Forms: Part 0: Size Matters
A form – either in Word or Excel – can be a great way to gather information. Most people are familiar with these programs and already have them installed – or have a program that can be used to open files of these types. However, a big form – both in the amount of fields and in the amount of memory used – can make the form cumbersome or frustrating to the users.
A few key points:
1. Simplify. Does it need all those fields? Do you already have that information?
2. Images: Does the form need those images? Images should be resized and their resolution lowered before being added to the form.
3. Revisions and comments. Does the end user need to see the process used to develop the form – or just the end result? What about Macros?
4. Doc vs. Word vs. PDF vs. Online. Which format works best for both your audience and the people that will be working with the data?
Keeping the end-user in mind will help you build a more efficient and functional form, allowing you to get the data you need with a minimum of frustration for the user.