iPad Signatures – getting field testing forms signed off

Question: When using the iPad for field testing, how do you get actual signatures (of test participants/witnesses) on to the test forms?

There are several ways we handle signatures. First, is to get it via an app such as iAnnotate or SignMyPad. Second, we can capture it via one of our tablet PCs, and third we sometimes have it emailed to us.

Once we have the signature, we then get permission from that person to insert it on any document that they have participated in. When we use this particular method, we always make sure to send the person copies of anything that they 'signed', i.e., stuff we inserted (with their permission) their signature into.

To input the signature, a stylus works best, but some signers don't really care. And people who are familiar with touch screens seem to adapt fairly well without a stylus. Another option, when asking for a signature, is just to ask for their initials. That's easy to do with the fingers.

Also, in our test procedures, we have a form that says something to the effect that "the people whose names are listed here have agreed to have their signature electronically reproduced on test documents."

Keep in mind that electronic signatures are legal, just like a hand written signature. That means that the typed words “My Signature” have the same legal authority as something hand written. There are also Digital Signature services available, that verify a digital signature. You may also want to take a look at services such as DocuSign.

[Thanks to Brent M. Capps, Building Systems Group, Inc., for the question.]