After the early access pre-launch of Recollective On-Demand, a free simplified version of Recollective, we've had a very busy October. To keep the momentum up, the Ramius developers have been back at it with some great new improvements to the platform. Here's what we released in November:
While it's always been possible to perform a "Support Login" and experience a Study from the perspective of a specific participant, client or moderator, we wanted to make it easier to do this kind of check before a study was opened and participants uploaded.
Similarly, Recollective had the ability to preview a single activity or task but you could not remain in this preview state to test all screens or traverse through complex linkages between activities and discussions or even across studies.
Now, that's all changed. Analysts can select "Preview As..." in the control panel to immediately experience their study as one of the various user roles supported (Participant, Client or Moderator). It's a single click operation and the study can remain in a draft state.
- While previewing as a participant, analysts can can assign themselves into one or more segments to see the impact that has on the visibility of segmented activities and topics.
- Activities completed while previewing as a participant appear in the activity response table at the top with a yellow highlight (they are fast and easy to remove). They can only be seen by other analysts and are never summarized with participant data in task overviews, reports or transcripts.
- Note that if an analyst posts comments or participates in discussions while in the preview mode, it will still appear to everyone as if they had posted it normally.
Improved Prompt and Poll Routing
In previous releases we provided the capability to have a Poll or Prompt task route the participant out of the activity based on their response choice. That left the activity in an "incomplete" state.
We've improved the process to have that kind of branching action mark the initial activity as completed (i.e. any remaining tasks are marked as skipped). This setting is enabled by default but can be disabled if you plan to direct the participant back to the activity (which tends to be rare but occasionally is necessary).
What that means is complex task branching scenarios can now be achieved with greater ease as there's no need to route participants to a final prompt task to generate a proper "Completed" status (e.g. you can, for example, disqualify a participant in one step).
Inactive Participant Handling
In longer-term studies, participant churn is inevitable. People are either removed from one study (but left active) or their entire panelist record is deactivated. In either case, your feedback has indicated it's helpful for that person's past contributions to remain easily accessible and accounted for in statistics.
For example, if a study has 10 active participants but only 8 did an activity, the response rate is 80%. If two past (inactive) participants had responded to that same activity, Recollective previously showed "10/10 (100%)".
Following this update, we now add inactive participant responses to the denominator so the response rate becomes "10/12".
We've updated our chart library to its latest version which solves some issues with pie chart labels that could occasionally appear cutoff.
- A new flatter look and brighter colour scheme has been implemented as well.
- Pie charts have been given legends that can be selected to toggle the appearance of select chart segment.
- Performance: The use of drop shadows was greatly reduced to create a more flat and performing design. Page rendering and CSS transformations should be much smoother in all browsers but especially Firefox and Internet Explorer.
- Study Header: A new setting allows the study name to be hidden in the study header. Note that this does not hide the name entirely, only the appearance of the name next to the site logo.
- Photo and Video Overviews: Greater visual separation has been added to these overviews to ensure the metadata below the thumbnails are visually grouped. The tooltip for each photo/video item now follows your mouse when hovering which makes it easier to notice and read.
- Email Invitations: Validation has been added to identify existing participants in the list of emails provided. It now prevents the form from being submitted until the duplicate emails are removed. Previously, the process would simply skip the duplicates but it caused some people to think email invites were not being sent (i.e. admins would invite themselves to test it out but no email would arrive since they're already part of the study).
- Sort and Rank: The third data table citing individual card placements can now be exported into CSV
- Next Activity Prompt: The prompt for participants to start the next activity no longer appears in the Control Panel, it only appears under the navigation tabs (previously seen only when the control panel was closed). This is to ensure that prompt is not missed.
- Study Setup Guide: The guide is now positioned along the top of the page and not below the navigation tabs. This ensures the main appearance of the study is not altered by its presence and reduces confusion about the location of the guide (i.e. it is not part of "Summary" tab).
- Study Setup Guide: The order of steps was revised to focus on Activities first and that step's description was dramatically simplified. The step about Segments was removed and various other small changes were made for usability.
- Support Login: While logged in as another user, analysts will see a new bar that's fixed along the top of the browser frame. This is strictly a style change.