Some of the key concepts of planning and designing your eforms project include:
With the eforms themselves, there are some key things to consider when thinking through form design. This includes customized branding to match your company’s look and feel, understanding what content you need to capture, ensuring the form has an intuitive design, help instructions to walk users through form completion, appropriate validation to ensure the data captured is appropriate including date pickers, drop down lists, required fields, support for one-to many type selections where appropriate, etc.
Analyze what needs to happen when a form is completed. Some forms are simple and the data only needs to be captured or archived. Other forms require routing to various levels of management, potentially showing or hiding sections on the form based upon either security or the need to capture additional information from other people. Also, at this point take into consideration where the final data needs to reside, for example, will it be used to update a downstream system once the form is completed.
Take into consideration what the eventual disposition of the data needs to be. Is this form a record? For example, is the data that is submitted something that needs a record policy applied, but not yet triggered to calculate its eventual record action date? Are their attachments associated that require special security considerations.
Once you have thought through the form planning, you can kick off the forms project in earnest. Each form project has a lifecycle to work through, from Discovery to go-live production.
Interview key stake-holders to determine their needs and requirements for the form itself. What data, approvers, systems, etc. are involved. This provides everyone a chance to influence the design, and helps later with the adoption of the process.
Take the best ideas from the discovery phase and incorporate into a concise vision for the project. Often times this is a formal process where stakeholders review the final design. Other times it’s simply the marching orders used in the implementation phase which is the next step.
Designers create the layouts, developers provide database access for things like drop down fields, and workflows are created to react to the form submission process.
User Acceptance Testing
Once the form and downstream processes are ready, User Acceptance Testing provides everyone the ability to walk through the entire process ensuring the end-user experience is as expected, routings are working, and any data updates are correctly occurring.
Before rolling out to production, make sure all parties involved know how to process the forms. This includes the end-users who are completing the forms, and approvers who review and act upon the information in the form. Make sure everyone knows how to handle and process forms submitted successfully, as well as forms that require additional information and/or are declined for various reasons.
Once User Acceptance and Training are complete, you are ready to go-live with Production. Make sure to set aside some project time to account for the unexpected, whether there are design changes that were unforeseen, or simply questions related to change. You will want to make sure to remain involved so that successful adoption of the form is achieved by all.
To learn more about eforms and our document management software request a demo here.