John Borden | July 16, 2018
Let’s do a quick recap. On our last blog post we talked about one of the smaller features that comes bundled with Sprints called Goals. There’s nothing too crazy there (yet), Goals just simply provide a tool within Sprints to help you better define what you want to do during a Sprint. That’s just a small part of our Sprints though. Today we’d like to talk about another key feature of our Sprints called Forms. Like Goals, the name is pretty self-descriptive. Goals are designed to help you define and achieve goals during a Sprint, Forms are designed to help you create forms and surveys.
So why were Forms chosen to be an early, instrumental part of Sprints? Why not focus our energies on something else? Why not just trust people to use one of the other existing form tools out there?
Business Toybox was built on the premise that we could use design (especially game design) to get people to design better business models. A big part of designing better business models is making sure you’re designing them to fit around a group of prospective customers over time. To do that, you need to talk to prospective customers. Forms and surveys help you do that at scale, albeit at a loss of flexibility. So, we wanted some way to fit forms into your experience as you’re designing your business models.
We could’ve found some way to let you use one of the existing form or survey builders out there, and indeed we probably will later down the line, but a big obstacle we saw was getting you to use them effectively in the first place. The reasoning went that if we created our own Form tool inside Business Toybox there would be less friction when it came to using forms and surveys in the first place, and there was the opportunity to apply our design know-how to making the experience more enjoyable.
So, in a nutshell, getting you to talk to people is important to us, and so is getting you to talk to people in an enjoyable way.
Creating A Form
Right, so how do you actually create a Form? Well, you would start at right about the same place where you’d create a new Goal. You would start inside one of your Sprints, by clicking on the button next to the Goals button. It’s the colorful looking one that kind of looks like a somewhat creative interpretation of a paper form.
Since this is likely your first time getting started, you should see this rather dull screen giving you some guidance on how to make it less dull.
So, let’s try this Make A Form button on for size and see where it takes us. The first step is pretty straightforward. We need a name.
And now we have a fresh new form to work with.
Creating a form in the first step. Next step is to start building it out using a series of questions. We’ll admit it, creating a new question looks like a bit of a process, but all we’re asking is for you to define the question itself, how people are supposed to respond, and maybe give them some pre-defined responses if you want to create a multiple choice or single choice question.
The question types aren’t all that different compared to what you’re familiar with. You can give people the option to write down a quick or a long response, you can give them the option to respond in a yes or no format, or you can give them a list of responses to choose from. We may expand this list later, but for now we’re just covering the basics.
As you build out your form, you’ll actually be able to see a roughly 95% accurate preview of what it’s going to look like when people start using it. All those buttons on the side will be removed, but otherwise this is what the form is going to look like. You can even click around on some of the choice responses to see how they look when someone selects a response.
Sharing Your Forms
Once you’re done creating your form, you can share it by clicking the button at the top with the blue button. Up until now there was no way for other people to see your form. Clicking that button will publish it and assign a unique url to your form that you can share with other people.
Now that we’ve published it and made it live, let’s go back to the Forms page. You’ll see the Form you just created along with a row of buttons. Clicking on the magnifying class will let you see the shareable form itself along with a unique URL you can share with others. Once you’re there, just copy the url from your web browser’s address bar and share it wherever you want. We’ll streamline this process so that it’s easier in the future, but for now it works pretty well.
Hopefully once you share your Form you’ll start getting answers left and right. When that happens, that red button with the 0 will change to reflect the number of people who have responded to your form. Go ahead and click on it to see what people have said.
The responses page is laid out in a way that’s really similar to the Forms page. It’s a grid containing each Form response along with the time that the response came in. Click on the view results button, and you can view the Form exactly as it appeared to the person who filled it out, but with their responses in all the relevant fields.
There’s a lot of room for improvement here, but we wanted to get this early version out sooner rather than later to give you all a chance to let us know what you think and give us some valuable feedback. We think we have a lot of great ideas to make it better, but we’d like you to help us find the ideas that really matter.
Forms are now live in Business Toybox. Go ahead and take them for a spin and let us know what you think.
As for our next announcement, we’d like to talk about what actually happens to Sprints when they come to an end and what happens to your Canvas in the process. In a nutshell, you get to do some painting. We’re only slightly exaggerating when we say that.