When I first started at Device Magic a few months ago I found myself running into a common problem, over and over again.
People would ask me what it was Device Magic did, and I'd say we were a mobile forms app... and they'd wrinkle their nose and say, "Like contact forms, and stuff?"
You see, while we've gotten pretty used to collecting customer information via our websites and using online forms for external data collection, internally many companies are still using the old-fashioned stuff: paper and ink.
But the best companies—those really interested in improving efficiency and streamlining their business processes—are using mobile forms.
What Are Mobile Forms (And What Aren't They)?
Is there someone on your team who is bogged down by paperwork? They spend their time filling out paperwork... and then either typing or scanning that same information into a computer later on?
Now, imagine instead if they could just fill out that information once, on a smartphone or tablet, and the information would be sent directly where it's needed most.
The data could go straight to your customer's email inbox, a spreadsheet in Google Drive, or one of our many other destinations.
It could even go to three places at once. No extra work required.
....That's not to say mobile forms can't ever be customer facing—especially if you need your customers to sign for a delivery or want to use the form to send them an invoice.
But mobile forms aren't usually embedded in or filled out from your website; instead, they're filled out on a mobile device.
Mobile forms vs. Mobile Friendly or Responsive Forms
Part of the confusion, I think, is how popular the phrases "mobile friendly" and "responsive" have become.
Websites and web forms that are mobile friendly or responsive offer a user-friendly experience regardless of whether the user is viewing the site or form on their computer or their mobile device.
So, mobile forms are inherently mobile-friendly (ie. they render well on a mobile device), but mobile-friendly forms aren't necessarily mobile forms.
Instead, and far more frequently, a mobile friendly form is actually a web form that simply renders well on a mobile device; that means it is important that the contact forms on your website and on your landing pages are mobile friendly or responsive but it's also easy to understand how people might think mobile forms are simply mobile-friendly web forms.
Move Toward Mobile Forms May Help Clear Up Confusion
In a recent study reported on in Information Age Magazine over half (52%) of the full-time, office-based respondents surveyed hoped technology would eliminate the need for paper records in the next few years.
As companies adapt to that reality, they'll need a solution that allows them to become more and more paperless without a loss of data.
Mobile forms are a natural solution—and as adoption continues to grow, the distinction between mobile-friendly and mobile forms is likely to become increasingly well known.
Interested in seeing how you can replace your paperwork with a smartphone or tablet? Sign up for our 14-day Free Trial today!