Posts in Category "Form Guides"

Validating Guide object data using references to ActionScript validators

I learned a little trick from the LiveCycle software verification team regarding a neat way to validate the data users enter into objects on a Guide. If you are interested, you can check out the information in Adobe Cookbooks.

See the Guides section of the cookbook.

Have a nice day.

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Updated Creating Flex Applications Enabled for LiveCycle Workspace ES2 guide

Applications developed using Flex for data capture experiences are referred to as Flex applications, and often informally called Flex forms. You create Flex applications for LiveCycle Workspace ES2 for interesting data capture experiences; or simply because you require an alternative to PDF forms and HTML forms. Check out the walkthrough in the Creating Flex Applications Enabled for LiveCycle Workspace ES2 guide here.

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Adobe Flash Builder 4 Beta: Get it while it’s hot!

Earlier this week, Adobe launched the Adobe Flash Builder 4 beta program. Flash Builder 4, which is the next evolution of Adobe Flex Builder, includes a long list of feature improvements, new data-centric development features, and a new design-develop workflow with the new Adobe Flash Catalyst.

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Customizing form guides using CSS: Missing in action

Everyone is apologizing these days. Automakers in the US, financial institutions around the world, that guy who bumped into me in the lobby this morning. I figured it was my turn.

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Thinking About Form Design

This is not an official Adobe endorsement.

There, I said it. Now that we have that out of the way, I thought I’d share a reference that I’ve come to respect over the last year or so.

http://formulate.com.au

I had the good fortune to meet Ms. Enders at the Business Forms Management Association (BFMA) symposium in Las Vegas last year. I was impressed by her presentation on form design techniques, not the least of which because it seemed like a topic that a lot of form design professionals at the symposium were eager to learn more about. In particular, check out Ms. Ender’s articles section (http://formulate.com.au/articles/). There’s a lot of good information in there that I think is worthwhile reading, for experienced form design professionals and newcomers alike.

Design, and design thinking, is really becoming integrated into all facets of business these days, and it only makes sense that it plays a large role in terms of how organizations implement form solutions. How best to capture user data, I learned at the symposium, is not something that is always well understood. Contemporary research into user behaviors and more effective design is often overlooked by form solutions, which really means that the poor individual who must fill out the form — sometimes called a “customer” — is left to suffer. Then, of course, it’s the organization that suffers through additional costs and inefficiencies associated with data entry errors.

Ms. Enders is just one of a number of people out there who are bringing some formal design principles and research to the form design space. If you have links to other sources that you have found useful, please comment directly to this blog and share. We’re always curious to know who our readers are reading, and I’m sure other readers would be interested to know as well.

Have a good day.

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The Basics of Form Guides

What is a form guide?

A form guide is a wizard based in Adobe Flash that you can create as an alternative method for your users to enter data onto your form. A user is literally guided through the data entry process, which helps to reduce entry errors by limiting the amount of information presented to the user at any given moment. So instead of seeing a mass of fields and text – because the powers that be demand that you cram as much as possible onto that one sheet of 8.5” x 11” – the user sees chunks of information with animated transitions to move them from one chunk to another. It makes filling out forms feel less like, well, filling out forms.

Click here to see what a form guide looks like.

Note: To view form guides you must have Adobe Flash Player 9 or later installed.

Why would I want to use a form guide?

There are lots of reasons why you might want to use form guides, but here’s an example modeled on a real world case. The following image is of an immunization form.

immunization.png


To see a larger image, click
View image

The requirements of the form stipulated that users can print and fold it into a booklet in which medical staff could then manually write records of immunizations for a particular patient. Somewhere along the way someone decided it might be nice to also make the same form available in electronic format, but the user should print and fold the form after entering the data. Given this situation, you could create two separate forms, or you could go 21st century and make a form guide. The image below shows the form guide created for the immunization form. As you can see it’s a lot nicer than having to rotate your head ninety degrees every so often.

immunization_swf.png


View image

How do you create form guides?

You create form guides using Guide Builder, a tool available in LiveCycle Designer ES. As it turns out this is a handy arrangement because you create form guides from form designs, which are also created in LiveCycle Designer ES. Once you create a form guide for a particular form design, the form guide definition is actually saved inside the form design itself.

If you want to view a form guide as if you were the user doing the data entry, you can preview it right in Guide Builder. However, when you want to actually deploy a form guide to users, you will need to either:

  • Create a process design in Workbench ES that renders a form guide to Workspace ES. Your users then access the form guide through Workspace ES.
  • Render the form guide from a Java or web services applications using the LiveCycle Forms ES service to render the form guide. Your users access the form guide using the Java or web services application.

Read More

You can find a bunch of information about form guides in our product documentation. Check out the links below:

Have fun creating your own form guides. Drop us a note to tell us about your experiences.

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