Google Forms provides an easy way to build quizzes, surveys, and polls quickly and easily. It’s free, available from within Google Drive, and used by millions of educators around the world every year to collect information from students or employees. But if you’re new to this tool or are not sure how to take full advantage of it, here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your forms. 8 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Google Forms
1) Use Icons
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Icons can make your Google Form much more user-friendly, especially if you’re sharing it with a lot of people. To access icons in Google Docs, look at your toolbar and click on Insert. Choose Icons from the dropdown menu that appears. Then drag and drop them into your document wherever you like!
2) Add Text That is Easy to Scan
If you include text in your survey, make sure it’s formatted so respondents can quickly skim and digest it. For example, using headings can be a good way to break up questions with long answers. Consider incorporating bulleted lists where appropriate too. Doing these things will help your respondents find what they’re looking for—and answer your questions—quickly.
3) Leave Space
Leave some blank space on your form for more information. For example, if you’re asking about someone’s favorite vacation spot, leave a blank box where they can add additional details like: One month in Zanzibar followed by a weekend in New York City. Not only does it give them room to expand on their preferences, it will also help you get more detailed data from them. The easier your form is for people to complete, the better response rate you can expect!
4) Ask Follow Up Questions
One of my favorite features within a form is being able to ask follow-up questions. This is great for when you want an answer on one topic, but also provide opportunities for extra details about another topic. How many times have you created an online survey only to get a bunch of answers that are 1 or 2 words long? Follow up questions can be used in these situations too.
5) Use More Than One Form
Using multiple forms allows you to be more dynamic when gathering information from your contacts. Use one form for gathering leads, another for performing a survey and yet another for receiving suggestions or feedback. This way, you’ll always have a purpose in mind when you’re creating a form. It’s also good practice to have each person who receives your forms know why they’re receiving them.
6) Color Code Sections
If you’re going to use more than one section of your form, consider coloring-code them in order to group questions together that relate. It not only makes for easier navigation for users but will make it easier for you when it comes time to reviewing, analyzing and compiling responses later on down the line. The more organized your form is from start, after all, means less time you’ll have to spend managing submissions once they start pouring in.
7) Don’t Use Duplicates
If you’re using a form for data collection purposes, don’t use duplicate entries. Create separate fields for each source that contains data and avoid duplicating your responses in a single form. If you can avoid duplicates, it will make analyzing your collected data much easier later on. Also, if users are submitting multiple forms (for example, if they want to submit a response via email as well as online), then be sure that each entry is unique. Otherwise, you might end up with duplicate entries in your database or spreadsheets!
8) Avoid Confusing Language
Formulas are a useful tool in your spreadsheet arsenal, but you want to be sure that when you use them, you don’t unintentionally confuse yourself or others. For instance, avoid using range names like data or output. Instead, give them more intuitive labels like costs or results. Those titles will make it easier for people other than you to understand what they should expect from each data table they open in your spreadsheet.