Creating a Form
There are several form solutions available to HSC students, faculty, and staff. Adobe, Microsoft, and Qualtrics are available to everyone in the UNTHSC organization whether you are a web editor or not. However, they are rather basic. So, if you need to create a form for a landing page, a workflow, or accept payment, you’ll need to first become a web editor.
- Gravity Forms
- Modern Events Calendar Booking form
- Next Gen Dynamic Forms
- Adobe PDFs
- Microsoft Office365 Forms
Gravity Forms is probably going to be the best solution for most situations. It is available right within the WordPress dashboard. So, you will need to be a web editor to access it. Gravity Forms allows for conditional fields with customizable notifications and receipts. These can be embedded in a web page and accept payment via your department’s Authorize.net account. You can also create workflows with Gravity Forms and accept files from users.
Modern Events Calendar (MEC) Booking Form
If you are planning an event, we suggest using Modern Events Calendar within WordPress. It has an optional booking system with lots of configuration options and ticketing. This provides the added benefits of keeping web site calendars up-to-date and providing a landing page for your event right on unthsc.edu as opposed to a third-party service.
Formstack is another very robust solution. However our license allows for a limited number of users. This can make retrieving your submissions problematic. Our secure version of Formstack is what must be used to collect FERPA or HIPAA protected information. It also allows users to submit files, conditional fields, customized emails and notifications, and can be embedded or free-standing.
Access to Formstack may be ending at the end of FY 24.
Next Gen Dynamic Forms
This is a form system offered by UNT System. These are HIPAA and FERPA compliant forms. More information and training is available here.
Adobe forms can’t be embedded on a web page. However, a web page can provide a link to download a PDF form. Whoever creates the PDF form is also responsible for making sure it complies with Accessibility standards. You should briefly research “adobe accessible forms” before you email out your form or publish a link to it on one of your web pages.
An Adobe PDF is not likely to display properly on mobile devices unless you’ve created it with that intent.
Microsoft’s form solution is available in Office365. You can embed these forms on webpages, or email out links to free-standing versions. They can be configured to be available to anyone with the link, or only to people within the UNTHSC organization. These forms naturally display properly on mobile devices. You can accept files from the user with a Microsoft form. These forms can be configured to connect directly with individual or team calendars so that time on an individual’s Outlook calendar could be booked.
The biggest limitations of these forms are that you can’t build conditional fields and you can’t customize the notification or receipt emails. These forms are also unable to accept payments.
Qualtrics is primarily a survey tool. It is very robust in the types of fields you can create and the reporting. It also provides several distribution options directly within the Qualtrics platform.
Qualtrics forms are not for accepting payments, and you can’t embed them on a web page. They must be free-standing or you must provide a link to them.
Things to consider when creating a form
- Am I asking for anything that could be considered FERPA or HIPAA protected?
- Does the user need to submit one or more files?
- What should the user see after they submit the form? If you want to measure conversions, you should create and direct them to a “Thank You” page that is not linked anywhere else.
- Should the user receive an email after submitting the form and what does that need to say?
- Who needs to receive notifications or be copied after the form is submitted and what do those notifications need to say?
- How will I be managing, accessing, or sharing the data that gets collected?