It really shouldn’t be that hard to make a form to get feedback online. You just need a way to ask some questions, let people choose from multiple choice options and perhaps add their own feedback, and then let you easily get the data for your own analysis. There’s a ton of tools: Google Spreadsheets, Wufoo, Polldaddy, and more.
Plenty of them are decently easy to use to make forms, but usually they’re confusing and frustrating for users wanting to give feedback. On a computer, they’ll take a ton of back-and-forth between the mouse and keyboard to get the form filled out, and on mobile devices they can be maddeningly difficult to get filled out on a touch screen without tapping the wrong button.
Typeform, a new tool for creating online forms, might just be what we’ve been waiting for. It’s still in beta, but is far more interesting than any other online form tool we’ve ever seen. Here’s why.
Want early access to Typeform? Check out our interview with the Typeform team and leave a comment there to be one of the first to try it out!
Designing Forms for 2013 and Beyond
Typeform is easy to get started with if you’ve ever used another online form tool like Wufoo before. You’ll just create and name a new form, then you’ll be sent to the Build screen where you can drag-and-drop form sections into the order you want. There’s a bit of pre-designed order, though, since you’re supposed to add a Welcome and Thank You screen at the beginning and end of the form, respectively.
There’s one important thing to note: unlike many other online forms, all of your questions are technically on the same page, though they’ll be faded out while the user is answering their current question. With that, your form actually has 3 pages: the Welcome page, the form itself, and the Thank You page.
The beginning and thank you screens can be used for very good branding effect, or to make very unique online forms. You can add a logo or even a video to your opening screen. You could use that to add your site’s logo, or perhaps include a picture, product design mockup, or video, and then use the following form to ask questions about that initial media. With a bit of creativity, you could put that to use in a number of ways. Then, on the closing screen, you can set it to send people who respond to your form back to your own site.
The editing screens for the rest of your form work just as nicely, and make it quick to enter your answers and descriptions directly from your keyboard. Every option that you’d expect – such as making questions mandatory or allowing users to enter their own answers – was right there, and worked great. The UI in Typeform makes it simple and quick to type out your online form and get it looking great.
Tweaking Your Form
Speaking of looking great, Typeforms look great out-of-the-box, but you can tweak them even further if you want. You’ll find options to add a background image to your form or use one of their included textures. You can also tweak the colors or pick from a pre-made color palate. Fonts aren’t neglected either, as you’ll get to pick from a number of nice online fonts from the Google Fonts catalog.
Getting Your Forms Filled Out
The most important thing is getting the feedback or information you want in your form, and Typeform excels at that. It’s designed to make it incredibly simple to fill out forms online from a computer without ever touching your mouse. You can tap your Enter key to start filling out the form, then progress through the entire form – even selecting options in a multiple-choice question – without moving away from your keyboard. No one can use the excuse that it’ll take too long to fill out your form; with Typeform, it’s really, really easy to fill out online forms.
And it’s not just easy on devices with keyboards. Typeform did a great job making their forms touch-ready as well. Instead of everything being aimed at a keyboard, when you look at a Typeform on your phone or tablet, everything will be touch buttons that are easy to hit, and text fields are large enough that you’ll easily be able to tap and then type in your answer. It works great, everywhere.
You can try it out yourself – and give us some feedback about AppStorm at the same time – by filling out the sample AppStorm survey I made with Typeform for this article.
It’ll be easy to get the data from your forms, too. Typeform gives you nicely formatted analytics about the number of people that visited and filled out your form. You’ll also be able to view all of the responses to your forms in a spreadsheet-like interface in the browser, or can download a CSV file of all the responses for your records. It works great, and I couldn’t recommend it more.
If you ever need to create forms for any reason online, then you should definitely go give Typeform a try. Check out the Typeform demo to see how it works and get a chance to join the beta, and if you have a chance, fill out our own AppStorm survey to give us some feedback and also see how a real-world Typeform works. I think you’ll decide that Typeform’s the online solution you’ll always want to use, after trying it out.