Though often maligned, forms are essential to the workplace. They collect information in a standardized manner so it can be used for any number of purposes: enrollment in a fringe benefit program, requesting help for an IT problem, reporting business trip expenses, or signing up for the company volleyball team.
Fortunately, businesses are largely shifting from paper forms to electronic forms, which are faster and more accurate for everyone involved. Electronic forms also lead to sometimes significant savings on paper and ink as well as time. You have many options for creating forms. In fact, your word processing software may have some form templates. But the best software to create forms is software designed expressly for that purpose. Look for the following features in your forms software.
Auto-population saves time and prevents errors. Whether it offers “auto-complete” functionality based on common input responses, or whether it’s able to use one field of information to populate multiple forms, auto-population is a feature you should require. The best software to create forms takes as many measures as possible to make things easy on the people who will be filling out forms.
You may not think of mobility as a big deal when you evaluate forms software, but it really can make a tremendous difference. Suppose your business sends employees into the field, to make repairs, deliver items, or consult with clients. When you make the forms they use available on mobile devices, everyone benefits. Your delivery driver can mark delivery status on his tablet as soon as the delivery is made. If a sales team member receives a new order from a client, she can submit the order immediately. In today’s business world, the best software to create forms incorporates mobility.
Sometimes forms stand alone in their function. But many times, forms represent one part of a complex workflow. Think about when you bring a new employee into your company. You have to collect a substantial amount of information before an employee ID badge can be made, keys can be cut, or a computer workstation can be set up. Your forms software should allow you to connect the forms you create into logical workflows that automatically notify the appropriate personnel when steps are completed. You could, for example, have the IT department automatically alerted to assign a laptop once an employee’s ID badge has been made and issued, with no phone calls necessary to coordinate it all.
Outstanding User Interface
Of course you want to create online forms that look terrific and are easy for people to use. But the best software to create forms goes further by providing an outstanding interface for the people who use it to create the forms in the first place. If your form creation software is clunky or non-intuitive, people will avoid using it, or may find it overly frustrating and confusing. Those who create forms and workflows should have an interface that makes sense: a “blank canvas” onto which they can arrange fields how they want easily. Linking forms together to create workflows should be similarly intuitive and not require advanced IT skills.
Integration With Other Software and Data Sources
Imagine you have a spreadsheet or database full of information that you would like to use to populate a form. Can your forms software pull data in from other sources without a custom programming effort? What if your business takes in information from your website, like customer or purchase information? Does your form software know what to do with the data it collects? Forms software today should be able to do this, and it should be able to do it without your having to write programming code. Even if this is not something you need now, it’s smart to insist that your forms software have these capabilities so you’ll be ready should the need arise.
Building online forms does not have to mean using your word processing software to create something that’s just acceptable. The best software to create forms is designed for that purpose and includes a suite of features that makes life easy for the people who use the forms and for those who create them. Outstanding form creation software should also allow you to create streamlined workflows, work on mobile devices, and should let you do all this without programming. PerfectApps does all this and more. It’s flexible and powerful enough that PerfectApps users often discover many innovative uses they hadn’t thought of before. Watch the PerfectApps demo and see the possibilities for yourself.