Web Form Best Practices

We offer a number of tools at ESU for making online forms. The goal and target audience for the particular form determine which tool is utilized in major part.

Utilizing form tools that are approved by the university is crucial to ensuring that data is gathered legally and securely. Please refrain from utilizing any form-related software or services connected to non-university-issued accounts, such as Google Forms.

Available Web Form Tools

  • MachForm – You should use a MachForm for the majority of forms that the general public needs to access. These forms can be embedded on our website. MachForm is managed by Web Services. Machform is ideal for the public facing website due to its ability to be responsive with mobile devices and ease of styling. Machform also has more form field options. Please submit a request to Steve LaBadie to get started creating your form.
  • Microsoft Forms – You're probably better off using Microsoft Forms if your form's only recipients are internal (those who have an ESU login). Regarding best practices when using Microsoft Forms to create your own forms, please refer to the additional information on this page.
  • Qualtrics – One form tool used for polls and surveys is called Qualtrics. This kind of data handling and comprehensible data presentation is the specialty of Qualtrics. You can get started with Qualtrics by contacting Mary Amador in Institutional Research.

When Creating Forms

Don’t collect more than what’s needed
Completing online forms can be time-consuming. Long forms are more likely to be abandoned by users. Furthermore, private user information (ID numbers, for example) should only be gathered when absolutely required.
Make use of auto-populated data
Certain user data is automatically provided with Microsoft Form submissions because users must be logged in. You can save time and reduce the possibility of user error by omitting fields like name and email.
Only keep data as long as necessary
Form data should not be retained for longer than is required for the reason for which it was created, according to legal laws like the GDPR. The security concerns connected with data-piracy are reduced by deleting outdated forms and form data.
Use file upload field sparingly
Upload fields for files should only be used sparingly and when absolutely required. Via file upload fields, hackers can upload malicious code to the web server that exposes private data or even compromises the server itself. If there is a file upload form, kindly keep an eye on submissions and notify Web Services of any questionable activity.
Delete or disable forms when finished
Please get in touch with Web Services to get your form disabled or deleted if it is no longer needed. Less forms equals a lower risk of data exposure or manipulation.

If you need help using forms, please get in touch with Web Services; we are pleased to provide advice.

Tips for Microsoft Forms

When creating a form in Teams
It is not recommended to check the email notifications for new contributions as they are not functional.

Contact Us

Can't find what you are looking for? Please contact Omar Williams, Steve LaBadie, or Frank Bright

Contact Information

Campus Address
Science & Technology Center
(570) 422-3995
Title of Department Leader
Senior Manager of Web Services
Omar Williams