Welcome to part 7 of my series Mastering common challenges in Office 365. This time Microsoft Forms! It is since April 27th enterprise ready and generally available to Office 365 Education and Office 365 commercial subscribers.

If you want to see a “real life” scenario you can check my article How to use 7 tools to create 1 simple survey in German or English. Spoiler: The article is awesome 🙂

As you know, here the content of this article to jump directly into it:

What is Microsoft Forms?

Microsoft says this: With Microsoft Forms, you can create surveys, quizzes, and polls, and easily see results as they come in. When you create a quiz or form, you can invite others to respond to it using any web browser, even on mobile devices. As results are submitted, you can use built-in analytics to evaluate responses. Form data, such as quiz results, can be easily exported to Excel for additional analysis or grading.

They also mention, that Microsoft Forms is not a replacement for Microsoft InfoPath. I agree almost with this answer. InfoPath will / is replaced via SharePoint Lists, Flow, and PowerApps, but there are probably some surveys or polls which can be replaced via Microsoft Forms.

If you wondering if branching is available? Yes, it is! You can add branching logic to a survey or quiz so that it changes according to the responses to specific questions. In a survey or quiz that branches, questions appear only if they are relevant to the responder. If the questions don’t apply, the responder is redirected to a different set of questions or will skip a set of questions altogether.

How to create a form?

Sign in to your Office 365 portal and click the Forms icon.

Mastering common challenges in Office 365 Part 7 Forms - Forms App Launcher
Forms icon on dashboard

If you don’t find it on your dashboard click the app launcher icon and then go to All apps. You can also start a new form on your phone or tablet. Sounds probably silly, but for Microsoft Forms it is working surprisingly good!

After you clicked the Forms icon you get a short introduction the first time you access the app. It is not a guided tour, just a brief “welcome” to Microsoft Forms.

Welcome to Microsoft Forms
Welcome to Microsoft Forms
Create your form

Start by clicking Create a new form and let’s start by checking the header. There you find also the option for branching. Click on the three dots and then click Branching.

Preview

In the header you find the app launcher icon #DontCallItWaffle 🙂 and the name of the application. That’s probably not that new to you, but you also have a preview function which shows you your form on desktop or mobile. Especially the mobile preview is great. You can definitely see Microsoft’s interest in the education sector. Forms is superb working on mobile, there is also no app for it. It just works!

Preview of form on mobile
Preview of form on mobile
Theme

If you go back you find a theme icon where you can choose from a few predefined themes, but you can also upload one on you own which suits the purpose. Be aware, that it is not that easy to find a theme on your own and you should definitely check the preview afterwards.

Preview of form with Theme on desktop
Preview of form with Theme on desktop
Preview of form with Theme on mobile
Preview of form with Theme on mobile
Share

When you click on the share icon you can obviously generate a link. You can also share it as a template and share to collaborate.

Share you form
Share you form

The cool thing in the sharing section is the icon next to the link. You can generate a QR-Code. I like this option. An super easy way to think out of the box / “form” 🙂

Share you form with an QR-Code
Share you form with an QR-Code

Next to the QR-Code you find the embedded code generation icon and a link to directly send the form via mail.

Form options

The following form options are currently available: Choice, Text, Rating, Date, Ranking and  Likert. Don’t forget that there is also the Branching option in the ribbon of your form.

Choice

The most obvious option for a survey or quiz. Choice. You can create up to 60 options. After that you get a warning that you should reduce your question options. And yes, I clicked 60 times the + Add Option.

Facepalm
Facepalm

The default behavior is, that you can’t select multiple answers, but you can change that. Also you can add “Other” option, so people can write something as their answer. You can set you question as required and also add a subtitle or shuffle your answers, so they don’t appear always in the same order. Of course, sometimes you predefined order makes sense. additionally you can change the look and feel to Drop-down values.

Microsoft Forms - Choice option
Microsoft Forms – Choice option

All options have the ability to set a picture for the question. Cool to make things easier to understand.

Maybe think about a gif to put in 🙂

Something real “next level” is the suggested options. If you type in e.g. “What day of the week should we go?” You get automatically options suggested. You can add all or add some of the options directly on-click to your answer list. Pretty cool!

Microsoft Forms - Suggested options choice
Microsoft Forms – Suggested options choice
Text

Also a quite obvious one. Ask something, write something.

Microsoft Forms - Text option
Microsoft Forms – Text option

You can change the settings, so you can answer with a long text. After that respondents can input answers less than 4,000 word count (including spaces). Another cool thing is, that you can restrict the answer to numbers only + change e.g. that the number has to be between 5 and 10.

Rating

Next, you can add a rating question. You can set the levels from 2 – 10 and can decide between Star as symbols or Numbers. I personally also add labels to the question to describe which value is bad and which is good.

Microsoft Forms - Rating option
Microsoft Forms – Rating option
Date

Super obvious what you can do here. I use it in surveys where I ask the respondents: When to get in touch with him or her to discuss the feedback.

Microsoft Forms - Date option
Microsoft Forms – Date option
Ranking

Now, some not that obvious answer options. Ranking and Likert. Click on + Add question and then click on the three dots to open the full answer option menu. Choose Ranking.

Microsoft Forms - All options
Microsoft Forms – All options

If you create a ranking option it looks quite similar to the choice option with drop-down answer options.

Microsoft Forms - Ranking option
Microsoft Forms – Ranking option

But if you check it out in the preview:

Microsoft Forms - Ranking option
Microsoft Forms – Ranking option

I have to say, I did not expect that:

Pretty super cool
Pretty super cool
Likert

If you want to gauge your customers overall sentiment around a particular item or experience, you can create questions that capture responses on a scale. This is known as a Likert. You may create a question that asks students whether they agree with a statement or your users to evaluate a new product. You can define scaling options as columns and questions statements as rows. On mobile devices, Likert questions will be grouped together and you are able to auto collapse and expand each question.

Microsoft Forms - Likert option
Microsoft Forms – Likert option

In case you didn’t know it, you can also you emojis in your form. This is what the above Likert could also look like:

Emoji Likert
Emoji Likert

Integration options

Microsoft Teams is probably the best integration right know. You can use the Forms Bot to vote in a conversation. This is an easy way to make Forms more visible in your company or school. It doesn’t need to be the full blown survey to make something easy to understand.

Forms Bot integration in Microsoft Teams
Forms Bot integration in Microsoft Teams

You can also add a tab for your Form and configure the Forms connector for notifications.

It is now also possible to copy a Forms web address (e.g. the response address) and paste it into a Teams conversation or OWA email. The web address will transform into a more user-friendly preview card that contains some useful information. It would be cool though, if your theme will be the picture. Maybe something for the future 😉

Forms card integration in Microsoft Teams
Forms card integration in Microsoft Teams

SharePoint is also a great way to integrate your form. There is a specific Microsoft Forms web part for that now.

Microsoft Forms web part in SharePoint
Microsoft Forms web part in SharePoint

All in all, I really love Microsoft Forms. It comes with so many different Office 365 plans and is such an easy tool to use. It has probably not that much impact as SharePoint, OneDrive or Teams, but it definitely helps to create more excitement and is the icing on cake. This is it for this article about Mastering common challenges in Office 365 – Part 7: Microsoft Forms . If you want to see a German version, let me know on Twitter or in the comment section!

I would love if I get some Form-Feedback from you guys. I have short survey which can be found here. Of course build with Microsoft Forms.

Stay tuned and follow me on Twitter to keep track on upcoming articles. Until then, don’t be afraIT!

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