The Future of Web Forms: 3 Trends That Can Enhance The User Experience

From their early days as a rudimentary form of data collection to their evolution into a cornerstone of nearly all interactive online interfaces, web forms have certainly seen their share of innovation. As organizations continue moving closer to entirely paperless environments where the flow of information begins and ends digitally, web forms have become preferred for generating documents and capturing valuable business information without touching a pen or printer.

Using web forms allows organizations to complete processes more efficiently and with less confusion by taking advantage of interfaces that guide users question by question, automatically populate fields based on previous entries, and complete calculations that would typically have to be done by hand.

But what’s in store for web forms next? And how will they evolve to take advantage of new technologies and meet a set of needs? In this post, we will discuss potential future trends for web forms that can completely reshape how we do business.

Future Web Form Trends

AI-Powered Form Building

A surge in artificial intelligence technology breakthroughs has led to a slew of new and exciting use cases that are simplifying how we live and work. AI in web forms has the potential to significantly improve the form-building experience by generating forms with a simple user-written prompt.

This powerful use of natural language processing and generative AI interprets your prompt and designs an interactive form to meet your organization’s needs without any time-consuming design. To generate a W-9 form, for example, you may describe the fields and associated labels you need it to generate, such as organization name, federal tax classification, exemptions, address, etc. 

Once the prompt is complete, the entire form design process, whether typically done through code writing or a drag-and-drop interface, can be forgone entirely in favor of simple editing and revision. This can save incredible amounts of time during implementations, especially for less frequent web form use cases.

Conversational UI in Forms

In addition to using new technologies, form design is constantly undergoing innovation. One design trend that’s been proven especially effective is conversational interfaces. The goal of conversational interface design is to make those completing the form feel like they are having a conversation to make the completion process less daunting. They achieve this by dedicating an entire screen to each question, eliminating distractions, and helping users focus on the current moment rather than the number of questions left.

Compare this approach to other form designs that place all upcoming prompts on the same screen, and it’s easy to see how conversational UI makes for a more pleasant user experience.

Dynamic Form Personalization

Dynamic form personalization has become a powerful tool that web form solutions leverage more frequently. This form of personalization uses the data collected to further tailor the interface to the user’s needs.

In online retail, dynamic personalization is frequently seen in the product suggestions presented to shoppers based on previous purchases, but this use of data has practical applications in ECM as well.

With complex government forms such as the I-9 employment verification form and W-2 tax form, only some fields are applicable in every scenario, and the options for some fields may even expand or narrow based on previous entries. Your tax bracket, for example, may change the types of exemptions available to you, affecting the options on the form.

With responsible use of previously entered data, however, the fields for these forms can be tailored specifically to what applies to you, eliminating confusion and making the entire completion process less overwhelming.

In Summary 

As new technologies and design strategies are developed, web forms will continue to adapt to provide the best possible user experience. AI-assisted form building that reduces implementation effort, conversational interfaces that make forms less daunting, and dynamic form personalization that tailors the interface to your needs will likely reshape how we interact with web forms and help us work more efficiently.

How Square 9 Can Help

Square 9 is a leading provider of AI-powered intelligent document processing solutions that take the paper out of work and make it easier to get things done. With digital workflows that automate many aspects of how you work today, we make it easy by extracting information from scans or PDFs, storing documents in a searchable archive, and building digital twins of your current processes through graphical workflows.

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