Monday, September 9, 2013

Four new ways to customize your Google Forms

From classroom pop quizzes to RSVPs for your family reunion, you can use Google Forms in tons of different ways -- which is why it's important to be able to customize each form to fit your needs. Starting today, you’ll be able to take advantage of four new features to create your perfect form: progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages.

Guide respondents through your survey with a progress bar
Sometimes it’s helpful to give respondents a sense of how much of a survey still needs to be completed, and now you can by turning on a progress bar in your form.
To turn it on, just check the progress bar box in the Form Settings tab.
Get results the way you want them with data validation
Let’s say you’re using Forms to collect sign ups for an email newsletter. With data validation, you can now ensure that the email addresses are formatted correctly, and consequently avoid those unpleasant bounce-back messages.

To get started, create a new Text question in Forms, then click on the Data validation tab. Click the checkbox and select “Text,” then “Email address,” and voila, the survey taker will see an error message if they don’t enter an email address.
You can also set up data validation for maximum character count, numbers, zip codes, and more.

Embed YouTube videos
You can now embed a YouTube video right inside a form -- perfect if you want to get feedback or ask questions about a video.  

This works really well for quizzes in class, especially if paired with data validation and the progress bar. Embed a video and then use data validation to give hints when students enter incorrect answers, and add a progress bar so they know how far along they are in the quiz.
Add a custom message to closed forms
Sometimes when a form is closed, you still want to make information available for respondents who weren’t able to complete it in time.
After you’ve switched your form to “Not accepting responses,” you can now add your own message and instructions for follow up.

Posted by Elynn Lee, Software Engineer