JotForm Designer, Theme Store Let You Codelessly Beautify, Sell Form Designs
JotForm.com is interactive web form designer with an emphasis on ease-of-customization. From things like mass surveys to contact forms for websites, JotForm can generate them, and for free. You can even make a couple of forms and manage them without registering (though you will need an account if you want to edit said forms on another computer).
JotForm has just launched its Form Designer, which is supposed to reduce the need for coding knowledge when decking out forms. The Designer ties in with the JotForm Theme Store, where one can share and sell their designs, besides download ones others have made.
The Form Designer and Theme Store are accessed from the buttons at the top-left of the main Form Builder, which is conveniently the first thing you see upon hitting JotForm.com. I'll just fire up a test form I made and give you a run-through of the highlights.
The primary appeal of the Form Designer is its point-and-click interface. Things like colour scheme, background photo, font style and size; line spacing, and other things can be readily changed. Individual form elements' options can be manipulated just by clicking on them directly:
Meanwhile, the CSS tab hosts the CSS Helper, which “builds the CSS code for you”. Again, clicking on elements brings up options, but choices now auto-populate the box o' code. The box and its accumulating contents can also be manipulated like a regular script editor by the experienced:
In practice, I find the Form Designer works well. Selections snappily come into effect and preview right after clicking or coding them, which feels slick. I also didn't come across any weird bugs during my (albeit brief) test-run.
As for the Theme Store...
While JotForm's templates selector will stick around to provide pre-made layouts, the Theme Store is a repository of flair. Themes are submitted by the community into categories; upon choosing one, you can specify to “clone” it (which makes a new form), or apply it to one of your existing forms:
You, yourself can be part of the community by going to the 'My Themes' section, and choosing a form you've made to submit as a theme. (The wizard won't let you create a new theme on the spot, so you'll need to build and deck out a form with the Form Designer beforehand.)
Interestingly, themes submitted to the Store don't have to be free to download. I see a few going for $5-10. Generally you can expect these to be spiffier than the free themes, but it's up to you whether or not they're worth their stickers. JotForm otherwise remains completely free to use.
All in all, JotForm's Form Designer and Theme Store are ambitious and worthy extensions to its signature Form Builder and associated tools. All I'd really fix are small inconsistencies, like the lack of reference to the Store in the initial form creation screen, and some confusion about the 'Themes' link at the bottom of the Builder being for choosing site (not form) themes.