Survey testing ("debugging") features

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1 week 2 days ago #234018 by mi_for
Your LimeSurvey version: 5.4.2+220921
Own server or LimeSurvey hosting: own server
Survey theme/template: fruity
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Maybe I am missing some features or doing some things wrong, but I find testing your survey a bit cumbersome.
In my view something like a "debug mode" would be a nice feature (i.e. a more powerful preview). I try to outline below what, in my view, might be some helpful features.
  • When I create a survey, I do preview the questions and questiongroup, which is a very handy feature. In the preview of questiongroups or the whole survey, it would be super helpful to have an "edit question" button next to each question, which opens the question editor in a separate window. Currently, when testing a survey I always jot down on paper what needs to be changed. If the survey is longer and/or the questions are not numbered, it always takes me a bit to find the questions that need changing in the survey editor. To be clear, this is not very annoying, but having the option to directly go to the question editor from the preview would be a nice feature for me.
  • Another nice feature for a "debug mode" would be to be able to send the link for testing the to other people without first activating the survey. I often send a survey draft to colleagues or clients for preview and checking. I always have to activate the survey first and then deactivate it. I know that users with an account in my LS installation could be added to the survey, but this is not feasible in my case.
    In a "debug/preview" mode the survey link could be sent out (maybe with data collection turned on/off as an option) without activating the survey. I guess the current design is due to clearly separating the creation of the survey (adding/deleting database fields) and the data collection (where the fields in den DB need to be stable). I know it is only a couple of clicks, but simply being able to provide a preview for other people without always activating the survey would help.
  • For longer surveys (with multiple groups) it would be cool to have a convenient way of testing a survey starting from the question group of your choice. Additionally, it would be nice to have a convenient option to preset some values. I know that I could set conditions or hide questions groups, but this is not very convenient. It is especially tricky, when I want to preview a question group that is conditional on an answer in a previous group.
    I imagine the following options when previewing a survey:
    • Preview full survey or preview from questiongroup XX (dropdown)
      • If there are conditions defined before questiongroup XX that lead to questions or whole groups not being shown these questions are listed and you can select specific answers before starting the preview. This could ensure that you can test whether conditions work in a smaller part of your survey (i.e. without running the whole survey).
    • Ignore conditions (on/off) (if this is set to on, conditionally presented questions are always displayed)
Please do not get me wrong, I think the workflow as it is now is still very efficient and works fine, I just thought to share some ideas that I would find helpful.
 

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1 week 1 day ago #234034 by jelo

Please do not get me wrong, I think the workflow as it is now is still very efficient and works fine, I just thought to share some ideas that I would find helpful.
 
You might find some of your ideas in the features requests database. And also here in the forum.
Best thing to get these ideas to the developers is to submit a feature request or add you comments to existing feature requests.
It's easier to submit all features request and wait if some are already in the database.

E.g this feature request from April 2010. I remember it well, cause it was submitted by me ;-)
bugs.limesurvey.org/view.php?id=7407

I think in decades when it comes to feature requests ;-)
 

The meaning of the word "stable" for users
www.limesurvey.org/forum/development/117...ord-stable-for-users
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1 week 1 day ago #234048 by holch
These are all good points and I think most of us would be happy to have them. But then I find there are other more pressing issues that would be far more important. What you mention is "slightly inconvenient", but you can still do it.

But then there are other things that you just can't do in Limesurvey which might prevent one from using the tool, e.g. a "page concept" in addition to the logical question groups, answer option relevance similar to sub question relevance, etc.

So while you have a valid point here and this is certainly a good feature request that I could sign, I feel there are a lot more pressing issues, like the ones I mentioned for example.

And then of course there is what Jelo says: When it comes to feature requests, especially one that is so ample like yours, chances that something will happen are slim. But I don't want to discourage you, I just want to manage expectations. ;-)

I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time, I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH employee.
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1 week 23 hours ago #234060 by mi_for
Thank you both for your comments.

@jelo: I have to admit that I did not search the forum or bugtracker very thoroughly. Especially, I did not go back that long. Good to see that some others would also find that useful.

@holch: I agree that there are more pressing issues, I just thought I leave my points somewhere. I also tried to make clear in my initial post that it is indeed only slightly inconvenient. All in all, I still like LS very much and find it quite convenient.

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1 week 17 hours ago #234070 by holch

@holch: I agree that there are more pressing issues, I just thought I leave my points somewhere. I also tried to make clear in my initial post that it is indeed only slightly inconvenient. All in all, I still like LS very much and find it quite convenient.


I totally understand. I just wanted to give some background info.

To me, input like this and new suggestions is always valuable and important. I just don't know how much this is taken into account on a developer level.

I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time, I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH employee.
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1 week 11 hours ago - 1 week 11 hours ago #234075 by tpartner

For longer surveys (with multiple groups) it would be cool to have a convenient way of testing a survey starting from the question group of your choice.

You can enable the index for testing - manual.limesurvey.org/Presentation/en#Sh...ex_.2F_Allow_Jumping
  
  

Additionally, it would be nice to have a convenient option to preset some values.

I believe that you can preload questions when previewing groups (the same as you would when entering a survey) - manual.limesurvey.org/URL_fields#Start_URL

Cheers,
Tony Partner

Solutions, code and workarounds presented in these forums are given without any warranty, implied or otherwise.
Last edit: 1 week 11 hours ago by tpartner.
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4 days 22 hours ago #234104 by mi_for

You can enable the index for testing - manual.limesurvey.org/Presentation/en#Sh...ex_.2F_Allow_Jumping
 


You are right, that indeed does the trick. Thank you.
  
  

I believe that you can preload questions when previewing groups (the same as you would when entering a survey) - manual.limesurvey.org/URL_fields#Start_URL
 

Thanks. I already thought about this. And it is indeed an option. Especially, when there are only a few (2-3) questions with important conditions. Is there a convenient way, to specify this for a more extensive survey? For example, when I have a survey with 10 questions containing conditions, I need to paste together a URL with preset responses for these ten questions, or?

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4 days 19 hours ago #234117 by tpartner

...I need to paste together a URL with preset responses for these ten questions...
 

As far as I know, that's the only way to do it.

Cheers,
Tony Partner

Solutions, code and workarounds presented in these forums are given without any warranty, implied or otherwise.

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