I have used Google Forms to post quick surveys and collect contact information for various purposes. As part of the Google Drive suite of tools, Google Forms is convenient and pretty easy to use. There are similar online form creation services that are just as good, but none as far as I can tell are as stylish as the new Typeform form creation and data collection service, available for free at the beta level.
Typeform survey forms can be as simple or complex as you need, but what makes them unique is how the service allows you to make use of stylish designs and graphics to produce a survey or data collection form that is actually appealing to responders. The site provides a collection of sample forms for surveys, quizzes, ratings, contests, and simple data collection.
As with any well-designed and attractive website, Typeform provides simple add and drop designed tools that allow you to create forms that can be used on cross-platform devices, including tablets and smartphones. Your form can start off with the welcome page for your survey, followed by a series of survey questions.
Adding visual images and objects to your survey makes it consistent with how most of us read and consume information on the Internet. The goal is to have responders do less reading of long confusing questions, and instead use visual aids to help them make quicker responses.
Even a simple color theme and font style can make a form a little more attractive to respond to.
Creating a Form
After you register on the site with your own unique Typeform URL, the form builder consists of four main tools for creating, designing, configuring, and distributing your survey form. The build editor contains a collection of survey items (e.g. multiple-choice, rating, email address, long text, drop-down responses) that you can select from to build your form.
Other data info, such as first and last name and phone number text fields are not yet available, but are coming soon. The Form builder also allows you to drop in a company logo or image to be used for a welcome screen. The form can even start off with a welcome video.
Design: The Design part of the form editor consists of a stylish collection of themes, fonts and color palettes to choose from, or you can start completely from scratch. You can also save your custom themes to be reused for other forms.
The background images provided in Typeform are somewhat limited, but it’s easy enough to add your own images. Typeform is most useful for people with with some understanding of graphic design principles.
Configure Settings: Typeform also includes advanced settings that enable you to receive a custom email notification after each survey is responded to, as well as a user notification that can be emailed to responders.
The Configure section also includes a collection of interface elements that can be useful for helping responders progress through a survey. At any time during the process of creating a form, you can preview how it looks before it is made available for responses.
Distribution: As you might expect, your custom form is assigned a unique URL that you can share on your social networks, blog, or via email. Typeform also recently added a way to get the embed code for placing a form inside your own webpage, or make it a full page display.
The form styles, as you will see, look awesome on mobile devices. Hopefully, the developers will eventually produce a mobile app for using survey forms off-line.
As you collect survey responses, you will, of course, want to view the results. Typeform’s Analytics report feature looks pretty impressive. It collects and reports responses from across devices. You can also download reports in .xls format.
Engaging, Beautiful, and Flexible
Similar to engaging infographics that have become popular in the last year or two, Typeform forms provide the type of graphic appeal that Internet users are becoming accustomed to and expect.
During the beta release, users can create three Typeform forms with a limit of 20 questions per form, and a total of 5000 entries/responses. When Typeform is fully released, the company plans to provide both free and paid plans. Any survey forms you create that go beyond the free plan will be archived until you upgrade to a paid plan. Unfortunately, the company has not yet indicated what the free and paid plans will be like.
Now is a good time to check out Typeform to see how useful it could be for your company, group, or blog. Let us us know what you think of the service so far.