn’t an impossible job, unless you choose to use field labels instead of placeholders.


Field labels are the text that you see next to a field, showing you what information you have to enter into that field. Placeholders are the (usually fainter) version of the text that is placed in the field itself, to show you what you have to enter in it also. The placeholders disappear when you begin type into that field. They both serve the same purpose, but using placeholders instead of field labels can have a negative impact on the sign-up process, in terms of completion and conversion rates.


  • The fact that placeholders disappear when you type into the field, puts a burden on the short term memory of the users, especially if they have to go back and make changes to their form.


  • It’s pretty much impossible for users to check back on their information before they actually submit it.


  • Users won’t know how to fix their errors when they pop up, because there aren’t any instructions or labels showing the description of the field.


  • It is really frustrating to have a placeholder text that disappears when a cursor is placed in a form field when users are using their keyboard to navigate.


  • Users may miss out on some important fields because of their lack of labels and that will cause them to have to waste some time locating it.


  • In some cases, users may actually think that the field is one which has already been completed, so they may just disregard it.


  • Editable text placeholders may call for users to actually delete the text manually, because it doesn’t automatically disappear when they click on it.



Try not to use placeholders instead of field labels in your sign-up forms. They can lead to lower conversion rates because of the unfortunate way that they seem to frustrate and inconvenience users who visit your website.



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