2 Forms Analysis and Design Fundamentals BFMA Seminar Minneapolis, MN Ray H. Killam, CFC, CFSP
3 Credits n Marvin Jacobs “Forms Design II-The Course For Paper and Electronic Forms” n Carl Brannon, CFSP, CFC
4 FORM n the basic business tool (whether printed or electronic) for collecting and transmitting information, n the catalyst for getting things done, and n the record of what was done. Copyright 1986 - Business Forms Management Association, Inc.
5 FORMS ANALYSIS the systematic execution of those steps necessary to assure that n productivity is increased in preparation, use, filing, and retrieval; n the total number of forms within the system is minimized; n data element relationships are apparent through consistency and adherence to standards; n the effectiveness of the entire system, as well as the individual form, is enhanced; and n the resulting business tool communicates. Copyright 1986 - Business Forms Management Association, Inc.
6 DESIGN ANALYSIS in addition to resulting in the design layout, n increases productivity by creating a basic business tool which is self-instructive, n encourages cooperative response, n provides for easy entry of data, n reduces the potential for error, n facilitates use of the information, and n enhances the organization's image. Copyright 1986 - Business Forms Management Association, Inc.
7 FORMS MANAGEMENT the systematic process of n increasing productivity and minimizing errors in information capture, transmission, and recovery through the use of workflow analysis and graphic design techniques; n providing administrative control; n reducing procurement, storage, distribution, and use costs through standardization; and n ensuring the adequacy, business as well as legal, of all historical records. Copyright 1986 - Business Forms Management Association, Inc.
8 METHOD n the manual or mechanical means by which each operation is performed –an individual step
9 PROCESS n a series of planned steps using those resources needed (humans, equipment and software) to execute recurring operations uniformly and consistently –several combined steps
1010 SYSTEM n the people, facilities, equipment, information, forms and other resources required to complete a major phase of administrative work –a whole flight of stairs
11 Why do people use forms? n to keep an organized record of the work they perform while doing their jobs n to communicate to others –new information and ideas –status of accomplishments-to-date n to be able to recover information about work that has already been completed
1212 Where do form requests originate? n new requirements and/or revisions n areas within the organization requiring assistance to realize potential savings and/or to increased efficiency n areas where problems are known to exist n regularly scheduled operational form reviews
1313 Why not just let the user draw up the form the way s/he wants it? They are too likely to violate one of the Cardinal Principals: WRITE n Forms must be easy to WRITE READ n Forms must be easy to READ USE n Forms must appear easy to USE
1515 ANALYSIS PROCESS Why apply the ANALYSIS PROCESS to form systems? Because without analysis... n the use of the form cannot be simplified n the data integrity cannot be improved, and n the business process has little chance of becoming more effective
1616 The Components of the Analysis Process n Plan the project thoroughly n Set clear project objectives and scope n Define both resources and opportunities n Conduct study and propose solutions n Implement and test the best solution n Measure success against objectives
1717 Fact Gathering Tools and Techniques n Current system documentation n Observation n Interviews n Work measurement n Benchmarks n Flow charts
1818 Identify Alternative Solutions Consider, as appropriate: n Research resources n Potential approaches n Decision tables n Brainstorming techniques
1919 Review: Components of the Analysis Process n Thorough project plan n Clear objectives & scope n Definition of resources and opportunities n The system & process studies themselves n Proposed solutions / alternatives n Documentation / testing / implementation n Objective success measurement
2121 Develop the Recommendations n Target the audience n Select the right approach –Inductive (particular to general) vs. –Deductive (general to particular) –Style and content of the final document or oral presentation
2 Make the Presentation n Audience evaluation –Who's Who? n Environment control –Lights & Temperature n Choreography –Who sits where? n Visual aids / Media –Multi-media needed? n Format and Style –Formal or informal? n Handouts –When to distribute? n Length of presentation –rigor mortis of the rump n Delivery Techniques –One / many presenters
2323 System Implementation Issues n Working with the users n Assuming system ownership n Establishing authority n Assigning responsibility n Motivating enthusiasm for change
2424 Document the Results n Procedure writing n Media selection n Style of presentation n Clarity of style
2525 Evaluate the System n Developing criteria n Establishing benchmarks n Monitoring techniques n Evaluating performance
2626 ANALYSIS PROCESS The ANALYSIS PROCESS should complement the Design Process n Documents the results of the studies n Helps implement the new system n Integrates with other (existing) systems n Evaluates the new system effectiveness
2727 Elements of effective Forms Design? n Standards / design conventions n Descriptive title and form number n Appropriate instructions / help screens n Intuitive data element sequencing n Use of plain language n Recognition of the power of white space n Use of color, but only when advantageous
2828 Other Design Considerations n Instructions n Rule weights n Font selection n Zoning n Graphics and logos n Imformation suppression n Use environment n Data entry n Copy distribution n Data recovery n Post-processing n Files / archives
2929 Standards vs. Conventions STANDARDS: n Size –Press limitations –Filing considerations n Materials –Availability –Cost n Bindery features n Packaging CONVENTIONS: n Corporate styles –Logo usage –Font selection n Design preferences –Title placement –Form numbering n Vocabulary selection n Use of white space
3030 Forms Design Principles n The form must be designed to be an efficient information systems tool. n The form design should be as simple as possible to avoid detracting from the more important fill-in data. n The form items must be grouped into logically sequenced zones.
3131 Forms Design Principles n The spacing of form items must be compatible with the method of fill-in. n The forms design style must promote efficiency for both fill-in and processing operations. n The form’s appearance must create favorable responses from the users and readers.
3232 Basic Form Zones n Identification Zone n Instructions Zone n Introduction Zone n Body Zone n Closing Zone
3 Plain Language n Use simple, everyday words n Eliminate unnecessary words n Use reasonably short sentences n break text into manageable pieces n Use personal pronouns n Avoid, or at least explain, technical terms
3434 Review: Components of the Design Process n Standards / design conventions n Descriptive title and form number n Appropriate instructions / help screens n Intuitive data element sequencing n Use of plain language n Recognition of the power of white space n Use of color, but only when advantageous
3636 PaperElectronic How does one determine whether a form should be Paper or Electronic?... or both?
3737 There are Similarities and there are Differences n Paper Forms –Materials –Manufacturing techniques –Storage & Distribution –Filing & Archiving –Version Control n Electronic Forms –Platform –Access –Interfaces –Routing –Storage & Archiving –Version Control
3838 AUTOMATION What impact will AUTOMATION have on a form? n Need n Usage n Interfaces n Effectiveness n Distribution n Filing n Archiving n Legal Issues
3939 Analysis for Electronic Forms n Same basics as for paper forms n Additional considerations: –computer platform(s) –network configuration –interface to other system(s) –routing requirements –printer(s)
4040 Design for Electronic Forms n User comfort level n Graphic standards n Color n Screen resolution n Information availability n Help screens n Information suppression n Database interface n File size n Printer constraints n E-mail access n Security
4141 Review: Review: Electronic Forms analysis & design Differences n Same analysis considerations as for paper forms, but with additional issues –users / software –equipment / networks n Same design considerations as for paper forms, but with additional issues –user comfort levels –expanded visual effects possible
4242 COMING ATTRACTIONS... Ray Killam, CFC, CFSP will address Advanced Forms Design Considerations immediately following the break.