We’ve spent many years working with clients, helping them digitise their paper forms or revamp their old school electronic data capture solutions.
Here are 5 best practices on how to get the most of our your mobile form solution:
1. Review your current forms and the data being captured
Data capture forms have often evolved over many years, and sometimes even hold data you don’t need any more. It’s worth taking the time to give them a thorough review and getting feedback from the people who use and administer the current forms.
Don’t capture anything you don’t need. Focusing on your key information will save time all the way through the process, from the person capturing the information, to the administration and quality control team.
If you can reduce the amount of data required by 10%, it will impact every person who handles the form.
2. Check that the data capture forms reflect the order in which work or discussions are undertaken
A mobile form with a good workflow will improve the amount of time it takes to fill in information because it will reduce the back and forth scrolling between form fields that aren’t ordered according to the logical steps of the task at hand.
The best people to help you with this are the field staff using the forms.
3. Once you have the basics of the form structure decided, you can start to see where the features of your mobile form solution can help with the completion
- Where possible, replacing free text fields with a list dropdown or radio select options saves time and improves quality.
- Using existing product, customer or other data stored in local databases to fill fields will reduce the amount of repetitive information your mobile workers needs fill in for each form.
- Using automated calculations or algorithms to save time on manual calculations and derisk potential errors.
4. Build your mobile forms
Formworks allows you to build mobile forms quickly and put them into the hands of the users so that you can get feedback and make adjustments to optimise the experience.
It’s always best to get the form structure tested by a mobile worker and finalised prior to commencing with the final step of adding controls and validation.
5. Add data validation and controls to your mobile forms to optimise quality and compliance
This is the last step of building a good mobile form. Whether this is field level validation to ensure the format of a reference is correct, or mandatory fields and conditional logic to hide and reveal fields etc. This is one of the best aspects of utilising mobile forms in the field because it allows you to control the data capture process: what is being captured and the quality of the data.
Always run a final test of the mobile form with your field users to ensure it fits with their work patterns and adjust if necessary.
In our experience these five best practices ensure that the mobile forms you’re building for use in the field provide workers with the most efficient workflow for the task at hand and ensure that the correct data is being captured each and every time. If you have any recommended best practices for building great mobile forms, please share them in the comments below.
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