TL; DR: In 2006, Aytekin Tank was a software consultant who wanted a tool to help him build online forms more efficiently. When he didn’t find one, he decided to create JotForm, a tool that saves users time by generating robust, intuitive forms quickly. Today, all types of organizations — including schools, businesses, and nonprofits — use JotForm’s form-building tools to save resources. And the company continues to make its products even more powerful by listening to feedback and designing features focused on data management.
When Aytekin Tank was working as a software consultant in New York City in 2006, he deeply disdained coding online forms. The task was as dull as it was time-consuming, so Aytekin scoured the web for a shortcut but found no solutions. The few web-based form builders he stumbled upon were poorly made and difficult to use.
He turned his frustration into a solution by founding JotForm, an online form-building platform that provides users with the natural experience he had been seeking. Initially, JotForm was a side project as he continued working at his day job.
But as he spent his days in the office and nights working at home, JotForm’s user base started to grow. Soon, he decided to focus on JotForm full time. And that decision paid off.
“I had been looking for a good intuitive solution for form building. I made my share of ugly form builders, but I believe I finally solved the problem.” Aytekin said just before launching JotForm.
While the original idea was to build forms that technical professionals didn’t have time to create themselves, more nontech workers began signing up to use the platform. That showed the broad appeal of JotForm’s service.
“The products were so accessible that anyone could use them. Aytekin realized that everyone needed an easy way to collect information in an organized and efficient manner, not just coders,” said Chad Reid, JotForm’s VP of Marketing and Communications. “That’s why we started marketing our tools to a wider audience.”
Today, JotForm has more than 4 million users, and generates over 1,000 new forms every day. The platform is available in 177 countries and more than a dozen languages. And JotForm relies on feedback from its global user base to continue improving the product.
JotForm: A Company that Understands the Value of Saving Time
While JotForm makes collecting information a more organized and efficient process, the most valuable benefit it delivers to clients is time. Because of JotForm’s low barrier to entry, even the newest startups can use its tools from the beginning to become more methodical in how they gather and store data.
“Ease-of-use is important, but time management is JotForm’s biggest key benefit. For example, if the only way you can get information from potential customers or long-term clients is through the email address you’ve posted to your website, organizing the information they send you is going to be a ton of hassle,” said Chad. “But if you give those people access to a simple form, then it’s easy.”
Ultimately, JotForm tools help people connect with others who have the data they need. They also reduce back-and-forth emails that waste time in so many organizations, which frees workers up to focus on productivity goals.
One of JotForm’s most powerful and popular features is its payment integration tools. It allows users of services such as Square, PayPal, Stripe, and BlueSnap to integrate their order forms. With this tool, businesses can process payments at the point of submission, whether it is an order form, donation form, or an application. Everything is taken care of at the same time, making the process easier and faster for both the business and its customers.
JotForm’s robust set of products sometimes have surprising uses. Because they’re so easy to use, even Chad has found that the company’s tools help him in unexpected ways.
“I’m in the process of planning a wedding right now, so I had to collect addresses from friends and family members. At first, I thought, ‘I’m going to have to tell them all to email me the information,’ which would have been a cumbersome process,” he said. “Then I realized the easiest solution was to create a form. I’m nontechnical, but it still took me less than two minutes. I sent the link out to everyone and centralized all their information in one place that’s easy to merge into any system or spreadsheet. Problem solved.”
Tools for Every Type of Organization — from Schools to Businesses
JotForm offers one of the largest selections of free templates available online. Customers can find forms designed to gather order details, feedback, and application info for nearly every industry. If a company doesn’t find options suited to its needs, it’s easy to create a new one with JotForm’s drag-and-drop form builder.
And the vast number of ways JotForm’s products help users keep Chad busy.
“As a marketing team, our greatest challenge is that it’s hard to pin down one type of user. Our customers come from everywhere. They’re nonprofits who need donation forms and forms for volunteers. They’re schools that need enrollment forms and small businesses that need lead generation and feedback forms. Even though we’ve been around for more than 13 years, the types of businesses that use our forms continue to grow.”
That’s why JotForm has built a hard-charging user research team tasked with helping customers do qualitative research, instead of just amassing data. That approach allows JotForm to create content that’s relevant and useful.
JotForm’s user research team works with its clients to figure out how to fix pain points, add powerful new features, and design the best possible product road map. Then, JotForm combines that information with data from its customer support team — including reports about bugs or ideas for a new integration.
Always Improving Products with Data Management in Mind
Since Aytekin founded the company in 2006, JotForm’s goal has been to make the form-creation process easier. By listening to feedback from its individual, business, and nonprofit clients, the company has excelled at that mission.
“That was our bread and butter. We asked ourselves ‘How do we make this process faster? How do we add design functionality to make it simpler?’ Our product updates focused on answering those questions,” Chad said.
Over the last few years, the company has started asking other questions, too. Today, JotForm is just as concerned with the end-user as it is with customers who build the forms. The goal is to make filling out a form an enjoyable experience, which will increase response rates.
In 2019, JotForm plans to learn more about how information is collected through its forms and how companies leverage it.
“We want to know how our customers are analyzing data, how they’re sharing it internally, and how they’re using it to shape decisions,” Chad said. “A lot of our road map in 2019 and 2020 is going to be dedicated to answering those questions.”
First, JotForm developed tools that made it easy to create new forms. Then, it designed forms that got the best possible response rates. Now, the company is building new processes that will help its customers get the most out of their forms. The entire JotForm experience, from the moment new users create their very first forms, to when they act on the data they’ve gathered, will continue to become smoother, simpler, and more effective.