Yesterday I added a contact form on this website using Google Docs. It was easy and extremely quick to create and embed a form using Google Docs. Now when a user submits feedback using this form, the information goes to a Google Docs spreatsheet and I recieve a notification email about the change. We are a new website with less than a 100 visitors per day so we are not terribly worried about the functionality and lack of fancy features. However, there are still somethings that I missed in Google forms and I think these little improvements can make Google Docs Forms extremely popular among web developers, publishers and bloggers.
Spam Protection and Human Identification features
Even though the form is there and working properly as it should be but there is a risk that some mean people may try to misuse this form by sending spam messages using spambots. As I said we are not some big name so we wont get much emails at least for now but what if some website with lots of visitors want to use these forms on their webpages. Or what if someone wants to use the forms to collect the user submitted data and publish it right away? In this case these users will need some anti-spam tool to combat with invalid form submissions. I posted this question on Google Docs forum as well, and it seems like many other people has already expressed their concern on this issue.
Styling the forms
Some web designers and website owners use CSS to give a look and feel to their forms. They use these design rules in their search form, comments area and mailing list forms. So it would be nice if they had someway to change the appearance of the forms so that they look pretty and fit seemlessly in their webpages.
HTML in description field
I wanted to add a bulleted list and a link in my description field. But unfortunately Google Docs form wraps description field in
<pre> tag so HTML appeared as it is in the form. I can not understand why the description field is wraped in pre tags and why not allow basic HTML there?
Email me someone submits the form
The option is there but instead of providing a nice button with in the Form design interface the feature is accessible from the spreadsheet under the File > Set notification rules. Someone new to Google Docs will not find this feature so easily.
Still Google Docs forms are a very useful tool to collect data, create survey, run polls on your website or run live polls. Leisa Reichelt tried Google Docs Forms to collect survey and recruitment data with great success. I am sure Google Docs team will soon come up with new features to further improve forms and make them even more useful.