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What is a Drag-and-Drop Form Builder, and What Are its Advantages?

December 23, 2020

Getting things done in higher education often involves a form. Changing your major? There’s a form for that. Obtaining a research grant? There’s a form (or a few dozen) for that. Securing a parking pass? There’s a form for that, too.

Forms are a highly useful tool. However, forms must be built and maintained correctly. 

An SRA study found that 43% of research administrators indicated frustration with research administration form processes. They cited redundancies, time-consuming workflows, and poor formatting. It’s important to note electronic research administration systems account for only 20% of all research processes, with the other 80% being handled by PDFs, email, webforms, and hard copies.

You can improve your institution’s forms with form automation software. Elevate your forms to be easy to create and use with a drag-and-drop form builder.

What is a Drag-and-Drop Form Builder?

First, users can use a form builder to create digital forms. Form builders typically allow some degree of automation. ‘Drag-and-drop’ is a feature that makes form building easy. Drag-and-drop form builders allow users to drag fields onto their form and easily drop them into place. A drag-and-drop form builder might look something like this:

Drag and drop form builder
Figure 1

In Figure 1, we can see a list of field types on the left hand side of the page. In the middle of the page, we see the form building section. This example outlines a student travel support request form. The user can pull field types from the left column and drop them in the middle to add new fields to the form. 

To edit a field the user has dropped in the form, the user can click on a form element. Users can edit fields on the form by adding integrations with campus systems.

There are many reasons to seek out a form builder with drag-and-drop capabilities. Here are just three advantages of using this type of form builder. 

Three Advantage of Drag-and-Drop Form Builders

1.  No Coding Required

A drag-and-drop interface allows users to build a form from scratch without writing any code. This means any type of user, with technical experience or otherwise, can create a highly customized form. This takes the pressure off of IT to build custom digital forms when the need arises. Additionally, when forms are built within a drag-and-drop, no-code form builder, help from IT is not required to maintain each form. Over time, this solution significantly eases IT’s burden to create and maintain custom forms for dozens of departments across an institution. 

2. Better adoption

Drag-and-drop form builders are easy to use. Anyone can learn how to use them. With little to no training, users can log in and begin building. Because there is so little friction in learning how to use the tool, winning widespread adoption will be quick and easy, allowing administrators to spend less time on change management.

3. Faster building

With a drag-and-drop form builder, you can create forms in record time. Create sections, drop field types where they belong, add integrations, test the form, and voila! You’re ready to distribute the form. 

Need to make adjustments? No problem. Drag fields or sections where they belong on the form, preview it and click publish. There’s no need to start from scratch or spend weeks working with IT to improve the process.  

You may be wondering, “Can’t we do this with our eSign tool?” Hmm...we’re doubtful. Check out how no-code, drag-and-drop form builders stack up against eSign tools

What to Look for in a Form Builder Tool?

Drag-and-drop form builders make the form building process much easier. There are many factors to consider when beginning your search for the right form building tool. If this software is new to you, check out Higher Education’s Guide to Forms Automation

Here are a few more features to seek out:  

  • Easy to customize look and feel
  • Easy to configure field options
  • Lots of field options to choose from
  • Responsive design (don’t need to download a mobile app)
  • Accessibility compliant

Getting Started with a Drag-and-Drop Form Builder

Kuali Build is a form automation solution that features each of the advantages discussed in this post and more. Get started today by learning more about Kuali Build’s form automation platform.

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