Alpha Software Blog

8 Reasons Why Mobile Forms Differ From Desktop Forms

Mobile forms and desktop forms are very different. Learn 8 reasons why.

When you think about it, designing a form for a desktop/laptop is VERY different from designing a form for a mobile device. Tablet forms can't be designed as you would a desktop application.

Here are eight fundamental differences that need to be accounted for when designing mobile forms:
    • On a desktop you have the use of two hands, on a mobile device you typically only have one hand (the other one is holding the mobile device.)
    • On a desktop you have a mouse, on a mobile device you do not
    • On a desktop you have a large amount of screen real estate, on a mobile device you do not.
    • On a desktop you have the use a physical keyboard, on a mobile device you have a software keyboard that is competing for space on the screen with the form and interfering with smooth and efficient data entry.
    • On a desktop you have a live connection to a server, on a mobile device you have to make your form work even if there is no Wifi/4G/3G.
    • On a desktop you typically don't have a camera for taking pictures, video and voice recordings, on a mobile device you do.
    • On a desktop you are not going to enhance the form with electronic ink, on a mobile device electronic ink can add real value to a form in terms of drawings, sketches, markup and annotation
    • On a desktop you generally do not have location and date/time stamp awareness, on a mobile device you do.
It is for these fundamental reasons we designed intelligent mobile forms for rich data capture that increase productivity. We have included critical capability as a core part of Alpha Anywhere - our low code development platform for building offline capable mobile enterprise apps, or offline mobile forms. Using Alpha Anywhere, you can easily create online forms that are optimized for touch interfaces.

Also check out these blog posts below for more info and videos or contact for more information.

Mobile Forms for workers who work standing up or moving about - a 3 minute video.

With Mobile devices, offline-capable rich data capture forms and apps can now be built rapidly with Alpha Anywhere

Its time that mobile form UI is re-imagined for mobile devices

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About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.