So you want to add a form to your MIIS.edu page? Here’s a brief overview to help you get started. Enjoy! [By Jeremy Borgia]
Need help? Make an Appointment at the DLC!
Forms are a very useful tool to integrate into your MIIS page. They invite users to participate interactively, and are a forum for them to sign up for events, request more information, or submit information.
Creating a page/URL for your form
Contact the web team (Melissa Jennings or Evelyn Helminen) and request a page for your form. In your email, tell them:
- Where you want your page to be (i.e. what page will users be getting to this page from, what will serve as its parent page?)
- What will be the purpose of your form?
With this information, the web team will build a home for your new form. We will send you the URL.
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Adding your form to the page
Congratulations on your new page! However, with no form on it, it’s just a useless void, forever lost in the enormity of the world wide web, doomed to stagnate in irrelevance. So, take a breath, steel yourself, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to build a form!
On your page, click “Add content” (as highlighted in the above picture) or by selecting “Add” under “Content” in the blue section of the top toolbar. Select “web form” as content type.
Insert a title for your form. If your page is using a large banner image, the page title will be displayed at the top. Often the page title and the form title will be the same; if you don’t want your title to appear twice, put [brackets] around your form’s title.
In the “body” section, enter any content you would like to precede your form.
If you need your form to be available during a specific date range, let the web team know and we will work with you to enable this feature.
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Adding substance to your form
You will be returned to your page, where you will see your form title. You’re almost there. Click “edit” underneath the title. In the top green bar, select “Form Components.” This is where you will build the foundation of your form. To add a new component of your form, insert a descriptive title (something you will easily recognize, as you refer back to it for ordering or conditional rules) and select component type (see below for examples and descriptions for each component type). Select whether this form component will be required. Then hit add. For each component, the text you insert as “Label” will show, so ensure your chosen labels are clear, concise, and spelled/capitalized correctly. Each component has its own procedure for adding, and those are described in detail below.
The order that form components are listed in on this page is the order that they will appear for users. To reorder, use the tool on the left of the component name to drag up/down.
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Commonly Used Form Components
This component allows for your users to submit a date through your form. For example, at the DLC we use this tool for users to submit event items to the weekly newsletter.
- You can control the range of dates that are accepted through your form. Use the Start/End date boxes to do this.
- Select the box next to “Enable popup calendar” if you would like users to be able to select a date from a popup calendar.
This component allows for users to submit their or others’ email addresses.
- By selecting “User email as default,” the form will pre-load the email address of whichever user is logged in.
- By selecting “multiple,” the form will allow users to provide more than one email address, separated by commas.
- Ensure that “Short Format” is selected.
- By selecting “unique,” the form will only allow an email address to be used one time by one user over the life of the form.
This component allows users to attach files to their form submission.
- Set the max upload size, keeping in mind the proper size of the type of files you are receiving (i.e. a text document vs. a video).
- Select what type(s) of file extensions you will accept.
As shown in the picture, this component creates a question grid for your user. We often see these used for “Poor, Average, Great” or “Disagree, Neutral, Agree” type of questions.
This component, as one might expect, allows users to enter a number through the form. You will see a variety of options to customize this component, including maximum/minimum values, text to precede or succeed your text, or the allowed number of decimal places.
The page break is one of the most important form components if you plan on using conditionals (which send you to different form questions depending on your previous form answers). Inserting a page break will create a new page for all the succeeding form components.
This component allows users to select one (or sometimes multiple) preloaded responses.
- By selecting “Single Use,” once a user selects an option, it will not be available for other users to select. This may be useful if using the form to schedule appointments.
- By selecting “Multiple,” you allow users to select more than one response (Note, selecting this option prevents you from using the “Listbox” option).
- By selecting “Allow ‘Other…’ option” you allow users to select other and enter their own custom response.
- You can load a pre-built list, choosing from Days of the Week, Countries, or US States.
- By selecting “Listbox,” the options will appear as a drop-down menu, rather than a list.
- By selecting “Randomize options,” the options will appear in a different order for each user.
This component provides a box for users to enter a large block of text.
This component provides a smaller box for users to enter text.
This component allows users to submit a time value.
- You can customize which times the form will accept by entering a Start and End timeBack to top of page
This component allows you to add text in a box within your form. However, there is no way to edit the format (e.g. bold, italicized, underlined, etc.). If you want to be able to edit your text like that, use the “markup” component.
This component also allows you to add text within your form, and allows for rich text editing (e.g. bold, italicized, underlined, etc.).
Conditional rules send you to different form questions depending on your previous form answers. You can create conditional rules by selecting “Conditionals” from the top green bar. Conditional rules can quickly become quite complex; we strongly recommend making an appointment at the DLC so that you can have personalized, human assistance (beta robot trainer program indefinitely postponed) as you build your form’s conditional rules.
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You can set your form to automatically send form submitters a response. You can also set your form to email the form responses to your or another email address. This is a complicated process; we strongly recommend making an appointment at the DLC.
Under “Form Settings,” you can customize the text shown upon completion of the form, or set the form to redirect users to another page once they are done.
- To customize the text shown upon completion of the form, enter the text in the box labeled “Confirmation Message.”
- To redirect users to another page once they are done, select “Custom URL” under “Redirection Location,” and enter the full URL (including http://)
You may also set a limit for submissions, or a limit per user, by using the “Total submissions limit” or “Per user submission limit” options.
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If you have more questions, feel free to come in to the DLC. We’ll be happy to help.
Training created by Jeremy Borgia, who joined the DLC team in January 2015 as part of the web rebranding team, and has stuck around like a horse on a carousel ever since. Make an appointment with him in the DLC if you would like more help, additional tips, or a deep discussion about the healing power of french fries.