Jotform, a powerful Typeform alternativeDecember 09, 2019
Typeform and Google Forms are popular tools for non-technical people, like designers and business entrepreneurs, to conduct simple surveys.
But what if you want to go further? Recently, a client of mine approached me to combine some Google Forms she had with a custom logic to process the submissions and present the user with a computed results page.
Now, Google Forms to my knowledge doesn't support anything like this at all. My client suggested we might make use of Typeform and Airtable to collect and store data, and then somehow integrate it with our custom backend logic.
After taking a closer look at Typeform, I realized that while it provided some basic integration capabilities with a custom backend and Airtable, it wasn't powerful enough. The main reason for this is that the form fields and configuration options they offer are very limited.
In my search for a more powerful alternative, I came upon Jotform. It basically does all that Typeform does, and a lot more. It has a large number of form widgets (elements), it's affordable, user-friendly, well-designed and even offers you the possibility of writing your own elements.
While it's not perfect and we had to be creative making everything work, we were able to build our solution without any major issues. We ended up not using the built-in Airtable integration because it wouldn't support custom processing of the data, so we did everything in our custom backend application.
One of the hacks I had to employ was to use conditional form logic to normalize the results of multiple-choice questions into a predefined set of strings. I used invisible single line text fields to hold the result of the transformation and then accessed these in the backend.
I've also had interactions with their support team, and they were quick, polite and helpful.
Overall, I can highly recommend Jotform for simple and more complex needs alike. Coding up forms manually is a huge pain and there's a lot of details that are easy to miss, so even with the little hacks I had to use I still ended up saving a lot of work.
If you're interested, you can check out Jotform free of charge and play around with it a bit.
Or hire me directly to help you with your personal Jotform setup and integration!