With the large amount of people needing the products and services businesses offer, they opt for what is most efficient and effective for them. That is the reason why most businesses, organizations, institution, etc. use forms to gather the information that they need from their clients and potential customers.
Forms are effective, efficient, and versatile documents that can be used to tailor the purpose it will be used for. Depending on the purpose, a form can be used to gather personal information, opinion and feedback, and so on. Forms are designed to help you efficiently gather the data that you need to perform a specific action accurately and successfully.
Since the main purpose of a form is to make it easier to gather information, it is best to tailor its contents to the information that you want to acquire. Thus, it is important to first have an outline of the questions you want answered. When making a form, it is important to include all the essential elements to make it effective and efficient. To help it make it easier for you, here is a list of the essential elements you need to include in a form:
1. Heading: It is important to ensure that your form has an appropriate heading. The heading will inform the user what the form is for, what the information be used for, and so on. The heading of the form should be clear and straightforward. For example, when a form is used for job application, it should have the heading Job Application Form so the user immediately knows what it is for. The heading also ensures that the user trusts it enough to give all the needed information.
2. Instructions: Including a clear set of instructions on the form ensures that the user is able to fill out the form correctly. It gives them an idea on what to do once they start to fill it out. It also ensures that you get the accurate information that you need. It is best to write the instructions under the heading so that the user immediately knows what information to write and how to correctly write it on the form.
3. Boxes/Writing fields: Your form can either have boxes or lines as writing fields depending on what style you want to use. Having designated boxes or writing fields in your form helps ensure that you can efficiently gather the information that you need. This also helps in organizing all the information the user will write on the form. In addition, this ensures that information are separated logically from each other.
4. Labels: You can only gather the information that you need if you indicate the right labels for the boxes or writing fields in your form. It is important to determine and state what information goes where, and this is what labels are for. As you make your form, make sure that your labels are clear and straightforward; it should immediately tell the user what information to write on the box or writing field. You may also see hr form examples.
5. Boundaries: Be it in the form of lines or space, there should be a distinct and clear boundaries where your information should only be written. Boundaries help make sure that your form is tidy, neat, and organized. In addition, this ensures that your user does not get confused with the flow of the form that could affect on how accurately they fill it out.
As mentioned, a form is only effective when it is made the right way and with the right elements. A form can be made in any word processing or photo editing software. However, you should only use what you’re best comfortable with. In this sense, this article will give an easy guide on how you can make an efficient and effective form in Microsoft Word:
1. Open new document: Once you launch Microsoft Word in your computer, immediately proceed to opening a new document. Opening a new document will give you a whole blank page that you can work with. You can also start customizing the layout of the page to fit your need; go to the Layout tab, click orientation to set if you want the page to be on portrait or landscape mode. Then, you can also adjust the margins on the page to make sure the contents of your form fits right.
2. Write out heading: Once you have set the page right you can begin with the contents of your form. First, write out the heading of your form. Make sure that you use proper capitalization of the words for more emphasis, and make sure you choose a good and clear font style and size. A drop-down selection of font styles will appear once you click the font option, and you can also easily change the size when you click the font size option beside it. After that, make sure that your heading is aligned and centered. You may also see employment application form examples.
3. Indicate instructions: A few spaces after the heading, write out the instructions on how to fill out your form. The instructions should be clear and direct. It is also important that you mention if there are fields that an answer is required, you can use indicators such as an asterisk (*). Remember to use simple language so that users can easily comprehend what you mean. Lastly, make it brief; it is best to make a draft or outline first before finalizing.
4. Insert table: If you want to use boxes as your writing fields you can make use of the already available division of a table. To insert a table in your page, go to the Insert tab and click the table option. A drop down of how many columns and rows to insert will appear; you can add as many rows as you like, but it is best to only limit it to two columns at first. Then adjust the width of the rows to make sure there is enough space to write on. If more boxes are needed for one row, you can just add a line by clicking draw table from the same tab.
5.Write labels on each box: Once you have the boxes made you insert the labels on each box. The labels are mostly preferred to be on the left uppermost part of the boxes, and should be in a small font size, e.g. 8pt or 9pt. Make sure to use a thin font style instead of the bold ones so that it can still be readable regardless of its small font size. In addition, the labels should be brief, preferably one word, and if examples are needed, limit to at most two. You may also see disciplinary action form examples
6. Write out labels immediately (alternative option): If you don’t want the hassle of inserting a table and adjusting the width and height of each row and column, you can just immediately write out the label then add a line where they can write out their answers. This is the most basic format a form can be made of; this way you only need to make sure that there is enough space for each label and their required answers.
7. Proofread and edit: Before you print and distribute your form, e.g. Project Bid Form, make sure there are no errors with the instructions, labels, etc. that you have included in the form. It is important to make sure there are no errors and mistakes in the form to avoid confusion and miscommunication with the user.
Now that you know how to make a form that is tailored to your needs and preferences, here are some additional tips in creating form:
People are used to filling out traditional or paper forms, but in this day and age, digital or online forms are also prominent. With that said, those two types are the most famous types of forms used to this day. Here is a brief explanation about paper and online forms:
Online forms do not necessarily have a certain size. Thus, this only applies to paper forms. Paper forms can come in any paper size that you prefer, but this also depends on the number of information that you want to gather. The safest bet is to use a 8.5 × 11 inches paper.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about forms:
The form’s main purpose is to gather information. Most of the time when businesses use forms, they intend to find out what clients want from them, i.e. what they want to order, what they want the business to do for them, and so on. You may also see employment history form examples
The effectiveness of a form really depends on how it is made. Thus, when making it, it is important to make sure you have all the elements accounted for and that you have the labels for all the information that you want to gather. But since you cannot guarantee the accuracy of each information users fill out, it is best to fact check through an interview after they submit their forms especially when it’s used for surveys.
Since there can be no follow-up once the form is submitted, and it is difficult to trace back to the person who submitted it, it can be hard to fact check. But online forms are still reliable in a sense that answers are tabulated objectively since a system checks for them. Regardless, it is still an effective and efficient form to use for whatever purpose you are using it for.