Blog Post

[WEBINAR] Form Building & Design: Beyond the Basics

Posted by Miranda Cheatham

Form Building and Design Beyond the Basics webinar series graphic

In this second webinar of our three-part series on form building and design, you’ll learn how to take your digital forms to the next level by creating simple workflows and enhancing existing processes. Go beyond the basics of mobile form building, and design advanced forms for stronger, more quality data collection. Discover best practices for customizing your forms to collect only the data you need, and none that you don’t.

Why Digital Data Collection?

Let’s take a second to expand upon why digital data collection is a sound, intelligent choice, and why it’s so important to embrace best practices – especially those that relate to UX, form design and data flow. Through mobile data collection with our application, organizations can:

  • Collect data instantly, regardless of location and internet connection
  • Track and analyze progress of projects, plans and overall processes
  • Identify business insights, gaps and opportunities
  • Ensure quality assurance and compliance
  • Predict and prevent incidents and injury
  • Deliver information instantly, efficiently and securely
  • Automate business workflows, optimizing operations

What We Covered in Form Building & Design: Part 1

In case you missed it, click here to check out the first of our three-part webinar series. Get acquainted with the basics and learn more about navigating the form building process for:

  • Question and field types
  • Designing for mobile devices
  • Asking the right questions
  • Logical question order
  • Selecting and labeling the right form fields
  • Field formatting
  • Considering user pain points

Designing for Mobile Devices

Now that we’ve mastered the basics, let’s address some more advanced, overarching tips to keep in mind when designing for mobile devices:

  • Keep the device in mind – optimize for small screens and tiny movements
  • Minimize length of the user journey
  • Be concise, direct and to-the-point
  • Utilize required vs. optional features
  • Provide the necessary resources
  • Nix repetitiveness: insignificant or unnecessary fields and clicks
  • Group and categorize

Enhanced Form Fields

By now you should be familiar with our basic form fields, so we’ll take a look at what we call our enhanced form fields. These live right below the basic form field options in the form builder. Also known as calculated, attached file, repeat groups, and subforms.

  • Calculated – Calculate values based on other values provided (or the outcome of questions)
  • Attached File – Attach outside resources like images or PDFs
  • Subforms – Group questions into different categories (often pertinent to an overarching theme)
    Repeat Groups – Similar to a subform, a set of questions that can be answered multiple times

Advanced Settings

Now that we’ve covered each of the form fields, we can move onto the field properties that make up each form field type. The anatomy of each of the Form Field Properties are fairly simple and can differ per each field, though you will generally notice the following in the properties section:

  • Label – Prompt displayed on the form field to the user so they know what they’re answering
  • Type – Indicates to the mobile device the format of the answer
  • Hint – Displayed below the field on the form to help people answer a specific question
  • Initial Answer – Default answer provided by you, placed in the question field
  • Identifier – How the field is identified in the form (the name of the field)

Accessibility Settings

Accessibility settings are three options available in your advanced settings, per each form field, which allow you to set these fields as Active, Required or Read-Only. Let’s run through the type of accessibility and their functions:

  • Active – Visible or invisible as mandatory rule or based on a condition
  • Required – Compulsory, open or relevance based on condition
  • Read-only – Readable, open or relevance based on condition

Utilizing Resources

Taking the time to implement Resources will save your users time spent searching for or re-entering existing data. That in turn translates to more quality data, by eliminating entry for information that can be pre-populated.

Device Magic’s Resources function offers features that further enhance the ways you can use Mobile Forms:

Conditional Rules & Destinations

Device Magic users have the option to set rules that enable when a Destination is active based on data collected in their forms. Basically, you can think of a Destination containing a rule(s) as being dormant until its conditions have been met.

There’s no limit to the number of form Destinations you can set up within your Device Magic account. Form Questions and Destinations can be completely customized to fit your workflow needs:

  • Question conditions
    • Required or Optional
    • Yes/No
  • Destination conditions – (set rules to enable a Destination)
    • If/Then
    • Customization

Answers to Common Questions

[ Get answers to many other questions with our mobile forms FAQs ]

1. Is there a limit to the number of forms you can build?

No, there are no restrictions on the number of forms you can build or how many submissions you can have with Device Magic’s mobile forms solution.

2. What devices are compatible with Device Magic?

Device Magic has native forms apps for both iOS and Android devices:

iOS iOS – Mobile Forms

android Android – Forms

The Device Magic mobile forms app can be download in either Google Play or the Apple App Store.

3. Do you have the ability to segment forms by crews/departments to avoid confusion?

Yes, you can create user groups to segment your teams and control who has access to which forms in their mobile forms app. The account administrator can determine permissions and access for each user on the account.

Once you create a form on your account, you can share it across all of the devices associated with your account. Or, you can make the form available for only the specific devices or users you choose. – is there a way to put text in the form without using the text box.

4. Is the licensing based on users or devices?

Licensing is available on a per device per month plan. You can find more information about our plans here.

5. Can you pre-populate multiple forms using the Dispatch feature?

Dispatch lets you send forms with pre-populated data to notify employees in the field or on the road of new tasks. You can send one partially completed form to one person or multiple connected devices. The form can include key information such as the job site, a description of the task and the customer name. After your tech completes the job, they finish filling out the form and submit it.

6. Are you able to sketch on an image taken within a form?

When you’re building a form with a ‘Sketch Question’, it will appear on a users devices with the option to take a photo in the moment or upload one which they can then draw or annotate on.

7. Mobile forms work offline, but what happens to data if you don’t have a connection?

You can collect data and submit your forms as usual using the Device Magic mobile forms app. The information will be stored until connectivity is regained, and then will continue to the selected Destination; you don’t have to do anything else.

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