Tech Focus Thu 12th November, 2020
UX Forms: They blew my survey out of the water and I loved it!
I was fortunate enough to be involved in a large scale Engineering Practices survey of a FinTec client.
The survey itself was an absolute blast to build but the volume of work that went into the design, building and eventually finding a hosting software for the survey was a real challenge. The survey was designed to target multiple aspects of a team’s “Ways of Working” and “Engineering Practices,” it had to be reusable, and use mathematically based values to determine outcomes.
I eventually settled on using a combination of Google Sheets, Google Forms and Email to execute the survey. This combination proved to be quite effective, albeit limited in customisation and onerous in execution. The results, however, spoke for itself, quality data, with good response rates and analytics. It was a pretty awesome survey and I shared this experience with my fellow Equal Experts colleagues.
Things get wild with UX Forms!
This is when I first met Martin Gladdish and Kevin Gray from UX Forms, I didn’t know it then, but it was about to get wild! You could almost say Martin was “Gladdish” to read the blog post I created and posted this comment:
Always good to hear how others are putting forms together.
Did you also know that EE has its own forms tool? https://uxforms.com that can be used for surveys like this and so much more. In fact, given we have a google sheet integration built-in already, you can build finely tailored surveys in no time without the restrictions on UI widgets imposed by Google Forms.
And we’re always keen to hear about associates working on forms – we’ve even been helping another team within EE get their own form up and running exactly the way they want it. The more cross-pollination between teams the better!
This comment was enough to spark mutual curiosity, and we soon set up a zoom call to chat about what I had done and what they do. To say the least, I was blown away. Don’t get me wrong, what I did worked really well and I am still very proud of that work. I know what I’m talking about because I was the CTO for a software startup that specialised in this sort of software and application. I’ve used and tested most mainstream survey tools out there. But what UX Forms bring to this game blows my efforts out of the water, in a really, really good way.
Understanding the value of access and reusability:
What I had built was good, it was hard to run, and required vast amounts of manual effort to collate data, but it got the result I needed. Almost everything I did manually, UX Forms do for you, they don’t design graphics, that I still do myself.
The design of UX Forms allows it to be either used as standalone or integrated into existing online platforms. I would need to check with the team on app integration, but on websites, this product integrates with minimal efforts and runs on its own steam.
This gives you legs for days, and because of its plug and plays nature you can add and remove a UX Form at will. This means I could have easily done both a stand-alone or plugged the UX Form into the client’s intranet portal with minimal effort vastly increasing my reach and reusability. Having the UX Form designed based on my survey question in Google Sheets, because they can consume Google Sheets meant I wouldn’t have to rebuild everything I had designed. I could just let the UX Form consume it. This cuts down on rework and means my questions also become highly reusable and I could easily change the subsets of questions a UX Form would be using with little to no hassle at all. This means course correction in a survey is effortless. Priceless when you know how bad it is that a survey has a mistake in it.
The power of relatively infinite configuration and built-in reporting:
Where I was left with the limited series of configuration options that Google Forms provide. I was simply astonished how easy and to what extent you can configure a UX Form.
In fairness, Google Forms was designed for drag and drop “What You See is What You Get” interactions. UX Forms does involve configuration at what many people would consider a “code” level. This is both the price we pay for more control but further, we have to understand that UX Forms is a vastly more flexible beast that Google Forms and many other survey tools I have used over the years is.
UX Forms in my mind is not designed to be a pickup and throw away tool it’s designed to be part of your ecosystem flexing itself into different applications. I saw it as a brilliant survey tool, but what is a survey really? It’s nothing more than a form filled with questions. This concept can be applied to so many different ecosystems and applications. You could easily use UX Forms to update your outdated user profiles or collect new information. As a registration and check-in system or a training module provider.
Coupled with their out of the box reporting capabilities and data export functionality, it becomes super simple to get a birds-eye view on results and data. You still have the option to grab the raw data and deep dive to your heart’s content.
What has UX Forms really done?
The options are really endless because UX Forms puts the power to build the forms you need right into your hands within your full control at all times. The setup and consumption of forms are so rapid that what used to take companies weeks or even months to build and release to a production environment can now be done in hours or days. The only thing that will ever hold you back is how fast you can provide content, everything else runs fast, smooth and with minimal effort.
I know from experience that Martin and Kevin are always happy to talk to anyone about UX Forms. This isn’t done to sell a product. They genuinely want to learn from people and their experiences so they can improve the UXForms product for everyone who shares in its amazing capabilities. Please reach out to them and see how they change your world!