Unsplash has practically become a verb here at Typeform. Whether it’s for mockups, inspiration, or some presentation slides, nine times out of ten we Unsplash it.

We love the photos on there so much that we built an Unsplash image search feature for Typeform—so you can instantly add some personality to your forms.

Why Unsplash and not some other stock photo library? Here’s what the designer sitting next to me said:

In other words, Unsplash’s secret ingredient is the generosity and creativity of the people behind the cameras.

That’s why the site’s holding the Unsplash Awards to celebrate their community. Photographers can submit their photos for twelve award categories, including ‘Entrepreneur,’ ‘Street photography,’ and ‘Diversity.’

And that’s why we wanted to write our own tribute on three ways their photos help transform typeforms.

Want to submit your own photo? Head here by December 7th—and good luck.

Say hello

Forms don’t have to start asking straight away. They’re often the first point of interaction between you and your audience—so try using a Welcome Screen with an Unsplash pic to ease people into your questions.

You could greet people with a human touch:

Or give people a taste of what’s to come:

And if you’re asking people to sign up to something, let them see what they’re in for:

With Unsplash images, you’ll avoid that awkward stock-pic feeling of ‘haven’t I seen that office guy before?’

Combine that with Typeform’s customizable design features and the idea of filling out a form becomes that little bit more appealing.

Take your pic

People like multiple choice questions for one simple reason: it’s easier than writing an answer. No one likes having to write stuff. And that’s coming from someone whose job is to write stuff.

But what if the options are hard to describe with just a few words? “The one with the forest and the street.” “The one with the bear and the forest.” “The other one with the bear and the forest.”

Sometimes it’s easier to show instead of tell—like Unsplash did in this typeform asking its audience which photos should make the Unsplash book:

You can use picture choice questions to make options clearer, or just break up the usual monotony of a form.

Text and boxes get old after a while. Drop some Unsplash pictures in the middle of your form and people are more likely to make it to the end.

And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be married to your cofounder, check out our interview with Unsplash’s Steph Liverani here.

Provide some background

Want to know a little secret? A lot of typeforms look like this:

And sometimes that’s enough. Like when you just need to get some names and emails from around the office. Or you want your family’s take on the ‘crunchy vs. smooth’ debate.

But if you want to impress your audience and look good for potential customers, an Unsplash picture background is always an option:

Use this tip with care, as you don’t want a busy picture making an important question hard to read. But get it right, and your form will barely resemble a form any more:

Are you a designer who’s looking for clients? You’ll instantly stand out from all the form conformists with this tactic. For some background pic inspiration, head over to Typeform’s Unsplash collection curated by one of our Visual Designers.

Thank you Unsplash

Around 2,500 Unsplash pictures are chosen through Typeform’s image search every day. No strings attached, no credit needed, no questions asked.

They can make your forms look miles better without needing any talent of your own. In other words, they do us all a huge favor.

So good luck to all the photographers involved in the awards, and a huge thanks to the Unsplash community for all the amazing free photos.

Want to start making your own forms look less like forms? Try Typeform for free.