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m 
Putting Web 
Forms Online 
(Beyond the PDF) 
m 
Chris Lucas and Greg Zguta 
Dec. 2, 2014 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 1
m 
#mStonerNow 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 2
m 
#mStonerNow 
@chris_c_lucas 
@gzguta 
@mStonerInc 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 3
m 
Let’s get started. 
• Forms in Higher Ed 
• Brand Problems 
• Conversion Problems 
• Form Solutions 
• Examples 
• Ques...
m 
Form Usage 
in Higher Ed 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 5
m 
Technology in web projects 
• Content Management System 
• Website search 
• Web event calendaring 
• Analytics 
• Form...
m 
More PDFs, more Problems 
• Paper, paper, and more paper (and faxes 
and emails) 
• Not really “online” forms 
• Old fo...
m 
CMS Form Tools 
• Work directly in the CMS 
• Typically don’t have stellar ease of 
use for content editors 
• Form fea...
m 
Custom Web Forms 
• Require web development resources 
• No access for content editors (unless you 
build it) 
• Often ...
m 
Best of Breed Forms Tools 
• Offer administration tools and utilities to 
manage forms and data 
• Provide options for ...
m 
Key Decision Criteria 
• Self service ability for content editors 
• Technical support for form creation 
• Increase in...
m 
Brand 
Problems 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 12
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 13
m 
Low utility for form 
owners and users 
• Confusing—”Is this the right place?” 
• Uncertainty and low confidence 
• Use...
m 
Conversion 
Opportunities 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 15
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 16
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 17
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 18
m 
What Can 
Help? 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 19
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 20
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 21
m 
Field Bottlenecks 
• Help you optimize your form 
• Reveal trouble spots 
• Minimize form abandonment 
• Increase user ...
m 
Example: 
Berkshire 
Community College 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 23
m 
Problem Overview 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 24
m 
Form options 
Custom web form 
• Unlimited customization 
possibilities 
• Connect form directly to 
Datatel export/imp...
m 
Solution Requirements 
• The form needed to have multiple pages 
• Ability to have conditional steps 
• Must be mobile ...
m 
Design Process 
• Review of the existing PDF form 
• Wireframe proposed new steps and 
fields based on new website desi...
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 28
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 29
m 
Implementation 
• Mapping of fields to Datatel Colleague 
database 
• Development of CSS and Javascript to 
style and e...
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 31
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 32
m 
Impact (so far) 
• 481 Conversions (applications!) in the first 
three months 
• 21% conversion rate 
• Additional form...
m 
Example: 
University of 
Nevada, Reno 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 34
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 35
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 36
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 37
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 38
m 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 39
m 
Takeaways 
• Web forms are a core component of web 
infrastructure 
• There are three primary paths for implementing 
f...
m 
Questions? 
Wednesday, December 3, 14 41
m 
Thank You! 
For more information about mStoner: 
773-305-0537 | mStoner@mstoner.com 
Want to work with us? 
Contact Mal...
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Putting Web Forms Online (Beyond the PDF)

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Higher education websites can become a maze of links leading key audiences to various calls to action — information requests, campus visits, and applications, to name a few. Too many of these calls to action dead end in the download of a PDF form that gets printed, emailed, or even faxed to ultimately complete the “action”.

Putting business processes online means more than putting a PDF on the website, but its easier said than done. Learn more about the challenges higher education faces putting forms online, and see some real world success stories of institutions using Formstack as an online forms solution.

Published in: Technology
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Putting Web Forms Online (Beyond the PDF)

  1. 1. m Putting Web Forms Online (Beyond the PDF) m Chris Lucas and Greg Zguta Dec. 2, 2014 Wednesday, December 3, 14 1
  2. 2. m #mStonerNow Wednesday, December 3, 14 2
  3. 3. m #mStonerNow @chris_c_lucas @gzguta @mStonerInc Wednesday, December 3, 14 3
  4. 4. m Let’s get started. • Forms in Higher Ed • Brand Problems • Conversion Problems • Form Solutions • Examples • Questions Wednesday, December 3, 14 4
  5. 5. m Form Usage in Higher Ed Wednesday, December 3, 14 5
  6. 6. m Technology in web projects • Content Management System • Website search • Web event calendaring • Analytics • Forms Wednesday, December 3, 14 6
  7. 7. m More PDFs, more Problems • Paper, paper, and more paper (and faxes and emails) • Not really “online” forms • Old forms are never removed from the site • Search results filled with PDFs instead of web pages Wednesday, December 3, 14 7
  8. 8. m CMS Form Tools • Work directly in the CMS • Typically don’t have stellar ease of use for content editors • Form features are limited • Work best for simple forms Wednesday, December 3, 14 8
  9. 9. m Custom Web Forms • Require web development resources • No access for content editors (unless you build it) • Often require back end solutions to work with other databases/systems • All features must be built from the ground up Wednesday, December 3, 14 9
  10. 10. m Best of Breed Forms Tools • Offer administration tools and utilities to manage forms and data • Provide options for how forms are hosted on pages • Are purpose-built to make form creation easy for content editors • Advanced features like integrations, custom branding and analytics Wednesday, December 3, 14 10
  11. 11. m Key Decision Criteria • Self service ability for content editors • Technical support for form creation • Increase in higher ed websites hosted externally • Cost versus capabilities Wednesday, December 3, 14 11
  12. 12. m Brand Problems Wednesday, December 3, 14 12
  13. 13. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 13
  14. 14. m Low utility for form owners and users • Confusing—”Is this the right place?” • Uncertainty and low confidence • Users more likely to abandon unbranded forms Wednesday, December 3, 14 14
  15. 15. m Conversion Opportunities Wednesday, December 3, 14 15
  16. 16. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 16
  17. 17. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 17
  18. 18. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 18
  19. 19. m What Can Help? Wednesday, December 3, 14 19
  20. 20. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 20
  21. 21. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 21
  22. 22. m Field Bottlenecks • Help you optimize your form • Reveal trouble spots • Minimize form abandonment • Increase user satisfaction Wednesday, December 3, 14 22
  23. 23. m Example: Berkshire Community College Wednesday, December 3, 14 23
  24. 24. m Problem Overview Wednesday, December 3, 14 24
  25. 25. m Form options Custom web form • Unlimited customization possibilities • Connect form directly to Datatel export/import process • Use server-side code to help deliver required features Custom Formstack form • Built-in administration tools for form submission/ review/approval • Ability to create additional forms based on the theme • Less code/more configuration Wednesday, December 3, 14 25
  26. 26. m Solution Requirements • The form needed to have multiple pages • Ability to have conditional steps • Must be mobile friendly • Must have proper required fields to ensure valid data • Admissions needs an approval step to review submitted applications Wednesday, December 3, 14 26
  27. 27. m Design Process • Review of the existing PDF form • Wireframe proposed new steps and fields based on new website design • Development of HTML/CSS for a theme within Formstack • Quality assurance with web team and Admissions prior to launch Wednesday, December 3, 14 27
  28. 28. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 28
  29. 29. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 29
  30. 30. m Implementation • Mapping of fields to Datatel Colleague database • Development of CSS and Javascript to style and enable form elements • Creation of application form steps in Formstack • Creation of a custom theme in Formstack Wednesday, December 3, 14 30
  31. 31. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 31
  32. 32. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 32
  33. 33. m Impact (so far) • 481 Conversions (applications!) in the first three months • 21% conversion rate • Additional forms created which inherit the theme/styles: • Request Information • Schedule a Tour Wednesday, December 3, 14 33
  34. 34. m Example: University of Nevada, Reno Wednesday, December 3, 14 34
  35. 35. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 35
  36. 36. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 36
  37. 37. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 37
  38. 38. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 38
  39. 39. m Wednesday, December 3, 14 39
  40. 40. m Takeaways • Web forms are a core component of web infrastructure • There are three primary paths for implementing forms: • CMS forms • Custom web forms • Best of breed third party form tools • Tools like Formstack provide highly customized, highly useable solutions Wednesday, December 3, 14 40
  41. 41. m Questions? Wednesday, December 3, 14 41
  42. 42. m Thank You! For more information about mStoner: 773-305-0537 | mStoner@mstoner.com Want to work with us? Contact Mallory Wood at 802-457-9234 mallory.wood@mstoner.com Wednesday, December 3, 14 42

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