Posted in Forms, Workflows

Visual business rules for dynamic forms

Does Anyone Know Where We Keep the Unwritten Rules cartoon. Man shuffling papers from a file cabinet.

Business and educational forms & processes are usually dynamic – think purchase orders, emergency contact forms and travel requests. Our customers love how easy it is to visually design forms. With the Visual Rule Builder, they can easily create dynamic forms without the need to know JavaScript.

Learn more: Watch this 6m video to quickly learn more.

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Posted in Database

How to easily create Dynamic Database Forms

Useful processes connect to the database.

Practically every organization has at least one SQL database and often many of them. Many day-to-day business activities are simply more useful if they can access information from SQL databases on-demand.

For example, when a customer calls about a mistake on their order, your Customer Service personnel will be able to better help the customer and solve the problem quickly if they have visibility into order history from the database. Faster problem resolution leads to happier customers.

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Posted in Database

Database Forms: Master-Detail Views

Electronic forms and workflows integrated with SQL are very easy to create with frevvo's software.

As customers interact with your organization online, they often do so using forms. To be truly interactive and useful, these forms need to connect with and access data from internal systems – often SQL databases. Database forms, especially as part of business processes, allow you to bring your operations much closer to the customer and that’s a crucial part of world-class customer service.

Continue reading “Database Forms: Master-Detail Views”
Posted in Forms

Go the extra [online forms] mile

simple-visual-tools.png

Forms are a part of life but they don’t have to be tedious and ugly. Clean, well-designed online forms help customers provide needed information quickly and painlessly. What if your existing employees could do it all using simple visual tools without coding?

Join us for this 45 minute webinar on Nov 15 at 1:00 PM EST. We’ll show you online forms that:

  • Look great on all devices.
  • Dynamically adjust so they’re easy to complete.
  • Never need to be printed.
  • Route automatically for approvals.
  • and more …

save-my-seat

Posted in Digital Transformation, Forms, HowTo

How Dynamic Forms Accelerate Digital Transformation in Your Organization

Forms represent about 83% of all business documents. A typical global enterprise uses an average of 400 complex business forms. If you are using printed forms, then you should know that about 15 to 33% of printed forms are either thrown away due to errors or discarded as they become obsolete after a certain time.

Moreover, a printed form will cost extra due to printing and paper cost, but the average processing cost of a smart form is comparatively cheap. Do you know, about 3% of paper forms are filled incorrectly, 7.5% of filed paper documents are lost in transit, and about 90% of the time spent to manage paper forms involves handling and shuffling them?

Smart dynamic forms; on the other hand, offer a chance to amend or update the form virtually on the go. In fact, integrated dynamic smart forms have the capability to streamline your organizations’ document management or workflow process management capability by reducing overhead costs.

The Evolution of Dynamic Forms

Dynamic forms are technically electronic or digital forms bestowed with capabilities beyond traditional paper forms. Electronic completion, digital signature, auto-filled data, dynamic sections, automatic calculations, database calls, and electronic submissions are some of the common advantages or capabilities of dynamic smart forms. These forms are designed to capture accurate, rule-based data. Additionally, they are able to adapt dynamically based on user responses and capable of pulling and pushing data from multiple sources. Dynamic forms often possess online capabilities along with the ability to capture ‘the metadata, such as geolocation. Due to the flexibility to access data anywhere and at any time, users can enter and process information at will in a simple and logical format

Use of advanced and innovative technology further enhances the capabilities and intuitiveness of interactive forms. Now, it’s easier than ever to create, maintain, and evaluate user-friendly forms that are in compliance with laws, regulations and business policies. Often it is the duty of a domain expert to create and maintain forms. Typically, these domain experts are not technology savvy and may have zero coding knowledge. Techniques such as drag-and-drop, wizards, and visual rules dramatically help in eliminating the need for software programming knowledge.

Why You Should Be Using Dynamic Forms

Many enterprises have embraced the digitization, but they still lack the oomph factor leading to success. For a digitization strategy to succeed, you need to automate processes right from start to finish. Relying on human input and manual tasks in a digitized environment is like swimming in a pond when you can easily sail the seas. Although many organizations have deployed smart forms, they still depend on traditional ink on paper to capture a signature and validate the authenticity of the document or form.

If your employees are spending their time manually entering data, correcting errors and chasing down approvals, they have less time to spend on work that matters – supporting customers, teaching students, or caring for patients. When business conditions change, they don’t have the necessary information at their fingertips to react to changes. These delays can be extraordinarily costly. On the flip side, responsive organizations tend to be perceived in an extremely positive light.

When a new business opportunity presents itself, it’s important to roll out the appropriate initiatives quickly e.g. introduce a new product offering or modify internal processes to quickly satisfy changing customer demands. Even something as simple as letting people buy on their mobile phone can have a huge impact. If employees can perform their day-to-day work in an efficient manner, your business initiatives will speed up and your organization will benefit.

dynamic forms

Key Capabilities of Smart Dynamic Forms

  • They can easily perform complex calculations.
  • They are designed to display content dynamically as and when required.
  • Smart dynamic forms can execute explicit data validation.
  • Smart forms are capable of looking up data from your databases and other systems, pre-filling fields and eliminating duplicate data entry.
  • Additionally, they can submit the data to your ERP securely and efficiently.
  • Smart dynamic forms are routed automatically to the relevant approvers.
  • Digital forms enhance visibility into location and status.

Here are a few advantages you can achieve with interactive web forms:

  • Enhance the speed of delivery as non-technical users can easily create and deploy online forms by taking advantage of an easy-to-use visual tool and reusable components.
  • Use Cloud to save cost and time as the service provider takes care of the licenses, hosting arrangements, upgrades, and security ensuring you are relieved from the complexity of building, managing and hosting your own smart form solutions.
  • Provide a great user experience by offering user-friendly forms with sophisticated built-in capabilities such as online data entry, data validation, and dynamic content. Additionally, provide flexibility to your users by offering them the freedom to fill in their forms anywhere, any time and using any device they like.
  • Reduce business pressure by reducing time to complete interactions and transactions. You actually help users to complete a transaction smoothly and in the first go.
  • Increase business agility by reducing the time spent by employees in routine tasks which frees them up to focus on customers, students or patients, allows them to react rapidly to changing business conditions and to take advantage of new business opportunities.
  • Reduce administrative overhead as you do not have to incur additional expenses in printing, posting and storing paper forms.
  • Enhance the accuracy of collected data as data validation and pre-population of the dynamic fields eradicates the need to go back and contact users due to incomplete or incorrectly filled forms.

Who Should Use Dynamic Forms?

Although we see and use automation everywhere in our daily lives from toll booths to GPS directions, many businesses are still lagging when it comes to automating their routine process workflows. Today’s digital infrastructure creates digital infrastructure creates opportunity as well as urgency to go paperless and reduce business inefficiencies. Unfortunately, it’s still commonplace to have many forms on paper, perhaps they are just partially electronic. Remember, paper-based processes have costs associated with them – the cost of the resources, cost of the infrastructure and the indirect cost of the time they consume. Printing, signing and scanning paper, Excel or PDF forms is still too common and unnecessary – there is a better way.

It’s 2018! It’s past high time to transform these manual, paper- and email-based processes into electronic digital workflows that can be tracked, managed, and controlled within the organization. Here are few industries or organizations that can gain huge business value by deploying smart dynamic forms:

Some Ideal Scenarios/Use Cases of Dynamic Forms:

hr-processes

Human Resource Department

  • Employee Onboarding
  • Vacation Request
  • Student Registration
  • Travel Authorization & Reimbursement

Accounts Payable

  • New Vendor Requests
  • Purchase Order Approval
  • Employee Expense Report

Higher Education and K-12

  • Student Registration
  • Transcript Request
  • Transportation

Healthcare

  • Patient Referral
  • Patient Intake
  • Clinical Trials

Inventory Management

  • Stock Transfers
  • Declaration Forms
  • Purchase Requests

Conclusion

Enhance ROI with Smart Dynamic Forms: If you want to replace or transform the way you are collecting or processing information and populating internal systems, then using smart dynamic forms, will help you in getting your processes running smoothly and efficiently. With smart forms, you reduce the chances of committing errors by 71% and consume 51% less time.

With modern, visual tools for smart dynamic forms, you can automate the creation, processing, and distribution of business forms by non-technical users in your organization. Digitized forms help you reduce processing costs, minimize errors, and capture fully validated data.

Electronic forms and the associated automated processes mean your people can spend their time on the most valuable tasks, react effortlessly to customer demands and changing business conditions so your business can prosper in the 21st century.

Let’s build a paperless organization! For paperless processing and to learn more about smart dynamic forms Try Frevvo FREE.

Posted in Customers, Forms, Workflows

At Tailored Brands, a team of just 2 people has successfully implemented 100+ forms in their 1400+ locations.

suits

With leading menswear retailers such as Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, Tailored Brands provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience with compelling products and world-class service via their 1400+ locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Read-Case-Study

They were using a different product which generated very large files, required local emails, was hard to use for dynamic forms and was expensive to maintain. Their Manager of Intranet, Jim Rinke, decided to investigate alternative products for their digital transformation journey.

After a lengthy search, Tailored Brands selected frevvo in 2011 for its drag-and-drop design, robust dynamic forms, 100% browser-based interface and the ability to route the form to different recipients based on user data.

“We were looking to replace the product we were using with a system that would work in our 1400+ stores.

Our forms are highly dynamic and can have complex business requirements. Using frevvo’s visual designers, we’ve now implemented 100+ forms & workflows. frevvo Cloud just works and meets our needs at reasonable cost.”
– Jim Rinke, Manager, Intranet & Documentation

Using frevvo’s low-code, visual solution, Tailored Brands’ team of just 2 people has now implemented 104 forms and workflows for a wide variety of use cases such as Inventory Request, Store Appearance Checks by multi-unit managers, Theft/Robbery/Damage forms, Employee or Customer Injuries and others.

The benefits are enormous:

  • Previous forms were seamlessly replaced with online versions.
  • Small file sizes mean they work fast and efficiently in the store locations.
  • Dynamic behavior is easy and the forms automatically show/hide sections based on user data, perform calculations etc.
  • Built-in mobile allows employees to use an iPad to complete forms.

Tailored Brands intends to continue rolling out additional forms and workflows, especially workflows that can route directly to an email address (anonymous user).

Read-Case-Study

Learn more by visiting our website.

Posted in Forms, Workflows

[Video] Visual Rule Builder (V7.4)

vrbV7.4 has been released and it comes with a bunch of new things – the most exciting feature is the upgraded Visual Rule Builder.

Many customers use frevvo to create forms with extensive dynamic behavior. They love the flexibility and power of frevvo when it comes to creating dynamic forms. With frevvo’s Visual Rule Builder, it’s easier than ever to create these dynamic behaviors and anyone can do it.

Watch this short video that shows you how easy it is to use the Visual Rule Builder to create dynamic content.

Customers are using frevvo for things like:

  • Showing fields only when they’re relevant
  • Automatically filling in fields
  • Performing calculations

and many others.

View-Recording

Why not give it a whirl? Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself. It takes 30 seconds, and you can install a template and try it out instantly.

 

Posted in Forms, Workflows

[White Paper] Easy, Visual Forms and Workflow

PeopleFirst

Every business has its own set of approval processes. The general concept is straightforward: deliver information from Point A to Point B with all the required checks, authorizations and reviews. At the same time, the world is now online, mobile and 24×7. Paper- and email-based processes are ill-adapted to function in this environment. Workflow Automation helps you transition these key processes online so they work on mobile, are available 24×7 and operate efficiently.

The problem is that there are dozens of processes from Finance to HR to Sales & Marketing to Operations, and I.T. organizations simply cannot cope. Using traditional approaches to software development, automating these workflows would take years and cost an astronomical sum of money. These methods cannot keep up with the speed and agility demands of the modern enterprise.

That’s where a platform like frevvo can make a huge difference. The 100% visual, low-code solution delivers extraordinary capabilities:

  • Visual form & workflow design
  • Point-and-click integration using wizards
  • Visual business rules
  • Built-in Mobility
  • A fast, beautiful user experience
  • Top-notch customer support, security
  • and more …

Download this white paper which discusses workflow automation, how your organization can benefit, and how you can evaluate and deploy a visual, low-code platform like frevvo for your automation needs.

Download-White-Paper

Visit our website to learn more and sign up for a free trial.

Posted in Mobile, Usability

10 best practices for mobile form design

if_seo_web-46_1046182.pngUX Matters had this interesting article on mobile form design. At frevvo, we’ve created thousands of forms and workflows for mobile devicesand we’ve learned a lot along the way. One thing is absolutely true:

“As technology continues to go through metamorphoses and our understanding of users’ needs becomes more refined, good mobile form design is constantly evolving.”
– Quoted from above article

Getting your forms to be genuinely usable on mobile devices is hard but can have big benefits. Fortunately, with frevvo, you don’t have to worry too much about this. Let’s take a look at a few things mentioned in the above excellent article:

1. Use a single input field where possible

It’s all well and good to say create a single input field called Name but if the form integrates with your CRM or some other back end system, maybe a First and Last name are required. With frevvo, you have all the flexibility in the world. Display a single field on the form called Full Name and use a business rule to split it into First and Last name hidden fields if that’s what you need. There’s going to be some guesswork to split it accurately but you can automatically get it right most of the time. Serve the needs of your marketing team and your users at the same time.

2. Create a conversational flow

if_seo_web_2-43_1045323.pngAs Justin Mifsud pointed out back in 2011, “A form is a conversation, not an interrogation.” The flow of information in the form should have a conversational feel. Usually, this means split the form up into multiple pages that feel natural. But, you have to consider differences between mobile and desktop forms. What might be natural on a phone with its limited screen real estate doesn’t make sense on the desktop and could be irritating – why do I have to walk through so many steps?

Fortunately, frevvo makes it easy. Simply drag in Page Break controls and mark them smart phone only. On a desktop or tablet with lots of screen real estate, you’ll see the whole form (or Section or Tab). On the phone, it’s broken up into multiple pages with automatic Next and Previous buttons.

3. Automatically pre-fill values in fields

No explanation necessary – the less stuff users have to fill in the better off you are. This is one of frevvo’s strongest suits. You can pre-fill information from any number of sources. For example, check out this example that fills out Customer information from a SQL database. Another common example: if the user is logged in, you can automatically fill in their personal information. It eliminates errors, reduces typing and is far less frustrating for users.

For mobile users, frevvo supports functionality like GPS integration. You can use the GPS device on the phone to pre-fill an address field or figure out the location of the closest physical store and display it on the form.

4. Make forms accessible

From the UX Matters article: Of the people who have disabilities, 91% use a mobile device, according to a 2013 study (PDF) by the Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center. Wow! I had no idea. Technology, especially mobile technology is making the world more and more accessible to people with disabilities but only with accessible mobile design.

Fortunately, with frevvo, accessible design is just built-in. Our forms and workflows have been accessible (satisfying WCAG guidelines) for years. Government organizations worldwide have legal requirements to provide accessible forms and many are already using frevvo for their constituents.

5. Break up lengthy forms into steps or stages

if_seo_web-48_1046184.pngThis is very connected to #2 above. With frevvo, breaking up lengthy forms into steps is a piece of cake. What’s best is that you can design your form once and set it up so that it’s broken up into steps on a phone with automatically generated Next and Back buttons. On the desktop with its abundant real estate, you can simply show the entire form or break it up into fewer steps. Again, satisfy the needs of your users with a natural user experience no matter where you are.

You can also create multi-step flows in frevvo (we call them screen flows) that explicitly walk you through multiple steps on all devices with a progress bar / nav bar at the top etc. It’s totally up to you.

6. Create minimal forms, but ask the essential questions.

rb-03This is a particularly crucial aspect of form design. Obviously, in frevvo, you can create as minimal a form as you want. One of the most effective things we’ve found is context-sensitive show/hide. It’s easy with frevvo using simple, visually-built business rules. In any form that’s displayed, hide away unnecessary fields until they’re actually “essential”. For example, on an Employment Eligibility Verification form, some questions may only be applicable to non-citizens. Hide them away until the user selects the “I’m not a citizen” option.

You’ll find that users are less confused and more likely to complete and submit your form if the screen is less cluttered. It seems obvious and fortunately, with frevvo, it’s also a piece of cake.

7. Display mobile-friendly error messages.

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This is yet another crucial aspects of good UX. IMHO, this is applicable on all devices not just mobile. We’ve seen so many instances of forms where you fill it out, submit, the server thinks for a while and reloads the page with errors. The errors may be displayed at the top far away from the fields. It’s a nightmare.

With frevvo, user-friendly error handling has always been a priority. Validation of controls is instant and usually automatic. If there’s an error, the user will know immediately. The control visibly changes (color/icon) and an error message appears right below the control. You can customize this message to be meaningful to the user and it can even be configured dynamically so that it tells the user precisely what went wrong.

With frevvo, you also cannot submit invalid forms. If required controls aren’t filled in or there are errors and a user still clicks Submit, the form will automatically highlight the errors/missing data. If you want, you can also display one or more custom messages right above the Submit button that was clicked so the user knows that something went wrong.

The thing you want to avoid is “Oops! An error occurred. Please try later.” Nothing’s more frustrating for users. Fortunately, with frevvo mobile [and other] user friendly error handling is automatic and built-in.

8. Avoid using drop-down menus and lists.

It’s true. Long drop down menus/lists are not very user friendly on mobile. Where they can’t be avoided, frevvo does provide a natural mobile friendly experience. For shorter lists, we definitely prefer radio buttons. With frevvo, it’s easy to lay them out so that if two or more fit on a single row, they’ll be laid out side by side and consume less real estate.

frevvo also offers an auto-complete Combo box though we’ve found that it’s not necessarily a better experience on mobile than a pick list. The good news is you can choose whichever control makes sense for your needs.

More from frevvo

9. Bigger buttons, radios etc.

One of the other things we’ve learned is that it’s genuinely harder to click things with your fingers on mobile. Therefore, in spite of the reduced real estate, frevvo’s controls are subtly larger, buttons are just a bit bigger, radios are easier to click on etc.

10. Responsive forms

LandscapeWhen fonts are too small to read or the screen looks cramped, what will many users do? Rotate the device to landscape mode so there’s more horizontal real estate. Nothing’s more frustrating and annoying than to see the same size form with the same fonts displayed on the landscape screen – even Google and Amazon do it.

With frevvo, all this is just automatic. From big wide desktop screens to small smart phones, your forms will automatically adjust. Rotate your device – the form will expand to take up all available space. Zero CSS3 or HTML5 or any code. It just works.

11. BONUS – Good looks

Let’s face it. People are more likely to use UIs that look good. Forms aren’t the world’s sexiest user interface but they are ubiquitous. Might as well make them look great. With frevvo, that’s also automatic 🙂 Do nothing and your forms will just look good on all devices. And there are many little bits of eye candy such as decorators – add little meaningful icons to your controls e.g. an envelope for an Email field or a map marker for a Zip Code. Styles let you customize colors so your forms fit into your brand and website. These are little things but they can make a huge difference.

Mobile is everywhere and forms are everywhere. You probably have mobile users filling out forms and participating in workflows in your organization. With frevvo, make them mobile friendly without the need to spend significant resources and money.