How Designing HTML Forms Can Be Surprisingly Easy

There was a time when, if you wanted to create online forms, you had to know hyper-text mark-up language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS). Web designers still learn these skills, but tools now exist that allow people who don’t know how to program to build online forms and automatic workflows.

HTML forms

You can create HTML forms without knowing HTML.

While you can learn a few basic HTML commands in a few days, mastery of HTML and CSS for creation of custom electronic forms that are linked into workflows can take years. And even once you’re fluent in using them, you will probably still experience some degree of trial and error when creating forms and workflows this way.

PerfectForms makes it so you don’t have to know HTML, CSS, or any other type of programming to create custom forms and workflows that look terrific and accomplish what you want. Here’s how easy it can be to design HTML forms without knowing HTML by using PerfectForms.

 

Plan Ahead

If you’re generally happy with your paper-based forms, but want to speed up the form-handling process, you can start there. When electronic forms look just like the paper forms people are used to, there’s very little in the way of a learning curve for users. If your paper forms aren’t great, you can plan for an improved electronic version by sketching out what you want the form to look like, or marking up an existing form to indicate what you want to change. Once you know what you want your form to look like, PerfectForms gives you a blank canvas onto which you place the various form elements.

 

Drag and Drop Elements Into Place

With PerfectForms, rather than writing HTML and CSS code, you drag and drop elements into place on the canvas. First, you specify how many pixels wide and tall your form is. Then you can drag text, pictures, buttons, and blank fields for entering text or numeric input right onto the canvas and position them where you want. You can modify their size, fonts, and colors to coordinate with your company logo or to color-code forms by function. For example, IT request forms might be green, while vacation request forms are blue.

 

Use Radio Button Groups for Either / Or Choices

HTML forms

Radio buttons and drop-down menus make form completion quick.

Suppose you want to set up a workflow so that once a supervisor approves an expense request, the originator of the request and the appropriate person in the finance department are automatically notified. You can provide “radio buttons,” with one for “Approved” and the other for “Denied” to make it quick for the approving authority to render their decision. Once your form is created, you can create a workflow with automated alerts triggered by specific form actions (like approvals or denials). This lets stakeholders know where their forms have progressed to in various processes.

 

Drop-Down Menus Assist With Multiple Choice Form Fields

Some form fields involve selecting from a set group of answers, and with PerfectForms you can create drop-down menus that present these choices for people completing the form to choose from. This not only makes filling out the form faster, it also avoids spelling errors, and prevents people from making choices that are not valid. Suppose you create a form for ordering t-shirts for the annual company picnic. You could create one drop-down menu to allow people to select the correct size and another drop-down menu to allow them to select amongst the available colors.

 

Styles and Themes Allow for Consistency

If you want your department’s or your company’s forms to all have a similar look and feel, you can specify styles and themes so that forms are consistent in terms of font, colors, graphics, and even things like drop-shadows under blank fields. Once set up, styles and themes make it easy to create new forms that have the correct look and feel so that even first-time users of the forms are comfortable with them. Styles and themes allow you to enjoy custom-designed electronic forms without having to hire a designer, learn HTML, or bother the IT department.

 

Conclusion

Organizations in numerous industries have discovered how PerfectForms allows them to cut down drastically on resource use by making electronic survey forms, and how to automate complex processes so they’re considerably faster and more accurate. Doing what PerfectForms does used to require hiring a programmer and/or a designer, but now, creating beautiful, functional forms that can be linked into automated workflows can be done without writing any programming code at all. If you’d like to know more, please drop us a line at any time, or try out PerfectForms for free and see for yourself how easy it is to create visually stunning HTML forms.

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