Best Practices in Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a versatile tool that helps users capture responses, opinions, and feedback. It has become the go-to tool for many organisations as it makes it easy to create and share surveys, quizzes, and polls. And if you have a 365 license, Microsoft Forms comes as part of the package – so there’s no need to purchase an additional tool. To achieve the best results, you should follow best practices to design and distribute your forms. From defining your objectives to optimising your questions, there are several tactics you can use to create a professional and effective form. In this article, we’ll explore the best practices in Microsoft Forms.

Keep It Simple

To create an effective survey using Microsoft Forms, it’s important to keep it simple and straightforward. Keep the questions brief and to the point, using simple language. It’s also essential to provide clear and concise instructions at the beginning of the survey to help respondents understand the purpose and expectations of the survey.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, using appropriate language in your questions can make or break the responses you get. They recommend: 

  • Avoiding complex or technical jargon where possible. Respondents who are confused by the question may be hesitant to ask the interviewer for explanations and are therefore less likely to respond accurately, or at all. 
  • Using clear wording – ambiguous questions lead to ambiguous answers. 
  • Being concise – double-barrelled and leading questions can result in answers that are only partially correct, or don’t represent the respondent’s true answer. 
  • Allowing anonymous responses or outlining confidentiality if you’re asking sensitive questions. This can dictate the level of honesty the questions elicit.

Additionally, a landing page with pretext, instructions, and estimated time should be created before commencing the form. Including a deadline for responses also provides users with an expected time frame to complete the form, which will assist with engagement. By following these best practices, you can create a more effective and engaging survey experience for your respondents, and more reliable results.

Choose the Correct Format

Deciding between a form or a quiz in Microsoft Forms depends on the purpose of the survey and the type of information you want to collect.

Forms are typically used to collect feedback or opinions from a group of people. For example, if you want to gather information about customer satisfaction or employee feedback, a form would be a good choice. Forms can have a variety of question types, including multiple-choice, text, rating scales, and more, which allow for a broader range of responses.

Quizzes, on the other hand, are used to assess knowledge or skills. For example, if you want to test your employees’ understanding of a subject, or evaluate training progress, a quiz would be a better choice. Quizzes typically have a more structured format with questions that have right or wrong answers.

When deciding between a form or a quiz, consider the following factors:

  • What is the goal of the survey? If you want to collect feedback or opinions, a form is more appropriate. If you want to assess knowledge or skills, a quiz is more suitable.
  • What kind of questions do you want to ask? Forms have a broader range of question types, while quizzes have more structured questions with right or wrong answers. 
  • Consider the level of engagement you want from respondents. Quizzes can be more engaging, as they provide immediate feedback and allow respondents to track their progress.
  • How do you plan to analyse and interpret the data? Forms provide more open-ended responses, which can be more challenging to analyse, while quizzes provide more structured data, which can be easier to analyse.

Get Personal

Personalising your form in Microsoft Forms is important because it can increase respondent engagement and improve the quality of the data collected. By personalising your form, you can create a more welcoming and engaging experience for respondents, which can lead to higher response rates and more thoughtful feedback.

  • Personalisation can include things like customising the form with your organisation’s branding, inserting pictures or videos, adding personalised greetings or messages, and tailoring the questions to specific groups of respondents. By doing this, you can create a sense of familiarity and relevance that can encourage people to take the survey more seriously and provide more honest and accurate answers.

Utilise AI Integration

Take advantage of the AI integration in Microsoft Forms; it can be a useful tool in generating questions and styling the form. Using context from the types of questions you are typing, the AI integration can prompt additional questions that you may not have thought of during the feedback or data collection process. This feature can help you to create a more comprehensive and effective survey.

In addition, if you upload an image to the form, the AI styles that come with the form can pick up the colours and design of the image, resulting in a more professional-looking form. This can enhance the visual appeal of the form and make it more engaging for respondents.

Manage Sharing & Ownership

Sharing a form with its intended audience is a simple process and can be done in a variety of ways, such as sharing a link or QR code. Owners have the option to receive email notifications when submissions are received and can choose to allow or restrict multiple submissions.

Important

All forms created in Microsoft Forms belong to the person who created them. If this person leaves the team or company, the form won’t be accessible to edit. To avoid this, it is recommended to share ownership. 

This is different to inviting a collaborator. A collaborator will have the power to edit, share, or view the results of the form. You can invite a collaborator by opening the form and accessing the settings menu in the top right corner. 

A screenshot of an Example Form in Microsoft Forms, with the settings bar dropped down

However, the ownership will still remain with the original creator – and if they leave without handing this title over, access to the form may leave with them.

That’s why we suggest assigning ownership to a Team, rather than an individual. This means that no matter if the original creator and subsequent collaborators leave, anyone who is a current or future member will still have complete access the form at an owner’s level. You can assign ownership to a Team via the Microsoft Forms home page. Click the three dots, and select Move from the dropdown menu. From there, you can choose which Team will have ownership of the form (for example, Marketing, HR, Accounting).

a screenshot of the Microsoft Forms home page, showing the settings dropdown

This will allow any member of the team to edit the form and view results, ensuring that it remains accessible and up-to-date.

Make a Template

Another useful feature of Microsoft Forms is the ability to generate a link for a form template. This link can be shared with others, allowing them to duplicate the form for consistency. This can be particularly helpful in situations where multiple people need to create similar forms or update forms, as it can save time and ensure consistency across multiple submissions.

Data Interpretation

Microsoft Forms has a seamless integration with Power Automate, allowing users to easily route results to a manager or HR for follow-up. This can be particularly helpful in situations where data collection or quiz completion requires further action.

In addition to this, users can review answers and other statistics on the backend after data collection or quiz completion. By linking the form to Excel, owners can create live updates that allow them to see and interpret data without granting access to the form as an owner. This feature can be particularly useful for teams who need to collaborate on data analysis.

However, it’s important to ensure that survey responses are kept private and secure. This can be achieved by restricting access to the survey and keeping responses in a secure location. This will help to protect sensitive data and maintain the integrity of the survey results.

Microsoft Forms Best Practice Checklist

Start collecting better data with Microsoft Forms

By following the best practices mentioned above, users can make the most of the features in Microsoft Forms and create professional, customised forms with ease. But if you need some more guidance to improve the way you gather and interpret data in Microsoft Forms, Propelle is here to help. Chat to one of our inhouse Microsoft experts today.