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TOPIC: Did I screw this up?

Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53632

  • slefevre
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So I finally got my survey looking the way I wanted it, went live with it, had it running for 1.5 weeks, and it came time to close the survey down. Now I'm looking for the statistics button and I can't find it.

Looking at the manual, now I see that it's recommended that I set an expiration date for my survey, rather than 'deactivate' it. It seems that by clicking that big red stop button, I've expunged my responses and all other data to an archive table, and I now have to reactive my survey and import the results.

Is this correct? If so, I hope that in 2.0, the deactive button isn't so readily available, and the recommended way to close a survey isn't so hidden. I know I should have RTFM first, but what can I tell you? I didn't.
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53642

  • holch
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Hi Slefevre,

I can understand your frustration and I do agree that "deactivate" should archive the survey, but it does, unfortunately.

So let's see how we can recover this. The good thing is, the data should still be there, just not easily accessible via the Limesurvey interface.

I have actually never done this before, so I can't give you first hand advice. However, I am quite sure there is some description in the manual (or in the forum) how to recover your data.

If I find the time later on, I will have a look at this. Hopefully in the meanwhile someone comes by that can give you advice already.
Have a look at the manual! It is a really valuable source for information. Here some helpful links:
Manual (EN) | Question Types | Question Attributes | Workarounds

If you found this answer helpful and it saved you some time please consider a donation to the project to keep Limesurvey going!
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53643

  • slefevre
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Hey Holch -

Thanks for the words of support. I was able to reinstall the data following the instructions on the site. I was a little worried, because the archived surveys had auto-generated names, and I wasn't sure which one had the actual responses (I had made several survey as I was learning Lime and developing our actual survey), but luckily I noticed that part of the name was a human-friendly timestamp. So crisis averted :P
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53645

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Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53654

  • holch
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Great! I know how bad the feeling in the first moment can be, when this happens.

However, I think we really need to find a solution with the "deactivating" problem, because once you know it, it is fine. But it is not intuitive that "deactivating" not only means that no one can answer the questionnaire anymore, but also that the responses are archived. I think there needs to be a different approach to that. As far as I remember we already had this discussion, but I can't remember what the outcome was.
Have a look at the manual! It is a really valuable source for information. Here some helpful links:
Manual (EN) | Question Types | Question Attributes | Workarounds

If you found this answer helpful and it saved you some time please consider a donation to the project to keep Limesurvey going!
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53668

  • Mazi
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I agree, holch.

I'm pretty sure there is a big warning when deactivating a survey but problem is that nobody reads warnings.
Can you fill an idea ticket and propose a useful workaround like having two button when clicking deactivate: 1. set expirty date / 2. deactivate survey.
Maybe we can also improve the warning text?!

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53670

  • holch
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Mazi, I think the main problem is the wording here. No one expects that the results and the survey "disappear", when you "deactivate" it. Even if we would offer the two options that you suggest, this problem will come up from time to time.

I think we would have to change/reword the process completely. I assume this might be an issue for the development team, because some people are already used to "deactivate survey"="archive survey/let it disappear from the system"?
Have a look at the manual! It is a really valuable source for information. Here some helpful links:
Manual (EN) | Question Types | Question Attributes | Workarounds

If you found this answer helpful and it saved you some time please consider a donation to the project to keep Limesurvey going!
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53674

  • Mazi
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Renamig would be a good improvement I think. The whole process should be structured a little different I think.

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53690

  • slefevre
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Of course, users should always be expected to RTFM, and I try to give great deference to those who put in the hard work to make an open source package useable.

But I think the case good be made that the 'active/deactivate' functionality is poor UI design.

As a native American English speaker, the phrase 'this survey isn't active' to me sounds like respondents are no longer being polled, not that the survey results are unavailable or archived. So the wording is a bit counter-intuitive. Perhaps the functionality could be renamed to 'Archiving' a survey instead of 'Deactivating' it? That seems a little more accurate and intuitive. If something is 'archived', that means it's not readily accessible. But I know how hard it is to rename things existing code bases :)

Second, the existing UI lends itself to deactivating surveys, instead of expiring them. The manual discourages deactivating a survey, and instead expiring one, for obvious reasons. But the UI makes it very easy to deactivate a survey, whereas you have do dig a little bit to find how to set an expiration date.

To deactivate a survey, I have to click a bit button that appears on almost every screen, and hit a confirmation. So it's very easy to do, and one might think it was the encouraged action, given its easy accessibility. (Also, the green 'play' icon that indicates a survey is active is a status indicator, but it looks like other buttons and lives amongst other buttons. (Same deal for the inactive 'stop' icon). It seems like it would have functionality, but it doesn't. It's a bit counter-intuitive).

However, to do the proper thing and expire a survey, I have to click on "Edit Survey Settings", choose the "Publication and Access Control" tab, and then type in an expiration date. It's functionality that's more buried in the UI than the Deactivation functionality.

I don't know what work-flow narratives look like for LimeSurvey 2.0, but at least for me, I would be definitely expiring a survey before I would be deactivating it -- if I ever would! The whole point of running a survey is to have access to the results. Deactivation seems almost like a back-up function. I don't know why I would use it unless I wanted to delete a survey, but just wasn't 100% that I wouldn't need it again in the future. For me, that 'deactivate' button doesn't belong there.
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Re:Did I screw this up? 3 years 9 months ago #53692

  • holch
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I totally agree with you, Slefevre. And I think Mazi does too.

Let's work together on that. Maybe you could generate some ideas how the process would ideally look like and I will do so here. And then we submit an Idea or bug report and hopefully this will be included in the next version. Because I don't think that it is a big thing programming wise. We just need to think it through and make it intuitive.

I think we need two things.

1. Deactivating / pausing the survey. This would stop the survey and respondents don't have access to the survey anymore. No interviews can be startet. The rest is just the same. Could also be used to make some adjustments to the survey.

2. Archiving a survey. It disappears from the normal list of surveys, could be the same thing as deactivating right now.

(3. Delete? Maybe we want to delete a survey completely)

While I think "deactivating" is the right wording - just for the wrong function at the moment, it could be problematic to use this wording for the new function that just stops / pauses the survey. However, I think it is just the perfect word for it.
Have a look at the manual! It is a really valuable source for information. Here some helpful links:
Manual (EN) | Question Types | Question Attributes | Workarounds

If you found this answer helpful and it saved you some time please consider a donation to the project to keep Limesurvey going!
Last Edit: 3 years 9 months ago by holch.
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