Introducing forms on Josef

To chat or to form. Why not have both? Josef CEO Tom Dreyfus makes the case for better forms

Most of us can agree that filling in forms sucks. 

But in the real world, forms are inevitable. Whether you’re starting a new job, applying for a loan or creating a company, forms are everywhere. 

All too often, forms are frustrating, confusing and slow to complete. And yet we forgive bad forms (and their makers!) because “that’s just what forms are like”. 

Today, we’re introducing a new kind of form to Josef (in addition to an improved chat interface). A smart, clear and powerful form to give our builders more options, so they can create a better experience for their clients.

Josef's new forms are smart, dynamic and user-friendly

Josef's new forms are smart, dynamic and user-friendly

Forms, but better

We set out to create a dynamic form that only asks users the questions they need to answer. Because when you fill out a form, there’s no reason to see a static list of fields that have you guessing which ones to fill in and which to skip.

To make it easy to use, we gave users maximum freedom and speed. You can scroll up and down and go as quickly as you want. You can stop and save at any time, share and collaborate with others to complete your form, and resume your progress when it’s more convenient.

Users can now see and save their progress, collaborate and download a record of their session

Users can now see and save their progress, collaborate and download a record of their session

Transparency was also important. When you’re filling out a 20 page form, you know when you’re halfway through. So we built a new progress bar to gives users further visibility over their progress so they can see how far along they are and how far they have to go. And that’s the best motivator to ensure users complete the interaction!

Josef’s new forms also take advantage of the seamless integration between our API and our customers’ favourite platforms. Manual data entry is a thing of the past, and that’s where it should stay.

And beyond simple integration, Josef’s form enables legal professionals and their clients to generate whole suites of documents at the same time. No more picking and choosing to find just the right template, or re-entering the same details multiple times across different documents. Instead, generate multiple documents and emails from a single interaction.

“In short, we chose to improve all the things we don’t like about forms, and keep all the things we do.”
– Tom Dreyfus, Josef Co-founder and CEO

Finally, we supercharged the visual options available on the platform, handing over the keys to builders to control the full experience for their clients, and showcase their brand through images, colours and icons.

In short, we chose to improve all the things we don’t like about forms, and keep all the things we do.

When to chat, when to form

The very first automation tools built on Josef were chatbots, which makes this a big change. But it’s a change driven by our bot-builders and their clients. They’ve told us that some legal problems are best solved with a chat, and some with a form.

Ultimately, adding smart forms to Josef is about choice and user experience.

For many legal professionals and their clients, forms are a familiar and trusted format. They’re the right fit for experienced users who know what they are doing and who want to get an outcome as quickly as possible. These users want a form that will go as fast as they can!

For some of our customers, it turns out that their clients simply don’t want to use a chatbot. And that’s perfectly okay with us. We want our customers to choose the right experience for their clients. Being truly user-centric means listening deeply to your users. At Josef, that means the people building bots, and the people using them.

Chatbots aren't going anywhere, as we spend more time on our mobile phones

Chatbots aren't going anywhere, as we spend more time on our mobile phones

Now, don’t let all this talk of forms fool you. Chatbots aren’t going anywhere! We spend more time, do more things, and engage more with others – usually via chat – on our mobile phones than ever before.

So when it comes to answering legal questions, or helping people make better legal decisions, chat is still the preferred experience for most users. After all, it’s hard to imagine forms answering questions or providing legal advice or guidance.

Not a chatbot company

Josef is not a chatbot company. It never has been.

We’ve been building a legal automation workbench for every lawyer, everywhere. Today is simply one more step on the path towards realising that vision.

Sure, until now, Josef-powered bots had a chat interface. But from today, they can be launched as a chat or as a form, expanding exponentially the legal problems that our bot-builders can solve for their clients.

And Josef is capable of so much more, from document and email automation, to analytics and integrations. As more bots are built on Josef, customers have started using it to automate more complex logic and workflows.

“Technology has come a long way and is pushing the boundaries of what is possible, but often the solutions we need are the ones right in front of us.”
– Tom Dreyfus, Josef Co-founder and CEO

A few weeks ago, a Josef team member went in for a COVID test. She was given a clipboard with two pages of forms, asking for her contact information and health information. After filling in the forms, she was asked to wait in line, while another person proceeded to type up the information she just filled out, printed out a copy and handed her another piece of paper with a record. 

It’s stories like this that inspire us. At Josef, we’re creating a world in which experiences like this won’t exist. Technology has come a long way and is pushing the boundaries of what is possible, but often the solutions we need are the ones right in front of us. 

Ridding the legal world of inefficient, frustrating processes by introducing smart forms may feel like a small fry, but it’s more than a small step in the right direction.

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