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Show HN: Formly - Online Form Builder for Mobile Data Collection (getformly.com)
31 points by sync on Sept 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

Hrm... did something similar, but focused on collecting data with GPS coordinates (http://fieldflag.com). One of the things I directly avoided was requiring an app - lots more work up front, ties people to ios (unless you do other versions as well, etc).

Feedback I got from my partner is that some people were asking 'where's the app?' - it's just a mobile web browser form, you don't need an app, but people may be so conditioned that they expect (or require?) a separate app for every single activity they engage in.

And yet... other people were very appreciative of being able to run our demo on any major mobile smartphone (android, etc). Defining how your service works seems like, in large part, it'll shape what sorts of people use it.

GPS Data Collection! I never knew such a thing existed. Is that a big market? You should have a demo :)

The big reasons I created the app were push notifications and offline data collection. The app is actually mostly JS, so in theory an android port shouldn't be too difficult... just waiting to see if people request that as a feature (or must-have.)

It's a bigger market than we'd realized.

Yes, offline is useful, as is uploading pictures, although ios6 will finally bring that to iphone. we didn't go with an app yet until there's some demand - and there may be enough to justify it now, but I'm not pulling the trigger yet. It's a lot easier to add features to a mobile website (for android, ios, etc) than gen new versions of apps for each.

good luck. :)

Oh, and the 'demo' is that you can use the app for free for 30 days. Go ahead and try it. :)

Looks good! The tutorial is probably great for some class of users, but I thought your UI was self-explanatory enough to not need it, at least beyond knowing to drag-and-drop fields. Maybe add an "exit tutorial" button somewhere?

Bug report: my form seems to be stuck in an infinite loop on the first question ("what's your email address?") -- after answering it, it flashes the next question ("what's your email", which I added), but then goes back to the first question. This is on the web; haven't tried the mobile app. https://www.getformly.com/forms/821084b0-73c8-4b96-a85e-53db...?

Thanks for the feedback Brian. Glad to hear my UI is self-explanatory, I've worked hard on it :)

There's a x on the top right of every guider to end the demo. Did you just miss it? Is that not obvious enough as an "exit tutorial" button ?

Will look into the bug, I added the "What is your email address?" question very last minute after some initial feedback.

Ah, I didn't try that button. I think I subconsciously assumed that the X would just close a single dialog, not the whole tutorial.

The automatic "what is your email address?" question seems a little weird to me. As a form creator, it's easy enough to add if I want to ask that question, and that lets me keep control over the experience. There could be cases where I may not want to ask for an email address, or maybe I want to put it in the middle or the end of the form. And as an aside--isn't the email address implied by the URL I clicked on, which was sent to my email?

Nice. I think your homepage could do with a screenshot, or a video or something.

I get into the demo but it's not obvious how this relates to mobile, specifically.

Also, am not sure about your pricing ... $50 / month feels like a lot for 100 responses.

Thanks! Would love to do a video... my skills in that department are nil. Will have to learn.

Pricing is hard, really hard. I couldn't decide what to charge, so in the interest of shipping, I just went for 2x what I thought was reasonable. It will be one of the first things I a/b test.

Edit: Pricing updated!

I do appreciate the very well thought of web application. I most definitely like it.

I have experienced the pain point but, it seems a wee bit simple to shell out $50/month. I could just install Wordpress (quoting it for it's simplicity) with Gravity Forms or cForms on a cheapo $5 PHP host.

Dang, my cousin and I have been working on a similar idea for over a year. This is awesome to see that you've done this, and awesome to see how you've implemented it!

Over a year? You should launch it already! It'll never be "done."

I want to launch it, but it's a side project that we both are strapped for time to finish up. Plus, it's a project that we both realize could either be a solution looking for a problem, or something that can seriously disrupt the way people do mobile marketing on cell phones.

Well done! The "how to" instructions contains too much "Cool", "Awesome" and are a bit overwhelming. I would try to keep the dialog to a bare minimum.

If you can write HTML, you can do the same with http://getsimpleform.com/

I am hoping some of our features (specifically flow control, scheduled push notifications, and offline data collection) will win over some of the competitors in this space. https://www.getformly.com/features/online_form_builder

I've got a ssl certificate error with firefox. Site looks very nice, but holly st, 49€/mo is expensive for 100 response.

SSL cert error? Oh no. Did you happen to hit the non-www domain?

Running it through curl doesn't raise any flags as far as I can tell...

  * SSL connection using AES256-SHA
  * Server certificate:
  * 	 subject: OU=Domain Control Validated; OU=Gandi Standard SSL; CN=www.getformly.com
  * 	 start date: 2012-08-10 00:00:00 GMT
  * 	 expire date: 2013-08-10 23:59:59 GMT
  * 	 subjectAltName: www.getformly.com matched
  * 	 issuer: C=FR; O=GANDI SAS; CN=Gandi Standard SSL CA
  * 	 SSL certificate verify ok.
  > GET / HTTP/1.1
Any clues?

As far as pricing is concerned, I totally agree. I will work on it.

Edit: Just tested in latest Firefox for Mac and Windows 7.

The instructional-dialog animation is disorienting.

Thanks! I just removed the animation entirely. Might add a fade-in, but going to let it sit as-is for now.

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