Archive for August, 2008
Form Widget Size Calculation Upgraded
To accommodate users who need to create forms with a large number of fields, we’ve recently introduced a much more sophisticated way to calculate form widget size. If forms on your site currently display a scrollbar, we strongly advise you to upgrade the form embedding code.
Refresh the Code on Your Website When You Add a Field
Once you have inserted the HTML code for the form widget on your site, we cannot resize it at our end. That means that whenever you add more input fields, you must refresh the code on your website. If you don’t do it, a scrollbar may show up, and some users may not be able to see the bottom of the form.
Space at the Bottom of Web Forms Is Normal
The spare space at the bottom of web forms is there for a reason: leaving enough space for error messages that may occur during form submission. Here again, if you remove that space, a scrollbar may show up, and some users may not see the bottom of the form.
Optimizing form widget size is not a simple issue because it depends on the rendering characteristics of the diverse web browsers, as well as on the different aspects of each form. If you believe the size of a form you’ve created is not optimal, let us know.
We’re pleased to now support two form layouts.
Question (a.k.a. field name) and input field aligned horizontally (default):
Question and input field aligned vertically:
Which Layout Should You Use?
Most people find web forms designed with the first layout clearer and easier to read. That’s why we use it by default whenever you create a form.
The best layout to use depends on the length of the questions asked on the form.
- When a form is made of short questions like name or email address, prefer the first layout. This is what you should use, for example, for contact forms.
- When the form contains longer questions like Why do you want to work for us?, you should rather use the second layout. It turns out that you should use the second layout for most complex forms like web surveys and job application forms.
How to Change the Layout of a Form
You can change the layout of a form in the form details page. Note that if you’re using a form widget embedded into your site, you must update the HTML code on your site whenever you switch layout.
This is simply because the layout affects the size of the form. Forms accessed by their FormSmarts.com URL don’t have this restriction.
Any Feedback About Form Layouts?
We welcome your feedback about this feature.
Whenever someone uses one of your forms, we email you the form submission straight away. That is, at this time, the only way we support for you to access form results.
That’s great if you need to collect time-sensitive information that needs to be processed individually. For example, for contact forms or order forms.
For most individuals and small businesses, their email account is where data is safest. Free email services like Gmail or Yahoo give you reliable data storage, that’s an advantage that is often overlooked.
But sometimes what you want is really to collect form data, store it somewhere, and use it later. That’s what you need for medium and large scale surveys, registration forms, and the likes.
Stored form results is the next big thing coming up on FormSmarts.
What Will Change with Stored Form Results?
When this feature becomes available, you’ll have the option to store form submissions on FormSmarts. You’ll then be able to download them, export them to Microsoft Excel, get them emailed to you weekly, or get them via a private RSS feed.
Stored Form Results will only be available to FormSmarts Pro customers. Users of the free service can however get a free upgrade to FormSmarts Pro if they earn enough SmartsPoints, FormSmarts’ reward scheme.
Anything to Say?
We’re open to suggestions about other ways to let users retrieve stored form data.