Forms exist to benefit the person completing them. From having to write less to being given direction on how to most accurately fulfill the requirement of each field, forms help direct the easy submission of necessary data. As the ancient Romans believed their structures should be solid, useful, and beautiful, so should the application form for your program.
Don’t be afraid to change things up, online is to streamline
When a program is being brought online for the first time, one of the primary considerations is what information is still required and what is not. Often the form could be significantly simplified when bringing it online, but many clients leave fields that may not be necessary. For example, if the form hasn’t changed in 10 years for your program, you may still have a fax number field on it.
Many times we find clients looking at each optional field from a perspective of “Well, it couldn’t hurt, right?” In our years of experience, we ask the question “Do we need it?” or “Will we use it?”. If no one on the team plans to use the fax number for anything, delete it. Leaving multiple, perhaps dozens, of extra fields on the form could deter users from completing more than they may have if it was less overwhelming and less time consuming to complete.
(To be continued)