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Is 7 to 9 field better or worse than 5 field form? Sometimes user may like to fill in some more information. Inputing some more information might make it more authentic.
Any experience with this?
For example, a site I used to work on, the "Join Us" form was quite large, gathering various data. But it was laid out in separate sections which were easily discernible, with plenty of information about which sections meant what, and which fields were mandatory and it didn't stop signups.
So in summary, if you lay out your form nicely into relevant sections and inform the user of what each bit means, then you shouldn't have too many problems.
These are my thoughts, Many other people's milages may vary ;-)
Your next page will then present him with a form requesting some further information and he thinks "not another one! not to worry, i've filled in one and this is shortish".
If you then send him yet another form, you are really in the realm of him weighing "I've spent five minutes already on this sign up and don't want to waste that" against "I've spent long enough already and am going elsewhere".
Expectations can be managed through stage numbers (Stage 1 of 4); and I advise this where a long form cannot be avoided. Showing the user the whole form, all at once, is not recommended as it will simply scare off many potential members.