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PCA Predict And Web Form Usability

8 July, 2016

The Pixel team enjoyed their first “Tech Talk” in June: a mini meeting where the team gets together once a month to swap knowledge, news and new ideas to help grow our technical abilities and collective knowledge base.

One interesting topic brought to the table by our Head of Development was the use of PCA Predict. PCA Predict, was established over 15 years ago and it is now a market leading provider of cloud-based address management services.


What is PCA Predict?

Integrating a website with PCA Predict allows content managers and marketers to improve the user experience of any and all of the forms on their website, which require address information.

It works by dynamically searching for the postcode, street, building and even company based on what the user types in an address or postcode field on the form, as they type it. When the correct result is displayed, the user can simply click to select it and it’s then used to auto complete the form.

You can see it in action here on the Strata Homes website, which was one of the first site’s we integrated with the PCA Predict solution.


Improving User Experience With PCA Predict

This relatively simple integration has a huge impact on the user experience offered by the contact forms on the Strata Website and this in turn has a positive effect on the bottom line of the business.

The ISO 9241 standard defines website usability as “effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular website environments”.

Often the barrier between a user completing their goal on a website and the organisation completing their goal in having the website, is a form.

In the case of Strata, the user’s goal on the website is to primarily find out more about a particular housing development or house type. For Strata themselves the goal is to accurately capture that user’s contact details and product interests through these forms, so they can support them in their home buying journey. The completion of both these goals, hinges on the users successful completion of their “contact us” forms.


Typically users expect a form to have the following component parts:

1 - Labels
2 - Validation  
3 - Input fields
4 - Help
5 - Messages
6 - Actions



The way these six components parts are implemented on the website will have the biggest impact on the relationship that form builds between the user and the company.

If a form is frustrating, ineffective or unreliable, then those characteristics will reflect on the company and equally if it’s easy to use, quick, efficient and effective then again those characteristics will reflect on the company.

The PCA Predict integration with Strata’s forms serves to improve the input fields across the postcode and address fields. It reduces the typed input required from the user, which is particularly important for mobile users where data input can be difficult, and it reduces the amount of time required to complete the form.

That means in one, key integration, we can enhance the input fields on the form and offer dynamic help as and when the user requires it because the PCA Predict functionality only appears as the user starts typing their address or postcode. 

Alongside their address lookup and validation software PCA Predict also offer mobile number and email validation services, address data cleaning, AddressBase data products, geocoding, store finder functionality and payment validation services. Find out more about PCA Predict at their website www.pcapredict.com 
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