Use Form Software That Lets You Learn By Doing
Perhaps you have heard the (possibly apocryphal) tale of the ceramics teacher who divided his class into two groups: one graded on the quantity of work, and the other graded on the quality of work. One group would be graded solely on the volume of the pots they produced, while the other group would only need to bring in a single, perfect pot for grading.
At grading time, however, the highest quality works were made by the people who were being graded for quantity. That’s because they spent their time learning by doing, making mistakes, and recovering from them rather than theorizing about how to produce that single, perfect pot. The lesson is, we learn by doing.
You could read countless form software manuals end to end and still not be able to produce forms as well as someone who played around with the software, experimented, and learned by doing. Does your software for making online forms allow you this learning luxury?
Mistakes Can Be Amazing Learning Tools
Think about a skill you learned, whether it’s making a pie crust from scratch or saddling a horse. Chances are, you made plenty of mistakes along the way – unforeseen problems that couldn’t be learned from a recipe or a typical instructor. Those mistakes teach you something equally as valuable as knowing what to do, and that’s what not to do.
In other words, knowing how your car’s manual transmission works won’t prevent you from stalling out the first time you try driving it because you have to learn by actually doing it. Similarly, business processes and the software you use to create them benefit from overcoming actual mistakes.
Does Your Form Software Allow You to “Fail Safely”?
In the earliest days of computer programming, programmers had to use something called job control language, or JCL, a series of mysterious characters and spaces that would tell the mainframe computer to compile your code. Miss even a single character of JCL, and you couldn’t try to compile your code and see if it worked. In other words, you really couldn’t fail “safely,” because JCL mistakes could only be fixed by poring over every character of the JCL to find which one was wrong, and it was tremendously frustrating.
Coding is still hard, but it’s easier for programmers to try code to see if it works without first having to overcome ridiculous gatekeeping steps like JCL. Likewise, your form software should allow you to easily play around with forms and test them out, so you can see what works and what doesn’t and move forward accordingly.
Are You Locked into Less-than-Stellar Workflows?
Likewise, workflow software shouldn’t keep you locked into a workflow that turns out to be not quite right. Workflows are a huge influence on how efficient a business is, and workflows that don’t “flow” don’t allow organizations to enjoy the efficiency benefits that sleek, well-tested workflows do. Don’t bother with workflow software that doesn’t allow you to easily modify workflows. Steps change, regulations change, and technology changes, and that means that workflows must evolve as well. Nobody has time for workflow software that locks an organization into workflows that are hard to change even when they no longer meet needs.
Form Software Should Work with Rather than Against You
If you have been in business for any length of time, you probably have experience with software that feels remarkably user-antagonistic. Workflow software that seems to be working against you is frustrating. It usually leads to compromise workflows that aren’t ideal, but that were all you could coax from the software. You’ll know you have the right software when it feels like your software is in it with you, and is there to help you succeed rather than hold you back. We’ve come a long way since the days of mainframes and non-visual user interfaces, and you shouldn’t have to put up with software that seemingly has it in for you.
Learning by doing addresses how our brains work, where we learn “scripts” about what to do and what to avoid. This is true whether we’re learning to swing a golf club or create a workflow. The software we use for business should make it easy for us to learn by doing, and PerfectForms is a shining example. Why not sign up for a trial and test drive PerfectForms for free? You’ll be astounded at how quickly you can create the exact forms and workflows you need.
Tags: form software