A Contact Form Solution from Adobe: easy to implement but short of the XFactor

Creating the ultimate contact form for submissions or online bookings can give your website the edge it needs to ensure you convert and maximise your leads.  There’s nothing worse than being led down the garden path of verdant oasis with the hope of completing your transaction in express time, to find an unexpected error message due to a poorly integrated form or an unresponsive submit button. Ever been faced with a confusing page like this laden with red text.

adobeforms

There’s an alternative to the ‘hard slog’ of html, php forms. Adobe have created  the sweetener for all form solutions – it’s a walk in the park!  You can  create a form in 3-4 minutes, embed the form in your site and start collecting sign ups by the time it takes to tweet ‘Eureka’.  There are many solutions out there to choose from, but this is one I came across that I quite liked although has a couple of annoyances, that I will go into later.

Before I proceed, I will add that this isn’t a free form application and costs around £120 per year. You can test AdobeFormsCentral  here for free to see if you like it. So once you’ve registered for a free adobe central account you will see something like the screen below.

The Good

 

– Includes form field verification and tool tips

– There is a web based reporting tool and database to collect your responses

– You can redirect the form to your own landing page. Good for tracking leads for website conversions.

– Automated email response to customers

– You can customise the colours of the form to fit your website colour scheme.

– Excellent alternative to interactive pdf forms

– Uses separate pages and stages for long form submissions.

– Can change the form on the fly.

– Can manage your responses and export data or create charts. Useful for  analysing responses.

– Integrates with paypal so you can take payment afterwards.  Great for taking deposits for a travel agency site for example.

– There are lots of form templates to get you going.  Event forms, customer incident forms, questionnaires and so on….

 

adobeforms

The Bad

Although Adobe have included some great features, they have also missed some stonking obvious ones.  I hope they rectify these asap, as it has the potential to be a great form building tool.

–   You can’t build a form less than 300 pixels in width.  Not good if you have a skinny sidebar and want to add a form to the right hand side of your pages to encourage conversions.

–  This really got my goat this one. You can’t control where the submit button goes, and by default they placed it on the left hand side.   Do we read from right to left? There’s good reason why you see 99% of submit buttons either centrally placed or on the right hand side.

omg

–   You can’t change the text in the Submit button.  Not good if you only have one call to action in your Adobe Armour.  Say if I was running a competition, I might want to say ‘Claim your free prize now!’.

–  You can’t control the vertical spacing between field rows.  Again if you want to create a compact form, you may struggle here and find you need to change your page design to allow for more space.

 Overall has the potential to be a great form building platform but would expect better from Adobe even for a first release.   Remains to be seen how quick they correct these form building faux pas.