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How digitising offline forms can help grow your business

by Yianni Stergou, May 07, 2020

This article is designed to walk you through Codebots' forms behaviour - what it does and how it can be used. Hopefully you have some background knowledge of Codebots. If not, I'll do my best to give you a very brief overview of Codebots. Codebots is a platform as a service that allows users to build software applications with the help of code writing bots. WorkingMouse uses Codebots to deliver client projects faster and better than traditional development. 

A behaviour is functionality that the bots know how to write. By adding the forms behaviour into your application, the bot will write all the functionality needed to capture data from your users and store it in the database. The data can then be interrogated/manipulated with custom code.

How do digital forms help businesses?

We will dive deeper into the different use cases for forms shortly. Firstly, think about your business and whether you collect data from employees or clients. Can this be streamlined by collecting that data using web forms? Or, do you need a way to educate users through different types of content (eg. text, video, quizzes)? For the majority of businesses, the answer to one of these questions will be yes.

1. How MyLeap used the forms behaviour

The MyLeap application is an online learning and behavioural change platform. The scope of the work was to provide content digitally in an easy to digest manner. It also needed to be highly customisable so future content could be created and released to users. 

What users see

What we created for customers was a form with slide logic that could be completed while notes were taken. It was setup to share content on a specific topic. If a user wants to learn about the best way to approach difficult conversations then they select that subject as their learning focus - engaging with the content through text, images, videos and tasks. 

How it's configured by the software administrator

While the front end is important for engaging your users, the real power of the forms behaviour comes in the administrators ability to customise. The process of configuring a form is shown in the video below. A new version could be created with updated content or previous/current versions of a form could be downloaded as a PDF. As the number of learning areas grows MyLeap is not forced to re-engage with a software developer every time (which significantly reduces the long term costs of the software). There was a complex hierarchy structure that was developed as part of this project which saw relevant material grouped together. This custom business logic was solved using custom code, written by a WorkingMouse developer that understood the purpose of the application.
It's clear to see the flexibility and power of the forms behaviour. Highly customisable and configurable at run time means that you don't need to re-engage your software developer every time you need to update something. Consider your digitalisation strategy and whether the forms behaviour can help you better engage with clients or improve your internal process.

2. Using the forms behaviour for your project

A. Setup

The process of implementing forms in your application is simple. During WorkingMouse’s Scoping process, one of the artefacts produced is a built out initial model of your application, identifying behaviours that may be used. In the interest of transparency, we will step through the process.

Step 1: Unpack your requirements

In order to proceed to step 2, the requirements of the application must be detailed. This is done during the discovery phase of WorkingMouse's scoping process. We recommend firstly breaking the requirements into high level epics before going into more detail through user stories. These requirements can be stored on the Codebots library or other tools like Jira/Confluence.

Step 2: Create your schema