Bullet-Proof Registration Form Methodology
Jun 07, 2011
This is our proven method for planning and building bullet-proof online registration forms.
In the Discovery Phase, we compile the client’s specifications and directions which may start with and refer to any previously existing event forms and event branding. We also ask the pertinent questions (see below) to gather as much information as possible before the next phase. This also includes defining the micro-site architecture/sitemap and collecting all of the required assets.
2.Setup and Configuration
This step involves the creation of a dedicated website with or without a dedicated domain name, along with defining the technical parameters for the form and code. We then prepare a draft of the form based on the results of the discovery discussion for the client to review.
3.Design and Feedback
During this iterative step, we work with the client and any proposed changes relating to both the actual form fields and the overall design. This phase is also the ideal time to populate the microsite pages with the approved general content so that the entire site is prepared for client review and approval.
4.Database Construction and Reports
Upon approval of the site design and registration form, we proceed with building the database and the backend administrative tools for the event. We also test for errors and debug the results to ensure the registration forms are successfully capturing the data and working as designed.
This phase will drive the finalization of the reports and admin tools prior to testing. We will need to know what type of reports and what kind of admin user editing is requested. Often there is an admin account with editing and another user account to just view the real-time results.
6.Revisions and Testing
At this stage, the forms are cross-browser tested for validation, ensured that the confirmation emails are properly formatted and, again, for data integrity.
7.Closing the form / and or micro-site
Upon the completion of the online registration, the forms are disabled and the database is archived and removed from the web server. Any post-event tasks are then scheduled like a post-event survey, photo gallery, etc. based on the requirement.
Some questions to consider for an Event Registration Micro-site:
- Is a login required for invited guests only or is the event open to anyone?
- Does the site need to create a user profile for the registration so that they can login at a later date and edit/modify their registration?
- What are the form questions +fields to ask the registrants and are there separate questions based on the type of registrants?
- What questions are required and not required and are there any special validation requirements?
- Are there any Workshops, scheduled break-outs etc. with registration limits?
- What are the Calculations and Totals? Is there an early bird or any type of stepped pricing?
- Are there Confirmation Emails and any other types of emails that need to be automatically sent?
- What are the Payment options and is there real-time payment processing? Who is the payment gateway? SSL Certificate is necessary with credit card processing and optional if not.
- Will there be special reporting requirements? Please list any specific reports and the fields.
- What Admin requirements beyond logging and editing registration records?
- Will there be post-event content and updates like a poll, photo gallery, posting presentations etc?
About the Author
Tony Tullio is a veteran in the interactive business and Director/Founder at Inorbital and always looking for great web apps and useful websites. Let us know what you think about this topic by commenting or rating or connect with him via Twitter