Digital events must be organized, registrations managed and feedback obtained from home office workers. If a simple e-mail is enough for registration (which still need effort to process), how can you get feedback if you don’t have the option to do personal discussions and share the printed survey questionnaire at the end of the event? Microsoft offers a practical and intuitive survey software with “Forms”.

This is what you can expect in this article:

Where can I get Microsoft Forms?

Microsoft Forms is included with Office 365 or your Microsoft account. It is a so-called web app that you use via your browser. You do not need to install any software and can start immediately with your first form! Simply log in to your Microsoft or Office account, go to the “App start box” in the top left corner and select “Forms” from “All Apps”.

What can I do with Microsoft Forms?

You can create survey forms for various purposes, such as event registrations, feedback, or polls. You simply construct the appropriate form from ready-made building blocks that you just need to select. You can also

  • adjust the design (color and background image),
  • move the individual questions in relation to each other,
  • create anonymous surveys,
  • use star ratings,
  • provide forms with an expiry date,
  • copy and reuse survey forms,
  • share your forms with colleagues for joint work and
  • delete forms and entries when you no longer need them.

By the way, your forms are automatically adjusted to the screen size of different devices (desktop or smartphone), so they are “responsive”. You can also create a form in several languages without having to build a new form for each language.

How do I create a survey form?

Simply click on the “New form” button. An empty form will appear in the browser window, which you can design according to your wishes. For each question you can select a question type: “Selection” (single or multiple selection possible), “Text” (free text field), “Rating” (e.g. star rating), or “Date”. There are even a few more building blocks via the small lookup arrow, e.g. a “Likert scala” (get feedback).

The “Design” button gives you the opportunity to personalize your form. Either select a design template or create your own design, e.g. with the main color of your company logo. You can simply enter the color as a hex code “Hex #”. You can also create your own background image.

With the “Share” button you can set the visibility of the form or the access to the form. If people only within your organization are allowed to access the form, your employees will need to verify themselves with their own login data before they are allowed to complete the survey. If you want to create an external and/or anonymous survey, simply select “Anyone with the link can answer”. You can either copy the link to the form and paste it into your invitation e-mail, for example, or you can embed the form on your company website (registration forms directly on the event landing page). You can also use “Share” to edit the form with other colleagues from your department – simply send the “Share for collaboration” link by e-mail to authorized persons.

Using the three dots next to the “Share” button you can set the dependencies of the individual questions (“junction/intersection”). This allows you to redirect the survey participant to another question, for example, when a certain answer is given, so that inappropriate questions can be left out. Via the “Multilingual” button you can select the languages in which the form should still be available. This allows you to translate each answer in the form separately into the additional language. The survey participant can then select the appropriate question for the form via a lookup menu.

Where can I see who has already taken part in the survey?

If you want to see the answers to your form, the first thing to do is to open your form in Microsoft Forms. On the “Responses” tab you can see at a glance how many people have participated in the survey. You can either click through the individual answers directly in the browser window or download an Excel file with all answers. This excel sheet contains the names of the survey participants (for non-anonymous surveys) and their answers line by line. You can further edit the survey in Excel and, for example, create a graphical analysis with charts.

Our tips and tricks for using Microsoft Forms

Consider in advance for which purpose you want to use the form. Note which questions and answers you want to specify, whether several answer options are accepted, or in which order the questions should be processed. This gives you an overview of any future forms. You can then see more easily whether you have thought of all questions and answers and whether the survey is self-contained and logically structured.

Think about who your target group for the survey is. Do you want to obtain an internal opinion or correspond with external participants about an event? Within your own company, for example, the background image may be a bit more unconventional and informal. For external persons, however, you should ensure that the survey has a serious appearance. This increases the probability of participation.

Do not use the junction function until you have inserted all questions in your form. This saves you the additional effort of subsequently setting new questions in relation to the original questions. You can also test the function of your form in the preview.

And last but not least: Check the settings again before you share or publish your form. You can however, make further settings after publishing the form. More instructions, tips and tricks can also be found on the official Microsoft support site at this link: Forms Help and Learning. Have fun with Microsoft Forms!

Your knk-Team

PS: Office 365 will get a new name on April 21, 2020 and will be called Microsoft 365 – all features will remain the same, nothing will change in your subscription!

(Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash)