Make Auto-Fill Useful for You and Your Form Users

Auto-fill can be both a blessing and a curse. While it can help people complete forms more quickly, it can also cause users to assume the information being supplied by the auto-fill algorithm is correct. This is why so many people send unintentionally hilarious text messages when they don’t pay close attention to what their device’s predictive text algorithm brings up.

Online forms

Auto-fill can have unintentionally funny consequences, but it’s also a real time-saver.

Using auto-fill can help people fill out forms 30% faster, according to Google. The technology behind auto-fill was originally designed to help people who have physical disabilities type faster and more accurately and decrease the number of keystrokes required to complete information fields. But it’s useful for anyone (like scientists, doctors, and engineers) who fills out forms and must frequently enter long or difficult-to-spell words.

Auto-Fill Especially Welcome for Mobile Users

When your online forms have auto-fill features, you make things significantly better for people who use your forms on mobile devices. It’s not as easy to type on a phone or tablet touchscreen as it is on a regular keyboard, which means that filling out forms on mobile devices can be a slow and frustrating exercise. Particularly if you use online forms for e-commerce or for potential customers to complete on your landing pages, the more real help you can give form users, the better. Given the choice between shopping from a site that minimizes typing on mobile and one that doesn’t, the business that makes mobile typing more convenient saves time and presents a customer-centric brand image.

Labels and Placeholders Help Users

Clearly labeling form fields is essential online and off, but putting labels and example placeholder text into fields takes it a step further, helping users understand exactly what kind of information they should provide. Typically, label or placeholder text disappears automatically as soon as the user starts entering information. This type of help is extremely important in industries where accuracy has to be maintained, like the insurance industry. As just one example, auto-fill capability helped Madison National Life Insurance save agents time, while ensuring completed forms were accurate.

Auto-Populating Multiple Forms at Once

online forms

If several forms require a particular piece of input, auto-populating multiple fields at once is a smart idea.

You can also use Workflow Automation tools that empower you to auto-populate form fields in multiple online forms at once. Suppose someone’s name is required on two different forms. Auto-population means that when someone types in their name on one form, the information is automatically entered into the name field in the other form, eliminating the need for duplication of effort. Workflow tools designed for new employee onboarding that include auto-populate features can make a tremendous difference in the amount of time and effort it takes for your new hires to complete all the necessary paperwork involved in officially starting work.

Improve Accuracy and Save Time

Fast workflows aren’t of much benefit if accuracy problems result in starting over. Auto-fill capabilities with online forms can prevent accuracy problems. In a workflow that requires several online forms, auto-populate allows form users to type information one time and be confident that information has been input into all fields into which it’s relevant. Reminding auto-fill form users to check fields for accuracy before hitting “submit” for an online form can prevent errors in auto-filled blanks from propagating to multiple forms. By the same token, correcting an error in one field corrects it everywhere else it has been auto-populated.

Online forms and workflows benefit from user help in the form of auto-fill capability. Auto-fill can prevent someone from having to type hard-to-spell technical or scientific terms multiple times. It can ensure that when the same information must be entered multiple times in a form or workflow, that it can be entered once and automatically entered into all the other appropriate places.

PerfectForms is online forms and workflow management software that provides users with easy-to-use workflow tools that can be built without having to program. It uses an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that allows form creators to simply drag form elements into place, and then link online forms into cohesive workflows that improve productivity, save money, and reduce error rates.

Even if you’ve never used PerfectForms before, we encourage you to look at some of our training videos so you can see for yourself how easy it can be to make online forms and workflows that do exactly what you want, including auto-fill and auto-populate fields. With PerfectForms you have the ideal balance between usability, power, and flexibility.


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