Mineful: A Quick Way to Make Those Feedback Forms

mineful3In what could only be seen as a coincidence, I recently stumbled upon a brand-new web app for creating surveys and questionnaires. It’s coincidental because I’d just finished writing an article about how to create a feedback form for freelance workers to use to evaluate the success of a project. In that article, I suggested Adobe PDF forms (adbe) or HTML as possible formats for your feedback survey, but Mineful presents yet another alternative.

Like Wufoo and SurveyMonkey, Mineful provides an easy way to generate online forms and surveys. First things first: Mineful’s interface might turn off some users. It’s meant to resemble a Windows (s msft) desktop. I’m not thrilled about it, either, but the last thing I want to do is throw the baby out with the bath water. So I figured I’d better check out Mineful’s function before I condemn it based on form.

picture-35One good thing about the mock-Windows look is that it makes using the app a very simple and intuitive experience. Windows work like windows, the Start menu works like the Start menu, and desktop icons work like desktop icons. With that in mind, I clicked the “Start” button in order to get, ahem, started.

I first set up a simple user experience survey using Mineful’s Survey editor, like the ones you see pretty much everywhere these days while browsing the web. You know the kind, they pop up right when you’re in the middle of shopping or reading something, and I’m fairly sure everyone with a pulse clicks, “No thanks.”

I was pleasantly surprised, and almost overwhelmed, by the variety of question options available to me. Multiple choice/single answer and multiple answer, Yes/No questions, text box, etc. I chose a Likert scale format for some questions about web site navigation. It took no time at all, and produced very nice-looking results.

picture-74Once you’ve completed your survey, you have a variety of publication options. You can physically print the thing out, though the tool is designed primarily for web use. You can also email the survey, or generate HTML for your own site. I chose a third option, which was to create a link that leads visitors to a pre-formatted version of my questionnaire hosted by Mineful, which you can go ahead and check out.

Although the Survey option seemed like a perfectly good way to go about building a client feedback form as well, I wanted to take the Form editor for a spin so that I could compare the two. Form construction features a single-page layout that might be more appropriate and efficient for use when trying to get feedback from clients. You can select either a one- or a two-column layout, and when you publish it, you can set up security on your web link if you want to require a password or login to view the HTML document. Here’s a simple example two-column client feedback form.

picture-101The free version of Mineful has some limitations. You can only have up to five surveys and five¬† forms active at one time, and you can only receive up to 100 responses per month. If you’re a freelancer only using it to gather client feedback, you probably don’t need much more than that.

There are also two paid options: “Personal” subscription costs $20 a month, while “Business” costs $149 per month. Both increase your feedback levels, allow for unlimited concurrent forms and surveys, and add personalization options, like adding logos and modifying the theme of your surveys and forms. The “Business” version also allows you to add more users to your account.

I’m really glad I didn’t give Mineful a pass just because of my initial impressions of its interface. Turns out it’s a fantastic tool, and one that takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of HTML-based form creation. Check it out if you’re looking for a cheap, easy way to gather feedback from customers, clients and visitors over the web.

What tools do you use for constructing feedback forms?