How to Choose the Right Form Field for You

Wufoo Form Field Tips

Hey there form fans! We all know it–forms are super fun to make. But once you start collecting entries, STEP BACK. You don’t want to make too many changes once that form is collecting data.

The best forms are the ones that are created with all the right fields form the get-go. Wufoo’s got a lot of fields–some regular, some Fancy Pants–and though they seem similar, each field has its own specific function.

Today, we’ll go over a three of our most common fields (Checkboxes, Multiple Choice and Dropdown) and give you some examples and tips to help you pick the field that’s right for you! This might be review for you experienced Wufoo-ians, but stick around anyway–you just might learn something.

Let’s review…

  • Checkbox Fields: A question with a group of answer choices that the user can select. They can select any combination of answers. Best used when there are multiple “correct” answers.
  • Multiple Choice Fields: A question with a group of answers choices that lets the user select one choice only.
  • Dropdown Menus: A question with an answer fields that expands into a list of options that lets the user select one choice.

I’m thinking of hosting a little event the whole Wufoo team for St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s event is a Leprechaun Fun Run to raise money for charity, and I’m going to create a registration form with all three of these fields!

Now how to pick–just ask yourself: “Do I want the user to be able to select more than one option?”

If the Answer is YES the choice is clear–CHECKBOX.

Checkbox Example

I’ll need a little help (one dinosaur can only do so much!) for my event, so I’ll provide them with a set of options to pick from. I don’t want to limit people who want to help, which makes a checkbox the perfect field — They can select as many of the answer choices as they want.

Field tip: Because you can select multiple checkboxes, each answer choice appears as a separate column in the Entry Manager’s Datagrid.

Wufoo Checkbox Field

Moving on…let’s say the answer is NO to the question. Maybe you only want to user to have ONE choice. You’ve got a few options: Multiple Choice Fields or Dropdown Menus.

Multiple Choice Example

I’m going to make event t-shirts (obviously) so I’m asking the other Wufoo peeps to help me pick the design. But I want only ONE design, so I’m going to force them to pick their favorite. This is where multiple choice fields come in. Unlike checkboxes, multiple choice fields only allow the user to select one choice.

Field tip: The Multiple Choice field lets you add in an “Other” option that can be selected.

Wufoo Multiple Choice Field

Lastly dropdown menus—They also only let you select one option, but with the added bonus of not taking up unnecessary space.

Drop Down Example

I want to collect the t-shirt size, and people all pretty much have an idea of what sizes are available. I don’t need to take up precious space on the form listing them out a multiple choice field, so a Dropdown menu is the better choice. Dropdown fields are designed to let the use only select one option, but with as little space as possible.

These generally come in handy when you have some answer choices that the user doesn’t need to necessarily see all of in the beginning. Chances are, each person knows what size shirt they wear.

Field tip: If you a list of the items you want to include in a Dropdown menu (or even a multiple choice menu!) you can import directly by clicking Import Predefined Choices button.

Wufoo Dropdown Field

And there you go, form fans. A perfect form that’s going to collect all the correct data in all the right places. Now aren’t you happy we got that all sorted out? Forms can be fun, but they’re the most fun when you make them correct right from the beginning.

Let Nicola know below if you have questions! And don’t forget to check out Guides for even more info and tips.

Comments

  • I’m sure this help sheet was written with good intentions but someone should check the grammar before it goes live. Lots of the sentences don’t make sense. Very unprofessional!

    Posted March 4th, 2016 by John Child, U3A in BSE.
  • Thanks for the tips but I have a query.

    Can your online forms give me 3 or separate columns side by side
    instead of one after the other question

    I require to have a column for A competitor to put in his details beside that a column for Driver and then a column for Navigator – all answering the same question.

    Posted March 4th, 2016 by Margaret.
  • Hi there,
    That’s a great tutorial to find right forum field.

    Posted March 4th, 2016 by lavoro.
  • @Margaret Absolutely. You can use our CSS Keywords to create multiple columns out of fields on your form. Check out our leftThird, middleThird, and rightThird keywords. Additionally, you can set the number of columns for our Multiple Choice and Checkbox fields when editing the field itself!

    Posted March 4th, 2016 by Cody Curry.
  • You explained that very well. I especially enjoyed your check box example.

    Posted March 4th, 2016 by Karen McHugh.
  • Hi. One question, I tested my form to see the flow and it shows in my report. Can I delete test data from the report before I send the form live?

    Posted March 4th, 2016 by Elísabet.
  • @Elísabet Yes indeed! Once you’re done testing, you can delete your test Entries within your Entry Manager Alternatively, if you want your Entry count to start over at zero–duplicate your form, and share the duplicate.

    Posted March 4th, 2016 by Cody Curry.

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