Best Practices

From Paper to Electronic

As with any tool or process there are many best practices, some more relevant to your particular situation than others. But there is one that is the foundation for all the others:

  • Review and revise your current paper-based business process to optimize it for the new electronic signature process. For example:
    • DocuSign should be used only when the business process truly needs a binding signature. Just because you have always asked for a signature doesn't mean it’s really needed.
    • If the business process really does need binding signatures, double check that you are requesting the minimum number actually needed. Again, just because you’ve always collected 3 signatures doesn’t mean you need to. Relatedly, in DocuSign you can track who receives and views a form so perhaps viewing is all that’s needed for at least 1 of those 3 signatures you used to collect in your traditional paper-based process.
    • Confirm you really need to collect the information – is there less sensitive information you can use/collect instead? Or even less information?
    • Is your form user-friendly? Research shows that a linear form in which the fields that need completing (including signatures) are easy to find and are presented in linear order are easier to use and result in fewer incomplete or incorrectly filled in forms. Simple and logical.
    • Are you using the Berkeley/department/unit’s brand appropriately?
    • You must first create and test your forms and workflow in the Demo environment prior to moving them to the Production environment.

A Friendly Review

Ask a colleague to review and test your templates, your forms, your workflow, settings, etc. Getting a second pair of eyes will improve quality and speed.

Tap into the Experts

The DocuSign Support Center has huge amounts of documentation that can train and guide you.


It is important that your documents are accessible to those with disabilities. To begin, ensure that your original form is accessible before you import it into DocuSign for signature workflow.

How to make your form (PDF) accessible. 

How to check your form (PDF) for accessibility.