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Application form design tips - benefits to the user

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Creating an application form has become increasingly complicated in the last decade, with more and more people expecting to be able to complete forms online. Even major government agencies such as HMRC have moved into the modern era with online taxation forms and benefit applications. While there are many advantages to using hardcopy forms, including having a formal copy that can be viewed by anyone, in most situations these forms are difficult to store, are frequently lost, and are vulnerable to damage or theft. More and more companies are doing away with hard copy forms, and are instead using digital application forms.

Choosing Adobe fillable forms

One of the most important types of digital form is the PDF fillable form. These allow applicants to view the form online, and then enter details into the form, saving it and sending it as a reliable document. Other forms of digital application, such as Word, tend to require the user to print out the form, complete it in pen and then mail it. This is time-consuming, and the majority of online users simply cannot be bothered with the hassle. By allowing consumers to fill out these forms online, companies save time, and also improve accuracy.

Portable forms

A significant advantage to using these PDF forms in your application form design is that people will be able to view the form online wherever they are. By creating a portable document, the content can be saved, and either sent electronically or printed out. By using a portable document, you get information which has a low file size, meaning that you can save more of these documents in a single space. In addition, portable documents also allow you to have more control and flexibility, unlike similar forms created by Word.

Creating documents

Perhaps the biggest advantage for the company is that forms can be created very easily. When developing a design, it is important to consider that not only do forms need to be viewable electronically, but they should also be able to be printed out easily. Market survey application form production requires that the same set of questions asked both electronically and in person, and by using a PDF form companies can print out documents and load it online. This allows market research to conduct their surveys as a single unit.

Storing and transferring forms

A great advantage to using electronic portable forms is that they are easy to integrate with a company's existing software. In practice, what this means is that data can be incorporated into an electronic storage system, and then interpreted and analysed easily. By allowing the forms to become synchronised with this software, a lot of work is saved. Data saved in these electronic forms may be readable by the software, and even physical documents can be scanned and then treated in the same way, because the computer has created the data fields and therefore they are easier for it to read.

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Posted by Tom Wilson-Copp

Tom Wilson-Copp is a document design and production consultant who specialises in the project management and delivery of B2B services including design, localisation, off-line production and digital marketing.
With over 12 years experience working within the business services industry, Tom has worked for both large multinationals as well as bespoke service agencies.