Reported by: Ben Ray, iFormBuilder Solutions Engineer (and Black Belt FormBuilder)
[dropcap4]1[/dropcap4] Testing forms before releasing them out to your field teams may just be the single most important thing you can do.
I build forms all day everyday, and even with my 3+ years experience as a Black Belt FormBuilder, I make mistakes building forms. I have to continue testing and refining my forms many times before they are considered ready for deployment to the field.
[dropcap4]2[/dropcap4] FormBuilders are not the only ones who can test.
We can all agree that a fresh pair of eyes can be a big help in everything from editing a blog, to hanging a piece of art– and this also applies to forms. Form testing should not just be limited to the FormBuilder. Testing should certainly include the end users in the field, as they, above all people, are the ones using the form day after day. You will also see if different device types behave differently.
[dropcap4]3[/dropcap4] Test early, and often.
A few days before you are looking to send the forms into the field, have the end users run through the forms a few times. Most likely, they will immediately come upon a field or feature that needs to be adjusted for a more effective form. Gathering feedback and comments from them will improve the data collection experience, as well as open up a valuable channel of communication.
[dropcap4]5[/dropcap4] Sending out a well-tested, and successful form saves money, and builds bridges.
The first idea is a concrete sort of statement: Time is money, in salary, travel, and technology costs. The second idea here is a little harder to quantify— but considering how stressful data collection in the field can be (whether it is for a wildlife study, or evaluating the safety of a lab), having a form work well makes life that much easier for everyone. And this can only ease the hassles for those in the field collecting data, and strengthen their trust and support for the forms you build.
Always testing forms before going live will help ensure a seamless experience for the end users out in the field, reduce time wasted due to form issues or device capabilities, and above all,take you one step closer to becoming your team’s Black Belt FormBuilder 🙂