Cutout rocket ship with scrunched up post-it notes, signifying launching or boosting an idea
Cutout rocket ship with scrunched up post-it notes, signifying launching or boosting an idea

Introduction: All the pieces matter

Web forms allow users to share information with an organisation in a structured way, be it placing an order, making a request, or even offering an opinion. Good forms create positive relationships between the form maker and those filling it in.

On the flip side, complex and confusing web forms create negative experiences, with significant consequences. Some statistics bear this out:


When building a new web form, you won’t find the perfect solution first time. That’s why we always urge our partners to test their ideas with users, so that feedback can be gathered quickly and easily, and any problems solved efficiently.

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The best way to collect actionable feedback is to make your ideas real — but that doesn’t mean investing upfront in a fully Production-ready form. You start with a prototype.

However, some webform building tools have made it harder than it should be to move from prototype to production. Indeed, the process often involves two completely separate tools, and negotiating the jump between them means delays, and avoidable costs. In our opinion, you should not have to throw away all the work that goes into building a good prototype when moving to your final, user-facing webform.

Here’s how the team at UX Forms solved this problem. …


To Build, or to Buy, that is the question…

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In a recent blog post, Reda Hmeid talked about a common area for discussion when embarking on a new project for a client: “Should we buy, or should we build?”. Reda concluded that it’s rarely a question of build or buy — almost invariably it’s how best to build and buy.

Having talked about this principle in general terms, in this post we focus on the same question but for a specific component — forms.

Forms are a huge part of how we interact with the web. Sometimes it’s obvious (‘we’d love your feedback, please complete this questionnaire…’) but very often you won’t even be aware that you’re completing a form. …


Caredoc is an out-of-hours healthcare service for Irish citizens with urgent medical problems who need to contact a doctor outside of surgery hours.

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Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of concerned citizens have contacted the Health Service Executive (HSE) to ask for advice on their symptoms. Caredoc’s clinicians were tasked with triaging these calls and phoning back citizens with suspected COVID-19 symptoms to further evaluate their condition and consider the next steps.

This was a brand-new service that needed to be designed and launched under extreme and extremely urgent circumstances. There were no support systems in place. …


Today marks the fourth anniversary of UX Forms’ relationship with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The IPO is responsible for the registration of trade marks in the UK, issuing patents and providing guidance on surrounding Intellectual Property rights. The IPO comprises three departments: trade marks, registered designs and patents, and to give a sense of scale, there were over 95,000 trade mark applications last year, on top of 25,000 design applications, and more than 20,000 patent applications.

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IPO’s office in Newport, Wales

A new strategy to improve outcomes

In 2016, when UX Forms and the IPO first engaged with one another, there were 54 trade mark-related forms. Only nine were available online — with the rest paper-based. The IPO’s drive to improve their online forms was propelled by their desire to provide a better service to customers, whilst reducing the high cost of change. There was also a lot of manual testing, which added longer lead times as well as increased risks of human error. Lastly, the underlying technology was becoming moribund — excluding some modern browsers and lacking responsiveness on new mobile devices. …


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Equal Experts, the agile digital consultancy recently named the second ‘Best Place to Work in the UK’ by Glassdoor, has announced further investment in UX Forms, the leading webform start-up. The move builds on years of success, during which clients such as the Intellectual Property Office and Caredoc have benefited from the powerful combination of Equal Experts’ global reach, and UX Forms’ secure, dynamic and fully customisable webforms.

Jon Dickinson, Chief Commercial Officer at Equal Experts, said: “We are proud to deepen our relationship with UX Forms. Never has there been more need to use a scalable solution to create and deploy web forms quicker, at a lower cost. This partnership has already allowed many companies to solve complex problems, such as the rapid deployment of a COVID-19 solution at a national scale. We have repeatedly proven that blending Equal Experts’ strengths in agile software delivery with UX Forms’ ability to create intuitive, high-quality web forms is a valuable offering. Leveraging our global network of over 1700 experts will allow UX Forms to further expand their reach, enhancing our shared ability to solve the hardest business challenges in the most innovative ways.” …


We’re delighted to announce that UX Forms now provides and maintains a docker image for building, testing and releasing forms.

As continuous integration tools move more and more towards basing build agents on docker images, UX Forms want to make your life as easy as possible.

Forms are built using sbt¹, the de facto choice for building scala projects. Unfortunately sbt don’t provide an official docker image, and don’t appear to have plans to do so any time soon, so if you want to build an sbt project in a dockerised toolset then you’re either at the mercy of using an untrusted image or building and maintaining your own. …


UX Forms has an extremely flexible validation framework where each individual form control can have many constraints applied to it. Say you want a question to be mandatory but also have a minimum and maximum length? No problem, there’s a constraint for each of those already built-in and ready to use.

For example, this is what it looks like to declare a text field that is both mandatory and must be a number.

And this is what the form will look like when trying to Continue without entering anything:

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Continuing without entering anything reports errors from both constraints

But what if you don’t want to overwhelm the page with too much information at once? Given widgets can have any number of validation constraints on them, it’s unlikely that it would make sense to show 20 or more validation errors for a single field. …


Whilst we spend a lot of effort and take great pride in the uptime and availability of UX Forms, we also understand that some customers have sophisticated monitoring and alerting tools of their own that they want to use to check their own forms are up and running as expected.

To date, this has been done by customers pointing their monitoring-tool-of-choice at a form’s root url and checking the status code of the response. …


UX Forms provides an exhaustive set of user interface widgets out of the box, which you can see in action in our pattern library form. We also realise that, no matter how many we provide, there will always be some forms that need something special. In this article we’re going to go through how to compose existing widgets and behaviour to create an entirely new user interface widget. Namely one that can conditionally reveal other widgets within itself.

Conditionally revealing content

Whilst UX Forms already provided checkbox and radio group widgets, as well as the ability to show and hide any widget based on answers to previous questions, we didn’t provide a widget that could combine the two in a single question. …

About

UX Forms

An enterprise-ready cloud platform for webform development. See our website for more: https://uxforms.com

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