The online trademark application is very cumbersome. I think the most important way this form could be improved is to make it a dynamic form in which each of the questions asked are determined based on the applicants answers to the previous questions. For example, many of the questions/fields listed on page 6-10 of the "TEAS Plus" preview document are only relevant if the applicant is applying for a "special form" trademark as opposed to a "standard character" trademark. If the form simply asked the applicant whether they were applying for a "special form" vs. a "standard character" trademark, the form could display only the relevant fields.
Additionally, after reviewing the site again yesterday, I found the "Basic Facts about Trademarks Manual" to be extremely helpful. The section explaining the "Use in Commerce, Section 1 (a)" for example, would have provided the clarity I needed when applying. While I glanced at this manual prior to starting the application, I did not process the information very well because 1) it was a 24 page manual and 2) I had not started the application, so it was hard to know which areas were going to be confusing for me. I would highly suggest doing the following:
1) Emphasize the importance of this document
2) Instead of presenting this as a 24 page document, include links to the relevant sections of this document throughout the application.
3) Consider renaming the document to something like "Trademark Application Guide - Tips to Avoid the Most Common Trademark Application Mistakes". Using the term "manual" makes most people ignore this document.
I have several ideas for improvement and would be happy to discuss this with someone or perhaps even assemble a committee of entrepreneurs and marketers to work with the USPTO office to improve the application. If this would be helpful, please let me know.