Written By Daniel Arrigan
One feature of Google Doc’s spreadsheet app, Google Sheets, is Forms. Google Forms provides a user-friendly GUI form-generation tool. The data collected by the form is stored within its Google Sheet. In addition to quickly building the form’s questions, Google Forms offers several theme templates to adjust the look and feel of the form. Utilizing Google Forms with its built-in design methods provides exceptionally quick and easy design-develop-deploy cycles, changes to the form are instantly synced to the published form, and all validation of required fields is handled automatically by Google.
Once the form is ready, you can release it to the public either by generating a unique URL that will take the user directly to the form, or through embedding the form using an iframe. Both methods are automatically generated for you through the Google Sheets menu.
Google Forms are designed to post back to themselves, knowing if the submission was successful and, if so, displaying a confirmation page. The details of the confirmation page may be customized, but the page only displays plain text – no HTML or scripts.
The time from creation to utilization of Google Forms can be measured in minutes instead of hours. Additionally, any changes to the form – adding or removing questions, updating text, etc. – are instantly updated on the public form, wherever it is published, without any secondary processing. Relying on Google’s technology and built-in designs provides rapid front-end deployment, with the power and ease of access of Google Sheets for the results in the back-end.
- Time – Time from initial form design to deployment is increased proportionately to the amount of changes that need to be made. Google’s rapid deployment model is traded for traditional web design time-tables.
- Maintenance – Maintenance becomes a burden on the client instead of being handled automatically by Google. Any changes to the Google Form will no longer be instantly synced with the published form. All changes will have to go through the same method used on the initial form design. This may require enlisting a web designer every time a change to the form is made (from simply changing text to adding or removing questions).
- Reliability – Using Google Forms as was intended brings with it Google’s level of reliability. Any custom changes made to the form rely solely on the individual(s) who made the changes, their level of expertise, and their own testing. Additionally, deviations from the Google powered and tested Form opens the user up to any number of potential compatibility issues that will now need to be identified, handled and addressed by the client.
- With Sneaky Sheep’s Google Docs Form Tool, you need to have an additional confirmation page (URL) for when the form is successfully submitted. If you enter the form URL, upon successful submission you’ll be redirected to the form URL (leaving the domain you’ve placed the generated code). If you enter the URL of the page you’ve placed the generated code, upon successful submission you’ll be redirected to the blank form (with no message or indication that the form was successfully submitted).
- Any theme you’ve selected for the form might be removed or incorrectly translated. The code generated by Sneaky Sheep’s Google Docs Form Tool will provide the functioning form, complete with CSS class names and IDs for all entities. However, details of the theme might not translate.
- The HTML generated is a complete HTML page, completed with “html”, “head”, and “bo