Here’s The Answer - Previewing Microsoft Forms

Jul 28 2017
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Over the last few months, we have been covering some of the new programs available in Microsoft’s Office 365 suite. Today, we wanted to write about a new service that has only recently been previewed to the public – Microsoft Forms. As the name suggests, Forms is a platform that allows you to create forms that can be used as surveys, quizzes and polls. It was originally launched as part of Microsoft’s Office 365 Education package, but is now being expanded into commercial markets. We have been able to take a closer look at this new software and have outlined some of the key features and benefits below.

Form and Function

One of the first things you will notice about Microsoft Forms is that is a very easy-to-use tool. The steps required to create a form are very intuitive, and we were able to create a basic survey without any prior training or instruction. Microsoft currently provide a range of question types for your form, which include multiple choice, short answers and star ratings. You then have the option to choose whether that particular question is essential or optional when the form is being filled.

What is interesting is that the questions in your form do not have to be purely text-based, with Microsoft giving you the option of adding images as well. These pictures can be uploaded from your computer, or you can search for images with Microsoft’s Bing search engine built into the menu bar. In addition to images, Microsoft Forms allow you to incorporate YouTube videos into your questions, simply by inserting the video’s URL link. These media options certainly give you more creative leeway in the design of your questions.

Design and Preview

Microsoft currently offer a range of themes to customise your forms. This includes multiple colour options for titles and buttons, in addition to a selection of background images. If you would prefer, Microsoft also give you the option of adding your own background image. Similar to question images, these pictures can be drawn from your own files or the Bing search engine.

The Preview function within Microsoft Forms is another noteworthy feature. This option allows you to view, and test, your form from the perspectives of both desktop and mobile users. You can easily switch between the desktop and mobile views with the click of a button, allowing you to preview the form’s functionality on both platforms prior to launching it.

Review and Analyse

In keeping with its straightforward approach, Microsoft Forms also provides you with a clearly-displayed Results section. This window allows you to view the responses for all your questions, with pie charts and averages displayed where relevant; allowing you to quickly gain an overview of the results. A “More Details” option is available for each question, allowing you to have a closer look at the answers provided by each respondent. Furthermore, if you would like to conduct more detailed analysis, Forms allows you download all your response data in an Excel spreadsheet.

In summary, Microsoft Forms is a very intuitive platform for the collection and analysis of data. Given that the software is currently in Preview mode, we expect that more features will be added to the platform in the months ahead. Nevertheless, we have no hesitation in recommending the product in its current state. Microsoft Forms already provides a great level of functionality that is very accessible to anyone in an organisation. If you already have plans to conduct a survey, quiz or poll, be sure to give Forms a go. As a reminder, the preview is currently available to Office 365 subscribers, so if your organisation is interested in moving to the 365 platform, be sure to contact Comunet today and we will be glad to assist you.