Conditional logic refers to a decision-making process based on a combination of past information and current conditions. In the case of smart mobile forms for the field, applying conditional logic adds intelligent automation that guides workers through specific workflows seamlessly and without needing to manually flip through irrelevant questions or entire sections. Conditional logic is based on an "if this, then that" structure.
Traditional paper forms, of course, have relied on manual conditional logic for decades. Directives typically include:
- "If yes, please skip to step five" or
- "If no, add detail below"
While these conditional logic directions help field workers follow workflows more efficiently, having pen-to-paper type forms risks data entry errors such as illegible or incomplete form data. But when that same conditional logic is automated using smart mobile forms, it allows for an entirely new level of speed and data quality.
Automated conditional logic also allows field workers to follow complex processes with less training, while also pushing automated alerts to the right stakeholders—like safety managers—if certain conditions are met.
Conditional Logic 101: Conditional Statements
Conditional statements are what we referred to earlier: If this is true, then that action should occur. This is the foundation of conditional logic in smart mobile forms. However, there are different types of conditional statements, such as:
- If/Then: If the equipment being inspected is an air conditioner, then show the "air conditioner" section and hide the "furnace" and "ventilation" sections
- Else/If: Else If the equipment being inspected equals the furnace, then show "furnace" and hide "air conditioner" and "ventilation"
Conditional operators and actions are at the core of any conditional logic. Conditional operators, which are often represented by mathematical symbols, include:
- Equals (=): Checks if the answer is an exact match to another value of a comparable data type.
- Does not equal (!=): Checks if the answer is not an exact match to another value of a comparable data type.
- Less than (<): Checks if the answer is lower than another value of a comparable data type.
And so on. In ProntoForms, users can create and manage conditional logic rules through a simple user interface. You can use this to view already-existing rules, edit rules, create new ones, or delete unnecessary ones.
Conditional logic can also be built inside repeatable sections of a mobile form, which enables the form to make conditional changes inside a single section instead of the entire form.
Automated Conditional Logic for Improved Outcomes
By incorporating this kind of conditional logic into mobile forms, field teams and their back-office counterparts can dramatically reduce time spent while also improving compliance. Paper workflows pose compliance risks for a range of reasons, including sloppy data input, forgotten forms, and slow turnaround times. But automated conditional logic helps organizations achieve compliance without blowing up their time or monetary budgets – along with improving health and safety conditions.
For example, a form using automated conditional logic can proactively alert a technician of a potential safety issue, provide instructions for dealing with that issue, and even suggest which tools are best to use.
It's a feature that ProntoForms client Daytona Homes has utilized to great effect in forms for both employees and customers. The company's forms automatically hide unnecessary sections, clients don't have to thumb through 50 irrelevant pages to find the one they need. And for employees, entering a project number triggers an auto-fill of all relevant client contact details right in the form, saving them from re-entering routine information over and over.