Flow

Microsoft Forms Preview

Microsoft Forms has been around for a while. A year ago, it was released only to Office 365 Education customers as a nice, simple way to make surveys and quizzes. There’s a bunch of content out there about it already, for those who want to learn more.

More recently, it’s been released to the wider population with a bunch of improvements, albeit still in ‘Preview’. As I can now access it from one of my Office 365 tenants, I thought it was worth having a play with.

Forms is a lightweight, easy way of creating questionnaires and gathering the responses. Having no experience with it previously, I made up this survey within a minute (half the time was picking a theme!).

Have a look and feel free to enter data, and try to break it:

Test Quiz

Right now, there’s two options on the main Forms page: Create a form, or create a quiz. Creating a quiz looks pretty blank from the beginning, with a title and the option to add a question. It’s worth mentioning that I couldn’t tell what the difference between the form or quiz option was!

Using the ‘Add question’ button gives you the options on what sort of question it is; Choice, Text, Rating or Date. From that, you’ll see a very easy to configure form, where you can configure the question to your liking. Points are possible if it’s checking someone’s knowledge and you want an end score. You can choose if a question is mandatory with the ‘Required’ toggle, or if multiple answers are allowed.

The elypsis hides a few more options depending on the question type – maths, if you need to use an equation (you can see the education influence here). but also if your question needs a subtitle, or if you want the answers shuffled to reduce bias (there’s that type of person that always picks ‘C’ when they don’t know).

There’s also a ‘Branching’ option which lets you configure what path the quiz will take, depending on which answer is given. How long until someone creates a ‘Choose your own adventure’ with this :) ?

I posted this on Twitter not too long ago, and at the time of writing this, there was 26 responses. I haven’t done anything beyond clicking the ‘Responses’ tab to see this data:

To me, this looks incredibly useful. So little effort required to start getting feedback, and the data displayed easily. There’s also the option to open the data in Excel, which shows the raw data and lets you manipulate the views.

The survey by default requires access in your organisation to respond. With that, you can choose if names are recorded, and if only one response is allowed per person.

It’s possible and easy to change this restriction to ‘Anyone with the link can respond’, but it does mean all entries will be marked as ‘anonymous’ and you’ll have no guaranteed tracking of who entered the data.

Another note is that forms is fully supported on mobile browsers. A few people tried this quiz and reported a great experience.

As pointed out on Practical 365, Microsoft Forms is turning up and on by default on Office 365 tenants, if you don’t want this on please read that post.

This is a free component of Office 365, and worth investigating even in it’s preview state for internal surveys – maybe it will replace Survey Monkey (which I’m a fan of)?