What can this post teach me?

This post will teach you how to implement logic branching for form questions and sections. Wow...that sounds so boring...

Ok, how about this - you'll learn how to:

  • spiff up forms,
  • be more personable
  • create fun but still super functional forms that will guarantee an increase in your opt-in rates.

I've also got some great resources at the end.

Happy?

Yay!

Backstory

With that out of the way, let me tell you one of the reasons I like the Paperform platform so much!

It's because it flows really well.

It flows well because when you make a web form it offers form elements as well as regular visual elements, (like images and text), creating an entire landing page that works really well for collecting leads or any kind of information collection.

I call these pages 'Landing Forms' which is a term I’d like to take credit for, (but sadly can’t), because it was coined by one of the founders of Paperform.

Because landing forms are so easy to make, instead of sending an email asking questions, I often use them to collect information as I find it works surprisingly well.

Instead of sending an email with a bunch of questions or using stale and uninspiring form builders, I find that using Paperform features like logic and 'breaks' (group logic or 'branching'), drives the point home better.

It is also fun to do!

COMPONENTS OF THE SOLUTION

A while back in 2017 the Paperform Team introduced some awesome new features that we are going to use:

THE END GAME

The finished form should offer different answers and/or questions depending on what the user answers in as they fill out the form (branching). For example, try this embedded form:

WHAT TO UNDERSTAND

In this example we are going to make a form to ask our marketing department if they are willing to use this new tool of awesomeness called Paperform ! ◕‿↼ !

Ok, let's do it! - Here's how:

(1) Make sure you have a Paperform account. If you already do, just login and go to the Dashboard.

(2) Create a new form - go to 'CREATE FORM' to the top right of the dashboard.

Upon creating a new form you'll immediately be asked some basic questions about your form. You can fill that information in, (Title, Description etc.) or cancel and fill it in later.

(3) Ok, time to add questions. Click on the page and select the 'Add Question' icon to the left of the line. Then choose a question type from the dropdown selections.

Let's start with creating a simple Yes/No question.

You can then just keep adding all additional questions you want to use in the form by selecting 'Add Question' at the bottom of the last question.

(4) Make sections by using the 'section breaks' feature

Section breaks are great at breaking up the form into more manageable chunks that appear conditionally (logic). Some people refer to this as "question branching". These chunks of content can be displayed either on the same page (called sections) or on a separate page (called pages).

Make a break by clicking on the 'ADD BREAK' icon on the left side of any line in the form editor.

In this case, let's make a section that shows up ONLY if the question above is 'No'.

(5) Apply the logic

We apply logic to branch out the flow of the form depending on what a user answers to e.g. a multiple option question.

Logic is applied by clicking on the tiny config wheel of the section break

Configure your desired behavior
In this case, let's make this section show up ONLY if the Yes/No question is 'No'. This will apply to everything below the line, until the end of the form or until the next break line.

And let's also configure what should happen if the Yes/No question is 'Yes'



Of course, for the 'Yes' response we now have to create another section of content to apply the 'yes logic'. In this case I created a section that contains text, an image AND a follow-up Multiple Choice question.

(6) Let's test the logic

Notice how the the two sections display different results depending on how the Yes/No question was answered? Congrats! - you have applied logic!

We are done!! - Yay!!


THE GOTCHA'S

① Forgetting to clean up the logic - Make sure the logic is solid!
It is important that you go through the logic and make sure it behaves as expected. Run through the logic as if you were a user and make sure it behaves as you want it to. Applying logic is the tricky part and it can get confusing.


② Not testing enough - Test Test Test!

Making forms that use logic and branching requires more diligence and attention to detail.

Here is why:

If you make a form where you have not tried all combinations that users might click on, there will be parts of the forms behavior that you haven't seen and you’ll find that some users will become confused when they happen to click on a combination that you haven't tested.

Let's look at some examples. Notice the difference between these two setups

GOOD SETUP - The form will behave as expected e.g. users:

  1. click on Yes to the first question
  2. click on Yes to the second question
  3. go back up and click on No

BAD SETUP - Form behaves in an unexpected manner

Same steps as above - users:

  1. click on Yes to the first question
  2. click on Yes to the second question
  3. go back up and click on No

NOTE: If logic is incorrent, users will see the wrong information and be confused

["Awesome!! - I'll send you access codes to it soon"]


③ Section Breaks - Remember, there are TWO kinds of breaks
In the form editor if you see a red line, that means the section will show up on the same page

If the line is blue it means the section will show up on a separate page


You choose either by going to config wheel to the right of the line.

CONCLUSION / ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Section breaks, logic and branching are an awesome way to better interact with your users, and to guide them down the question funnel you want.

I wish I had some statistics to share, showing that logic or engagement in this way is better than a static form but I couldn't find any and can only base it on my own experience of collecting information online using my own businesses.

That said, here is a good quote from a good article about making forms.

If you need to ask quite a bit of information but don’t want to overwhelm the viewer, then step-by-step forms are the way to go. It allows the form to be broken up and simplified on each screen.

Source: Designing web forms is exciting - 99designs

It compliments the article written here about how to ensure your forms visually engage your audience
[a must read if you are serious about making great forms]

I hope hope your creativity is sparked when you see what is possible using section breaks & logic in the Paperform editor.

If you want to see the form used as the example in this post, click here. It is completely functional. Feel free to to take it for a spin!

Below I have also added some additional resources.
Happy Form Building Everybody!

Logic Types Help
Section Breaks Help
An Example of Section Breaks
Designing web forms is exciting - 99designs
Why web forms need to visually engage, and how to ensure yours do