I spent the morning playing with Gravity Forms to figure out how to create a form to start cataloging my personal media collection. I can now understand why folks get addicted to creating forms for everything, once you can a handle on a few basics. Soon I’ll be thinking I can actually “program,” a scary place for me to be in the borderlands of nonprogramistan.
The form I am playing with will provide a simple way for me to catalog my media collection, which consist of movies of various formats, books, comics, and some toys. Not sure toys are media, but I am going to “play” with that category a bit. I started the process my using a standard text field for both Title and year media was created. I then added a standard drop-down for media types, and added a whole bunch, with the idea that depending on what media your selected (book, VHS, CD, etc.) the fields you would see would change.
This would allow me to immediately hit one of this week’s goals: conditional logic. What I did not understand right away was that conditional logic does not apply to the Media type as much as the fields I would create after, such as running time, region, film genre, etc. It is on those fields that I would need to specify the Conditional logic as any of the media formats that are film related.
So now when i go to the form and choose a format that is related to film, the conditional logic kicks in and I can see relevant fields like running time, film genre, and region:
Whereas if the Media Type is book none of these fields will show:
So, I have a few goals accomplished here, figuring out conditional logic, ordering the form using simple drag and drop to have fields side-by-side, and finally using a CSS Class Name, gf_red_alert, to change the color of the required asterisk for the entire form:
The next step would be to play with pagination for this form to break it up and make it manageable. But I didn’t have enough on the form yet and was still trying to think through a good way to make logical section, so that will be something I include as I keep building.
The last challenge for this week was to play with confirmations and notifications, but given this is a form I will only use (unless I truly do force my kids down the data entry path) I figured notifications might not be all that useful. Though I may be overlooking something here. But I was able to manage a silly confirmation message that will be a constant a reminder that my physical media addition is not healthy. Changing this is as easy as clicking on the Confirmations option for the selected form and changing the default text to something you like, and it can even have links, images, etc.
And with that I do feel like I have some of the basics for Gravity Forms under my belt and I’m ready for Week 2 of the Form of Awesome Flex Course to start fine-tuning the process. I am wondering if I can streamline any of the form fields that might be automatically filled based on fields already filled out. Not entirely sure given my form is sparse yet, but I like how this process starts to force you to think in a bit more structured way, which is not something I am used to.