Google Spreadsheet Changes

Google has recently begun changing the ways their Data APIs operate for third party services like FormAssembly.  As a result, in the coming weeks, customers who have used or are using our Google Spreadsheet API connectors will need to take certain actions by April 20th.  This affects all FormAssembly customers who have an active Google Spreadsheet regardless of their version / edition of FormAssembly.

What’s changing:

In order to increase security, Google has mandated that all API communications must use a new authentication system.  Because of this, the access rights you have granted FormAssembly in the past to send data to Google Spreadsheets on your behalf, will no long be accepted.  This means that all forms connected to Google Spreadsheets will begin failing to send data to Google beginning on or after April 20th, 2015.

As a result, we’ve written a new Google Spreadsheet connector (called “Google Spreadsheet Connector v2″) which will be able to resume communication with Google Spreadsheets.

What you need to do:

In the next week we’ll be deploying the new Google Spreadsheet v2 connector to app.formassembly.com and our Enterprise Cloud customers.  Any customer who currently has a Google Spreadsheet v1 connector will need to remove it and replace it with a Google Spreadsheet v2 prior to April 20, 2015.

What if I can’t install the update in time?

Your form will continue to work, but the spreadsheet integration part will fail once Google effectively disables the old authentication API (April 20th). You will be able to resume sending data to the spreadsheets once you’ve installed the update.

What’s next:

If you have any questions, please email us at helpdesk@formassembly.com and we’ll be happy to help.

We realize how inconvenient it can be to upgrade the software and your forms. Let us know how we can assist in making this change as seamless as possible for you.

 

Drew Buschhorn
FormAssembly COO

Salesforce Stay-in-Touch Form: How to Customize

If you’re a Salesforce user and have been looking for a custom Stay-in-Touch forms, you’ve probably already realized that it’s not a built-in feature.

The default Stay-in-Touch form provides a great way for you to keep in touch with your contacts, but you’re looking for further customization.

If you’re a heavy Salesforce user, you’ve probably been scratching your head wondering: How can I add my company’s branding, create custom fields, or edit the colors and layout of my form?

Well, you’re not alone. Since there’s currently no way to edit your form directly in Salesforce, we’re here to help you take care of that—because we know how important it is that your form stays consistent with your branding.

Salesforce Form Customization

Here’s how you can do that using our easy 3-step process:

Here’s a sneak peek of a premade template that you can customize. You can edit the colors, fields, and even add your company’s logo and branding with our simple drag-and-drop Form Builder:

Stay-in-Touch Salesforce Forms

So, what are you waiting for? Beautiful, fully-customized Stay-in-Touch forms are waiting for you! No more headaches or searching around aimlessly for a solution.

In fact, it’s so easy that you don’t even need to ask the IT department for help because there’s no coding required on your end. The setup is simple, and we provide a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Give FormAssembly’s 14-day commitment-free trial a spin and get started today. No credit card required.

Want to know more about how you can integrate your forms with Salesforce? Check out our documentation.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or thoughts to share, feel free to leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Web Form Templates for Your Organization

So you’re looking for a top-notch web form template, but you don’t want to waste a bunch of time by coding it yourself or asking someone to help every time you need to make changes.

After all, there are better things you could be doing than spending hours creating and editing forms from scratch.

Well, the good news is that we have premade HTML form templates ready for you to use. You can build online order forms, contact forms, surveys, and applications.

On all of our plans you can build unlimited forms (they’re responsive, too)And as a Pro, Premier or Enterprise user, you can integrate seamlessly with Salesforce, PayPal, Google Apps, and more.

Below you’ll find snapshots of just a few of the HTML form templates we offer. (You can customize any of them as you wish)

Employment application template

employment application templates

Customer satisfaction questionnaire template

customer satisfaction survey template

Contest entry form template

contest entry form template

We have a whole library of templates to suit your needs. The best part is that you can easily customize any theme in just a few clicks (no coding required).

We would never want to limit your creativity, which is why we knew it would be important for you to have the opportunity to update a theme quickly and easily.

And if you need to make changes to any of your forms, you can go back into the Form Builder at any time to make edits. No more waiting—your changes will appear right away.

Looking for more advanced features? We’re here to help with that, too, because we believe that advanced forms shouldn’t be so complicated.

You can let your respondents electronically sign any form using our e-signature feature, you can add custom branding, export to Excel, and much more. We’re also 508 compliant so if you’re a school, nonprofit, or government organization, we’ve got you covered.

Say goodbye to those hectic days where you once had to rely on a developer or IT department to help you create and make changes to forms—FormAssembly is simple and, well, it just works.

Let us take care of everything while you kick back and relax.

PS: So, what are you going to do with all that extra time? ;-)

Trusted by…

customer logos

Ready to build a form? Try it free

CAS Authenticated Web Forms

cas-authenticated-web-forms

Now, you can create CAS authenticated web forms with FormAssembly Enterprise.

CAS, or Central Authentication System, is a single-sign on (SSO) authentication system. Many organizations use CAS so people don’t have to provide their credentials multiple times. Instead, users can log into the system just once for organization-wide authentication.

Why are CAS authenticated web forms useful?

When you connect FormAssembly to your CAS system, you can set up who has access to a web form. This ensures that only the appropriate people will view and fill out your form. For example, if you’re a university, you could set up a survey for incoming freshmen, versus an event registration form for faculty. And if an authorized respondent has already logged in with single sign on authentication, she won’t have to take any extra steps to view the form. Learn more about how to set up CAS authentication.

You can also prefill FormAssembly forms with CAS data pulled directly from your system. Automatic prefilling will save your users valuable time and improve your completion rate, since it helps with the heavy lifting and makes a web form easier to fill out.

Questions or Feedback

Email helpdesk@formassembly.com, tweet @FormAssembly, or comment here! We’ll get back to you ASAP.


7 Ingredients for the Perfect Contact Form

Perfect contact form design infographic

Forms keep us connected in the digital age. Since we can’t always communicate in person, they provide us with an easy way to reach out to each other.

Contact forms are the virtual equivalent of the “Hey, I’m so-and-so, it’s nice to meet you” handshake.

And the beauty is that a contact form can be as in-depth (or as simple) as you’d like. You can create something simple, or you can go for a more minimalist look. It’s all up to you.

Before building your next creation, check out this recipe for the perfect contact form:

1. Avoid clutter

Nobody wants to fill out a chaotic, poorly designed form.

A sleek, easy-to-read form? Yes, please.

Bad color choices and clutter are a recipe for disaster. It doesn’t matter how well something works—if the design is terrible, people will be put off.

Excellent design has been said to boost trust, and according to Google, some people form an opinion of a design in as little as 17 milliseconds. Most people make up their minds in approximately 50 milliseconds. That being said, it’s important as ever to keep design in mind and to make sure the first impression is a pleasant one.

And  don’t forget to run far, far way from bright, flashy graphics or anything that might be distracting to the human eye.

2. Keep it real

Remember that a contact form is the beginning of a real, human interaction. The more inviting your form is, the better.

contact form design

The contact form on Teabox.com is a great example of a friendly contact form. It’s warm, welcoming and human. The message sounds like it could be coming from a friend. On top of that, it encourages the visitor to leave their thoughts.

Now imagine the opposite.

Picture being greeted with a message like “Contact us by filling out the form below.” Doesn’t that sound bland and impersonal? If someone is on the fence about contacting you, then a real, reassuring intro message can make all the difference.

Take a moment and think about your favorite brands. Why are they your favorite? Sure, you like their products, but there’s more to it. There’s something that separates them from their competitors. Chances are, it’s their voice that you’re a fan of.

Your contact page is another (often overlooked) opportunity to show off your brand’s personality. Don’t let it slip away.

3. Readability matters

Yep, readability is absolutely crucial—and this goes for anything on your website.

All text and questions should be clear and visible (for example, avoid pairing a light gray background with a white font). Choose a reasonably large font size so that people can easily read on multiple devices. Recent studies show that mobile use is now in the lead, and more are choosing to use mobile over desktop on a regular basis. This means that design needs to catch up with this and cater to the needs of mobile users.

It’s in your best interest to make sure visitors can read what’s on the page without straining. If more obstacles or inconveniences there are, the more likely they will be to leave the form.

Double check to make sure the formatting looks good and that everything is aligned correctly. It’s OK to be a perfectionist when it comes to design.

4. Relevance is key

Make it easy for your visitors: Stick with relevant fields. For example, if a particular question may be helpful but is not completely necessary, you may want to leave it out. This way, you won’t overwhelm visitors with too many fields.

I don’t know about you, but forms overloaded with tons of questions make me look at the clock and wonder, “Do I really have time for this today?”

perfect contact form

Designer Eren Emre keeps it simple with a minimalist contact form. Visitors can fill out as much (or as little) as they want, based on their unique needs. The important takeaway here is that they have the choice. This form also gets extra points because it’s personable!

5. Tell them what’s next

Don’t leave people hanging!

Let them know what’s going to happen after they click “Submit.” (By the way, have you made sure your button is bold?)

It’s always a good idea to include helpful details like how long it will take for someone to follow-up, who they’ll be speaking with, and any other relevant info. That way they won’t feel like they’ve just tossed a message into the abyss.

Really, it all comes down to communication. You’re building a relationship with your customers, so it’s important to start off on the right foot.

6. Don’t be boring

I know what you’re thinking: How entertaining can a contact form really be?

The truth is that you can enhance it in many ways to keep the attention of your visitors. This goes hand-in-hand with making sure your form is friendly and personable, but is still worth mentioning.

Feel free to get creative here. If you can make them laugh, even better.

7. Professional branding

When it comes to branding, it’s good to be consistent—and your contact form should be no exception. The font, tone and colors should reflect your personality.

To customize your form in a way that accurately portrays your brand, add a logo and adjust the design using the FormAssembly theme editor and branding feature.

Don’t scare away potential customers with unprofessional design! Now is not the time to bust out the loud, distracting colors or the funky fonts.

Conclusion

When it comes to the perfect contact form, the key is to make sure your form is personable, relevant, professional, and easy to understand.

Really, that’s what most of us want from a design experience of any kind. And since we’re finding that there is a strong connection between first impression and overall quality of design, it’s important that every aspect of a website impresses the visitor.

After all, contact forms are one of the best ways for people to get in touch with you. Make sure you’re keeping visitors engaged by creating a beautiful form. That way, they won’t abandon their form or forget about it entirely.

If you want some more tips, check out our guide to user-friendly forms.

Do you have something else to add? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to start a discussion in the comments or tweet with us at @FormAssembly.

Build a beautiful web form.
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Upcoming Downtime for Enterprise Cloud Customers

Due to newly disclosed vulnerabilities in their infrastructure, several of the major cloud service providers, including Softlayer.com, our hosting provider, will be instituting a forced downtime for reboots of virtual machines hosted on their service.

This will impact FormAssembly Enterprise Cloud customers but not  Enterprise On-Site or non-Enterprise customers.

The dates for the downtime are rolling, each occurring around midnight ET on the nights of March 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th 2015.
A given Enterprise Cloud instance will have only a single downtime.

We expect the downtime to time to be short, less than 10 minutes, but we will be closely monitoring the situation during each window.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

We apologize for the inconvenience,

Drew

Further reading:

The Register – “New Xen vuln triggers Amazon, Rackspace reboot panic redux”