Incident Reports for the Mobile Era


Ms. Neagu is a noted expert on data applications and XML technologies. Adriana was co-inventor of Microsoft Office InfoPath, and co-holds 4 InfoPath patents.

Incident Report Ink Diagram

Incident report forms are well suited to workforce automation using iPad, Android or Windows tablets. The built-in camera, touch screen and GPS on these devices allows an incident to be well documented. Formotus has created an example incident report form with all the best features.

Introducing our example incident report form

When you first open the form there are a couple of drop down lists, a text box and a date control. Nothing fancy there. The good stuff is all collapsed under the wide blue buttons, which you tap to reveal.

Incident report newly opened

Phone-sized view

This incident report form is designed with a second, narrower view that opens by default on an iPhone or Android smartphone. You can toggle between the views using the tablet and phone icons on the top right.

Incident Report Phone View

Add Witnesses

The most important feature of the Witnesses section is the ‘Add Another Witness’ button at the bottom. The mobile user of the form can add as many instances as needed in each situation, which is handy since you never know if there will be one witness or ten.

Incident Report Add Witnesses

Damage Diagram

Diagrams can be very useful in incident report forms to explain what happened visually. In this case, our example form is designed to diagram damage to a car. But with a different background image your incident report could allow diagramming injuries on a human body, point of collision in an intersection, or anything else you might need. When you tap the pencil button you can draw on the background and control the color and weight of the ink.

Incident Report Damage Diagram

Photo capture and inking

On the screen above you can also tap the camera button to capture a photo and draw on it. The short video below demonstrates the experience of capturing a photo and annotating it in an incident report form.

Signature and geo-stamp

The signature section of the incident report allows a person to sign the form using a finger or stylus on the touch screen. There is also a Formotus location control that will stamp the form with the current location coordinates. This provides an added level of authentication to the incident report form.

Incident Report Damage Diagram

Share the form by email

You can send the filled out incident report form by email, and it will arrive in various formats. An XML version can be opened and edited by someone else with the same form installed. An HTML version can be viewed by anyone, and a PDF version is also attached.

Email is the simplest kind of form submission, and you can do a lot with it. But the Formotus service will also do much more. Forms can be submitted to SharePoint form libraries and opened from there using either Formotus or Microsoft Office InfoPath. Form data can also be submitted to any kind of back-end system using web services.

Incident Report Submit by Email