Below is an example of the applicant’s view of the ‘application’ on the applicant dashboard. Additional sections for award acceptance, post acceptance etc. will be displayed if the applicant is offered an award and accepts it.
1.2 Getting Started Checklist
If you are doing your own implementation or working with the Implementation team we suggest that you collect the following information together before designing and creating your form. The following list is not all inclusive is just a recommendation based on our experience. The Implementation Team will require the majority of this information prior to your Process Review and prior to them getting started with your Implementation.
- Written Documentation of your Process (whether it is one application or multiple applications)
- Process Map
- Written Procedures
- Documentation could include the following items:
- Who needs to updating and reviewing your Form before publication
- Current process on how you distribute your Form to potential applicants
- Marketing efforts behind your Form
- How you communicate with the Applicant during the process
- Applicant process – list of supplemental materials and resources they may need to complete your Form.
- Staff Intake Process
- Review Process
- Committee Structure
- How they currently review
- Are they ready to read online?
- Award Process
- Notification Process
- External Database – load data into external system/pushing data into CF System
Before you begin to build your Form online be sure that you have the following for each Form
- Funding Source Information
- Committee Members
- Progress/Final Report Process
- Donor Interaction
After reviewing all the information, develop a new process and a new timeline to follow. Keep in mind with your timeline; you may be eliminating certain steps that frees your time up. However, you are using a new process and technology you are unfamiliar with. Allot yourself, and your reviewer’s time to get use to the new process and new technology. You should plan and anticipate that you may have roadblocks.
1.3 Creating an Effective Form
Let’s face it: No one likes spending a long time filling out a form. Most people hate to do a lot of typing. Keeping your form short and simple, eliminating unnecessary elements that no one needs is a good start. Ask yourself: “Can I do without that information?” If the answer is “yes”, don’t use it.
1.3.1 User’s Perspective
When creating your application form, think about it from the User’s Perspective. A good design is a simple design. Keep in mind that people read from top to bottom and left to right. Your design should reflect a natural placement of elements. A scattered application will just drive a user to become confused and typically they will not complete filling out the form. Before starting to build your application in our software we suggest you take a good look at your existing form whether it is a paper application or an online form. Think outside the box, think about the user experience.
1.3.2 Design with a Purpose
A good way to create an effective form is to use as many presets as possible. Eliminate text fields and replace them with check boxes, radio buttons and drop down menus wherever you can. That way you control the data that is brought in. Running reports will be easier and the data analytics will stay consistent. Fund criteria mapping will be more effective and less confusing for the system to find the match.