Google today announced four new tools for building surveys with Google Forms. You can now display progress bars, set up data validation, embed YouTube videos, and post custom messages when your form is closed.

The addition of progress bars is probably the most useful for participants, and frankly should have been included in the service from the start. By simply checking the progress bar box in the Form Settings tab, you can now easily show respondents how much they have left to complete:

1 Google updates Forms with progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages

Next up is data validation, which lets you verify that text such as email addresses are formatted correctly. To use this feature, create a new Text question in Forms, click on the Data validation tab, select “Text,” and then “Email address.” The survey taker will see an error message if they don’t enter something correctly, according to rules outlined here.

3 730x227 Google updates Forms with progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages

If you who want to add a bit more visual flare to your surveys, you’ll be happy to learn that you can now embed a YouTube video right inside a form. This can be used in conjunction with the above two features to, say, offer interactive quizzes for students.

4 Google updates Forms with progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages

Last but not least, you can now make information available for respondents who weren’t able to complete a form it in time. After you’ve switched your form to “Not accepting responses,” you can now add your own custom message that will show up for late visitors.

5 Google updates Forms with progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages

By themselves, these are all minor additions to Google Forms. Together though, they improve the experience of both creating and filling out a form.

Now the only question is: What else is the service missing? Something tells us Google thinks the answer is Google+.

See also – Google releases faster version of Forms with real-time collaboration, automatic saving, and more and After testing a new grid menu on its homepage, Google experiments with no navigation bar on all its sites

Top Image Credit: Craig Parylo