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4 Feb 2016

Do you think shifting from paper forms to Intelledox Infiniti SmartForms is as simple as replicating your forms online? If so, there are huge advantages you will miss out on. To gain maximum advantages of changing to electronic forms you need to shift your entire thinking about forms.

1. Rethink Processes

Electronic forms offer many advantages over its paper-based rival. Implemented correctly, electronic forms have the potential to greatly increase productivity by omitting the need to manually enter answers from paper forms into a data base. This means you should rethink your entire form process. Do a thorough analysis - from data collection to data retention - to decide where processes can be made more efficient thanks to the digitalisation of forms.

Tip:  think of electronic forms as a business tool rather than a means to collect information.

2. Rethink Form Design

Form design is powerful. It is so powerful it has the potential to increase the quality of data collected. A well designed form can lead to less abandonment, fewer errors, a reduction in user support overheads and greater cooperative responses. It is important to focus on simplicity, clarity and user experience.

It is also important to remember every touch point with your clients, customers and stakeholders is a reflection of your brand and organisation - another reason to ensure your forms are well designed and provide the best possible user experience.

Tip:  make sure your design is simple but you still include enough information so respondents know exactly what they need to do.

3. Rethink Form Structure

How many times have you filled out a form and been told to skip forward to question 25 because you answered 'no' to question 19? Well those days are gone. With the digitalisation of forms, you can hide questions and fields based on what is relevant to the respondent. This creates a better, more personalised user experience.

You can also pre-populate any reoccurring information, making the process of filling out forms quicker and simpler. For example, in our project management software, OmniStar, the information you collect during an Expression of Interest stage can be saved and used to prepopulate fields when a user applies during subsequent stages.

Tip:  for better quality data and more cooperative responses, always put yourself in the respondent's shoes and make filling out forms as easy as possible.

4. Rethink Data Collection

When transitioning from paper forms to SmartForms it is the perfect time to evaluate the need for each of your questions. Does the data collected still serve a purpose? Could certain questions be grouped together? Can information collected build on itself and be pre-populated in subsequent questions?

Tip:  To increase the quality of data collected re-think the questions you ask and only ask the questions that count.

Digitalising your forms is much more than replicating your paper forms online. It is a whole new way of thinking about forms - from design and form structure through to what data you would like to collect.  Follow the simple tips above and you will be well on your way to digitally transforming this part of your organisation.