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When Not To Use PDFs

By Mira Brody - Last Updated on 08/26/2016
issues with pdfs.
Whether an employment form, a legal document or membership registration, sometimes you'll need to get information from your customers. Some websites still go by the method of having their clients download a PDF form, fill it out and fax or email it back. This makes for a poor user experience because it forces the user to put forth extra effort to complete a task and change their mode of communication.

A good example is the process for applying for a job.
Shipton's employment process.
On the website for Shipton’s Big R, instead of asking an applicant to print a PDF, fill it out and return it to the store, Shipton’s had us build an application system directly into the site. This not only makes it easier for the prospective employee, but there are significant direct advantages for Shipton’s as well.

If for budgetary reasons you are constrained to using PDFs on your website, it is important that you include them in your site testing process to ensure a flawless process for your customers. Here are a few things you can check for:

  • Test that inputting data using your computer works well — load the PDF in your computer and make sure all input fields work by typing data into each one, including the digital signature field.
  • Make sure the file you’re using is a PDF file, not another format. If your form downloads as a Word document, for example, people will be able to alter the form and they may not be able to open it easily.
  • Make sure it prints correctly.

If you’d like to streamline your processes and eliminate paperwork, talk to us today about building a custom workflow directly into your website that will gather the information you need from your customers securely and with ease.
Mira Brody:

About Mira Brody

Mira Brody is an editor, writer, and marketing expert with 12+ years of experience. She has worked as a local news reporter, a writer/editor, and as a leader in large-scale branding strategy. Mira worked at JTech as the staff writer and editor for internal and client projects from March 2015 to December 2019.

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