Voxco Online v5.6 – Restructured Navigation

We’re excited to be managing a full roll-out across all of our SaaS servers that gives users access to the new Voxco Online (Acuity4) platform version 5.6.

The big news is that this version includes the release of Voxco Mobile Offline, our personal interviewing survey tool. It is integrated directly into the same platform as Voxco Online to maximize multichannel efficiency. If you’re interested in a demo, get in touch with us!

Even for online-only clients, there are a ton of new benefits to v5.6. This update integrates many client-requested updates to the overall navigation and layout of the platform. Here are a few of the biggest changes:

Maximized screen space

Elements within the platform and questionnaire editor have been aligned to the edges of your browser window. We have also eliminated tertiary navigation bars so that only a primary and secondary navigation remain:

  • The primary navigation is a permanent link to the four most common sections of the platform
  • The secondary navigation serves as a breadcrumb trail, offering easy access and quick actions for any step along the path to your current page.

The result of these changes is a more optimized experience. More of your important data fills more of the window while you’re editing questionnaires, sample lists, reports, and more. So get to work! 😉

Reporting via top navigation

We added a general ‘Reporting’ tab to the permanent navigation bar. It also provides one-click access to reporting subsections via a drop-down. Reporting for all of your surveys is now quickly accessible from anywhere in the platform.

Panels via top navigation

Panel Manager can now be accessed via the top navigation for anytime access. Using the secondary navigation breadcrumbs, you can easily jump directly to individual panels, panelists, and quick actions (imports, invitations, templates, etc).

Merged users & user groups

We have merged the two user management sections (users, user groups) into one single page instead of two. You can now view at a glance which users are in which user group. On the left you can access all of your user groups. In the central portion of the page, view and access individual users from the currently selected user group. New users and user groups can be added via a single, prominent button in the top right corner.

Search boxes

All lists now have search boxes to simplify access to specific surveys, users, user groups, panels, reports, templates, and more. See the examples above for quick searching user groups or individual users.

New features

v5.6 also includes a handful of brand new features, many of which are client-requested, and all of which will improve user productivity. You can read about them in our blogpost on January feature updates.

Want more?

All of our SaaS clients are being upgraded to v5.6 in the very new future. Release notes are available that detail all of the above changes in more detail. On-premise clients can request access to 5.6 at any time. Anybody else who is interested in learning more about v5.6 or seeing the new Voxco Mobile Offline in action can get in touch with us today! 🙂

January Feature Updates

It’s still early in the year, but we are already making major updates to the industry’s most flexible survey software.

The beta release of Voxco Mobile Offline and its integration into the existing Voxco Online platform has triggered a round of updates packaged together as Voxco Online 5.6. This new version will further improve the intuitiveness of the navigation layout, and add a few new navigation elements that will improve user productivity. We’re communicating these changes directly with clients for now. We’ll update the blog on Voxco Online 5.6 and Voxco Mobile Offline availability very soon.

Along with the navigation improvements, we are also packaging a handful of additional features based on feedback from clients and our own internal team of survey experts. Here’s a list of the new minor features hitting with the release of Voxco Online 5.6:

Detailed notifications & execution history on tasks/distributions

When importing samples or exporting results, users can now receive a comprehensive summary of which tasks and distributions were executed. Select the ‘send notification’ option for tasks that you want to have tracked in these reports.

  • Distribution summaries: Task name, survey name, description, content, schedule, and numbers of sends and failures.
  • Export summaries: Task and file name, file size, survey name, description details, schedule, filter details, and numbers of successful imports or failures.
Adding RGBA transparency for color picker

The color pickers within the questionnaire editor and Look & Feel editor now support RGBA transparency, so that survey creators can set transparencies for selected colors within their survey designs.

Show only pending/running distributions

We have added quick filters so that you can easily see which distributions are currently being executed and which ones are still pending. This will be a benefit for surveys that have a lot of distributions.

Updated survey engine default doctype to HTML

The default doctype for the survey engine has been changed from XHTML to the more standard HTML. This doctype offers better compliance with accessibility guidelines (e.g. WCAG).

Results encryption using PGP on export tasks

When you’re exporting survey results, you can now apply PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption. Users who employ PGP encryption software can now use this method when sending results via email or uploading to an FTP. Select the ‘Encrypt files with PGP’ option (highlighted below).

Remove curly brackets and spaces from response exports

For all formats (except Open-End), survey responses are now exportable without spaces and braces – { } – for all system variables. Select the ‘Remove Curly Brackets and Spaces Of System Variables’ option:

If you have any questions about any of these, or how they work, let us know! We are rolling these updates out along with Voxco Online 5.6, and communicating details to clients directly. Plenty more information still to come on Voxco Online 5.6 – stay tuned!

Survey Software Training: A Handy Checklist

Survey Software TrainingDiane, Voxco’s survey training specialist, is a road warrior with thousands of training hours under her belt. She has given Voxco training sessions all over the world, including Chicago, Paris, Milan, Sydney, Singapore….and many more places. Here is her checklist to help you get the most out of your CATI or CAPI software training process. Let’s dive right in….

BEFORE:

  • Pre-select your training questionnaires. The best survey projects to learn from are your own. A couple weeks before training, agree with your trainer which of your CATI/ CAPI questionnaires should be used in the training session. Choose something typical, but also be sure to cover more complex scenarios.
  • Book enough training hours. Discuss your needs with your trainer beforehand to block out a realistic schedule. It’s tempting to try to keep it as short as possible. But remember that long-term, it’s always better to have invested a bit of extra time in up-front training.
  • Check your equipment. We know this one sounds obvious but it happens—a room full of trainees, eager to learn, only to just then realize that the projector is out of order. Test your network connections, make sure trainees have their own work stations and yes, triple check that projector.

DURING:

  • Elect your software champion. Find a go-to colleague, preferably someone software savvy and invested in the project, to be the product champion. This person can help internal teams once the training is over.
  • Group up trainees. If you’re training a large number of people, prioritize different sessions to different groups based on their software knowledge. In our experience, optimal training sessions are achieved when group sizes are no more than eight participants.
  • Encourage questions. Staying on course sometimes means slowing down for a moment. Don’t be afraid to take some time to expand upon a certain topic. We really can’t stress this enough. When someone feels out of the loop, their first reaction is often to disengage. Encouraging questions keeps everyone interested and on the ball.
  • Embrace change. Training offers you the opportunity to revisit old techniques and explore things in a new light. Don’t let yourself get in the way of major productivity gains!
  • Be committed. This means no cellphones, emails or texting during sessions. Of course, work commitments don’t just disappear—which brings us to the next point…
  • Breaks. Breaks allow trainees to stay focused during training sessions and to catch up on other projects between them. Breaks also offer a good opportunity for trainees to get some one-on-one time with their trainer and address some things that may be unclear.

AFTER:

  • Practice. Practice. Practice. Now that trainees acquired new skills, don’t shelve them! It’s important that everyone put the software to use as soon as possible.
  • Knowledge transfer. Avoid knowledge gaps by having your software champion train new resources as often as possible.
  • Set refresher sessions. In our experience, the average trainee absorbs around 30% of their product knowledge during the initial training sessions. A lot more is then accumulated through doing (again: practice, practice, practice!). But one of the best ways to make sure everyone is working at full productivity is through refresher courses. A periodic two- to three-hour session with your trainer transforms software operators to software experts.
  • Best practice guide. Training teaches your team to efficiently use the survey system. As your team becomes familiar with it, you’ll develop your own methods. Consider putting together a best practice guide to share with your team.

That about covers it. And now we’d like to hand the mic over. From your experience, can you think of any other tips to increase software training productivity? Let us know. Just like you’ll learn from us, we’re sure there’s a whole lot to learn from you.

Planning on How Best to Interview the Next Generation of Survey Participants

With response rate challenges continuing to haunt the industry, we collectively need to start thinking about how to survey the next generation of survey participants. Youth today are very much driven by technology. They are also very used to being entertained and stimulated. Unfortunately, taking a survey isn’t always the most exciting activity one could do with one’s time.

Educating the next generation to the importance of market research is the first step in getting participation. This is a very large initiative and may need the full support of the industry as a whole in terms of marketing and advertising. Schools and universities are probably the best places to start. Something to think about!

There is debate in the industry today

As far as making research fun and exciting, there is debate in the industry today as to the bias “gamifying” surveys creates. I myself have posted before on being aware of the potential traps utilizing technology just because it exists. The participant needs to be thoughtfully providing honest and open responses to questions and not simply enjoy the experience of taking the survey. For this reason, more research needs to be put into investing rather than simply into making surveys games.

New landscapes

There have been a number of new elements added to the survey mix; web/mobile surveying, crowdsourcing, research panels, and market research online communities all provide new sources of data collection participants. Panels lend themselves particularly well to younger respondents due to the fact they are being paid and typically can complete a number of studies quickly and easily using mobile devices (the young person’s trusty side arm!).

Would you like an incentive with that?

Credit: Within Advertising

Credit: Within Advertising

From my experience, the youth today tend to be less motivated and making the surveys easy to get in front of the respondents is going to be key for getting participation. Incentives are also going to play a bigger and bigger role in getting completes.

Last but not least, another consideration is having research topics that are very specifically relevant to the target audience. Having a survey pop up on a teenager’s smart phone as they walk out of McDonald’s on their experience of the meal they just took along with an incentive for a free meal just might do the trick. This employs smart interviewing technologies and expensive incentives but will give the edge on getting the completes needed!

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Do not hesitate to post your thoughts below and I will respond. You can also contact me at jason.mcgrath@voxco.com.

“PS: If you think this is information other research specialists might find useful, tweet about it!’”

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