by Steve Gibson, director at JotForm
JotForm is an all-purpose tool – an online form builder which allows you to do just about anything you need with forms. Its free version does everything the paid version does – only limiting users by the number of submissions received. Included are thousands of form templates with preset questions, form themes with preset styles and designs, hundreds of widgets for specialized fields on your form, and over a hundred integrations for processing your responses after they’re submitted. Conditional statements, custom “Thank You” pages, notification emails, and file upload storage space are all part of the package, and the list goes on.
In the almost ten years since its launch, JotForm has been a staple across many industries and business needs. We’ve both led the industry that is form building, and we’ve learned from our customers.
Here are some of the key insights we gathered from ongoing dialogues with those that love and use JotForm:
1. Customers are going to use JotForm in ways we couldn’t predict.
When we added the feature for conditional statements we didn’t put a limit on the number of conditions people might use. This feature allows users to make their forms dynamic, and have subsequent form fields altered based upon previous responses. For instance, a drop down on a contact form can request what department they’d like to reach out to. Then the rest of the responses can be relevant just to that department, and notifications can be sent directly to them.
We figured people might use 10-20 conditional fields – just enough to give their forms a few extra dynamics. We were surprised when we found forms with hundreds of them. Conditional statements allow people to establish paths through their forms to optimize the user experience and flow of data. It was shocking how many paths people created.
2. Some customers will come from markets we never intended.
A few years back we surveyed our users to learn more about who was using our product. Our target audience initially was small businesses who need a form for their website. JotForm’s a great tool for quickly adding a form to your site, so small business owners can get back to their business. That was the plan, and to that end tons of small businesses rely on JotForm as an integral part of their business. What we didn’t anticipate were all the charitable organizations, and educators that discovered JotForm as well. Let alone the sysadmins who use it across multiple websites with thousands of forms. Now we accommodate them by creating larger plans to meet their usage demands, and useful tools such as calculator fields and quiz apps.
3. Your most popular feature may not be what you expect.
We always thought templates would be popular, but nobody predicted our users would create almost 8,000 of them. These ready-made sets of fields span every industry and form type. They save users time in having to build their forms from scratch. For instance, if you need a contact form, or forms that real estate agents use, you can quickly find a template that matches your needs. They can be further customized, but nobody predicted we’d come anywhere near the number of templates created and used.
4. There are always ways to improve your product.
Our support forum is the most common way our users connect with us. Many questions are related to ways to use the product in specialized ways. For a long time people requested help improving the design of their forms. Sure their forms worked great, but they wanted them to look great too. Up until last year, this needed to be done with manual coding, which we were always happy to help them with. The fact that so many users asked us this, led us to ultimately build the Form Designer. This point and click tool gives users the ability to not only create forms that work great, but also look great – all without coding. Our support forum is actually set up internally to makes it easy for our staff to escalate feature requests. This helps us continually learn what’s most important to our customers.
Listening to one’s customers is one of the best ways to know what features to build next. We maintain a constant dialogue with them, and in so doing are able to stay in tune with what’s most important to them. Beyond that, we love hearing their success stories and how JotForm proved to be the right solution for them. As much as we love our form builder in its own right, JotForm is nothing without its nearly two million customers. The lessons we can learn from them are invaluable to our continued success and growth.
Steve Gibson is a director at JotForm, and loves interacting with customers personally to learn how they use they use it and how it may be improved.