9 essential form building tips

Published on March 28, 2019

You’ve decided to go paperless once and for all. How hard can it be, right? Hush Secure Forms makes it easy to build custom web forms that look great. However, if you’ve never made one before, you might not be aware of some essential requirements as well as a few common mistakes.

The best thing to do when building forms for the first time is to familiarize yourself with best practices. By taking note of these simple tips and precautions, you’re sure to publish a beautiful, functional web form your clients will love.  

Best practices

Change the web address of the form. This step is important because a web address that reflects the form’s function is much more professional looking than one that tacks on a bunch of random numbers at the end such as hushforms.com/johnsmith235. Our best advice when deciding what to put in the URL is not to overcomplicate it. Keep the description short, your clinic name and one word, if possible. Here are some examples of good web addresses:

https://hushforms.com/yourclinic-referral
https://hushforms.com/yourclinic-contact
https://hushforms.com/yourclinic-intake
https://hushforms.com/yourclinic-application
https://hushforms.com/yourclinic-client-call-log

Work in drafts mode until you’re ready to publish. In Hush Secure Forms, you can save your form as a draft until you’re ready to publish. If you accidentally publish a new form before you’re finished building, it isn’t the end of the world; most likely no one will see it until you’ve distributed the link. However, working in drafts mode first is an excellent practice to get into. One day, you might need to update a published form, and you’ll definitely want to keep the changes under wraps until you’re sure they’re right.

Save often. Depending on how complicated your form is, you could put a lot of time into making it perfect. You don’t want to lose all of your work for a silly reason such as a nosy cat walking across your keyboard. Or there might be a glitch in your computer that sends you back to square one because you did something it didn’t like. The point is - you never know what might happen, and you’ll never regret taking a few seconds to save your work.
 

Fill out the information in the sidebar. Take advantage of the area provided to promote your business with a photo, bio, and contact information. At the very least, make sure you delete any placeholder information that doesn’t represent your work.

Set the email address field to be the email sender. When you include an email field on your form, you’ll be given the option to set that email as the form sender. This means that once your client fills out the form and submits it, the form will come to you from that client’s email address, not from donotreply@hushmail.com. When the form is returned to you attached to the sender’s address, you can respond right back to them in our secure message center, allowing you to carry on the conversation for as long as you want.

Common mistakes

Not proofreading your form. Even the best spell checker might not catch mistaken homophones such as “their/there” or flag erroneous commas. Read over your form carefully before you publish. Even better, get a second pair of eyes to look it over before you unveil it to the world.

Using all caps. You’ve heard that all caps comes across as yelling, RIGHT? Well, this is true in forms as well. We suggest you not use all caps for anything, including titles.

Using radio buttons when you really need checkboxes. People often assume these two features are interchangeable. They’re not. Radio buttons allow you to select only one choice. Checkboxes allow you to choose multiple options. Depending on the information you’re trying to collect, one will work best for your purpose.

Requiring too much information. Hush Secure Forms allows you to star specific fields that your clients must fill out to submit the form. Requiring all or most of the fields might be tempting. The more information, the better, right? Maybe, but not if that means your client feels uncomfortable and stops filling out the form. Commonly required fields include name, contact information, and date of birth - in other words, the basic information necessary for your records. You might want to consider making all other fields optional.

Are you ready to build a form?

Sign up for Hush Secure Forms, included in all Hushmail for Healthcare plans, and build your first form today!