Digital forms are the new way to do paperwork without paper. Companies are using them for everything from mobile data collection, sharing, to complex analysis and analytics. Some of the most popular uses include sending forms remotely from the field, automating tasks and routing data, and allowing businesses to track and optimize business performance. Digital forms are transforming how field workers operate and increasing their efficiency, speed, and analytical insight.
Digital forms are being used by a wide range of enterprises and industries from mining companies operating a mile below ground and by safety inspectors who flag problems in real time and transmit them for support or assistance. On highways. they don’t have to wait until they get back to the office to report drivers or vehicle and road safety concerns. Even stores are using digital forms to track inventory, post staff hours and ensure that employee records are accurately recorded and maintained.
Digital forms are continually being adapted and improved. They have come a long way from their earliest invention. Here are six types of digital forms that show the progression of digital forms since that time.
1. Static digital forms
This is the earliest and most simple form of digital. This is essentially a paper form that is distributed electronically. It had little interactivity and intelligence and the data from the form had to be copied manually to any database or system.
2. Editable digital forms
Things are getting better, but not much. At least this type of digital form lets the user make changes to the information. But it still has to be printed or saved and attached to an email to be submitted. And it has to be copied manually into the database or system.
3. Fillable digital forms
This is when digital forms started to really improve. They began to offer things like widgets that allowed users to access drop-down boxes to make completely the forms easier. It also helped to reduce errors and workload by allowing users to put the information directly into a database. Some examples of this type of form included fillable PDFs and webforms that could be filled out online.
4. Validating digital forms
This big improvement that came with this particular type of form was the introduction of interactivity. This form provided users with feedback as they completed the form. This came from a set of internal rules that were programmed into the digital form. One example is that the form would prompt a user if they did not complete a mandatory field.
5. Smart digital forms
This was another great advance in digital forms because it expanded the ways that the form could respond to people who were filling out the digital form. This included not just providing feedback, but actually having the capacity to modify the form after receiving some answers from the users. This improved the experience of the person filling out the digital form because once they answered one part of the form, they didn’t have to repeat the answer in other parts. The form would ‘remember’ the first time and automatically record the answer again in the system,
6. Connected digital forms
This is the highest level in of digital form. It adds both interactivity and intelligence because they are directly connected to either a network or the Internet, or to both. This allows these digital forms to apply rules that rely on external data like checking to make sure something is not already registered. And it lets the user submit data directly to a system or database. These are actually interactive applications or web forms and this is what makes the mobile phone digital forms possible and so successful.