LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version UPDATED : version 2

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2 years 7 months ago - 2 years 2 months ago #118203 by c_schmitz
c_schmitz created the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version UPDATED : version 2

Although sometimes it looks quiet on the outside there are exiciting things happening here. We have hired two full-time coders now (the second one is starting in August). We are working hard on new features and in the course of this we created a redeisgned web interface based on the current 2.06 version. We invite everyone to have a look here:

http://preview.limesurvey.org/index.php?r=admin

To login just click the login button. Please play around with it and let us know if you like it or not. We appreciate any kind of constructive feedback on the shortcomings of the preview version. Note that not all dialogs are finished as it is a work in progress - please bear with us!


Best regards

Carsten Schmitz
LimeSurvey project leader
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by LouisGac.
The following user(s) said Thank You: aaransons

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2 years 2 months ago #122959 by tammo
tammo replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
Hi Carsten, I saw this topic today, but strangely enough it seems to be online already for 4 months and 1 week...

My first impressions after logging in:
  • although I want to see the interface in English, it shows up in a cocktail of language, partly unknown to me (Esperanto?)
  • the classes of the divs on the first screen are such that it makes the div behave strangely when the screen is below 1250 px wide
  • the order of the six different choice is a bit strange to me, also I would not put the comfortupgrade here among the five others. I would rather put that near the version in the footer
  • global settings may leave the six divs also for me, I think that belongs to another level. It is also already available from the top menu under Configuracio
  • ...

Considering all: I really appreciate that the team ois working on the admin interface and using Bootstrap for that is a wise decision. But I would advise to to firstly make a short analysis of the type of people and the type of tasks before putting together the many functions LimeSurvey has.

To my (probably limited) view there are the following users of the admin interface:
  • survey administrators: people that are interested in their own surveys.
  • data administrators: people that concern themselves with the outcomes of the surveys that they oversee
  • technicians: people that are mainly responsible for making the system work optimally

Of course in smaller organisations only one or two people see have all the roles, but in larger organisations you will see that the person that updates L:imeSurvey will probably never design a survey.

Grouping the different functions for these people will make their life easier. At the moment all tasks seem (randomly?) displayed without having these people in mind.


Tammo ter Hark at Tools for Research
Proud developers of the TFR Responsive Limesurvey template
toolsforresearch.com/limesurvey-responsive-template

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2 years 2 months ago #123248 by holch
holch replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
I agree with Tammo.

If the admin interface is changed (really appreciated), we should take some time and plan a little bit more.

For example, this splash screen at the beginning with the 6 fields is an often unnecessary step for people who use LS a lot. As Tammo says, maybe we should create users or personas and we should think of what they need and what they want and how we can facilitate this as much as possible.

Limesurvey has always "wasted" a lot of space on big screens which could be used to make working with LS quicker.

Also, in times of wide screens I would have expected to move some action to the sides of the screen and less to the top.

The first screen that you see when login in, should give you already a good overview of what can be done (which we have now, but also of what is going on (e.g. active surveys, most recent surveys, rough statistics with completes for these surveys). Because the screen you have at the moment is targeted basically only to a beginner who has no clue about LS. But this is over after a few times login in and still everyone has to go trough that screen to get to a list of surveys, etc.

Because to be honest, a user will use "create new survey" a lot less than acessing a list of surveys in general. Because while you create the survey only once, you will work on it a lot more and once it is done, you will access it to see how fieldwork is going, you will want to download results, etc.

So while "create new survey" seems to be pretty important (and it is), over time you use other functions and sections a lot more.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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2 years 2 months ago #123250 by gab79
gab79 replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
The new layout looks more modern and I appreciate a lot that you are using bootstrap.

I have LS in a large organization and I agree with Tammo. According to my experience users are divided in four groups, we have also a template administrator role. BTW it would be nice in future LS versions (3?) to have a more granular permission on writing templates to prevent a designer to edit template managed by somebody else.

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2 years 2 months ago #123251 by krypsin
krypsin replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
I am absolutely loving this new UI!

The first thing that comes to mind that I feel is a bit of a usability issue is just that on the blocks (e.g. "Create survey" and "List surveys") you have to click either the icon or the text below it. I feel like we should be able to click the entire block as it makes it a hell of a lot more easier for the user.

I am in love with the rest of the design, though! Especially the new navigation menu.

Good work!

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2 years 2 months ago #123722 by david2013
david2013 replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
The new UI looks very promising. Great work!

A couple comments:
1. After we open a survey, can we have question search box so that user can enter a question number, it will go to the question directly and edit the question. The search box can place under "General" menu on the left. It will save so much when programming the survey. Very often, we need to jump from question to question. Currently, we have to go to correct group first, then choose right question, then click edit. Not very efficient. I see many other survey software has this search box.
2. Regarding the splash screen at the beginning with the 6 fields, can we allow user to add or modify? It will be great if user can customize them

David

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2 years 2 months ago - 2 years 2 months ago #123770 by LouisGac
LouisGac replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.
I'm the one currently working on this "2.07" version.

First : The idea of the 2.07 is to keep as much as possible the code as it is on the 2.06, so we can provide quickly a working new version of LimeSurvey, with a modern interface. So we don't want to add new features. Those new features should be kept for the 3.0 version, wich will be a total rewrite of the code, respecting truly the MVC pattern and using many Object Oriented Patterns, so it will be easy to add new question types, and modular plugins.

Of course, 2.07 has some ergonomical changes, and those changes must not be a problem for professional and expert users. We're working for you ;) ;)

I'll update a new version of the 2.07 this week.

Let's answer to the different points :

@tammo
- Translations : for now, only english is available. When everything will be finished, and when we'll be sure that the new texts will not change anymore, then the translation work will start.

- CSS and Design problem : Many things can still changed, such as positioning, so don't worry. With the responsive behavior, it's hard to test the interface with all the combinations of screen size/screen resolution/default fonts size. I'm working in a 24" screen, with an HD resolution, and Linux Mint... So if you see anything you don't like, or wich seems to be buggy, don't hesitate to make some screenshots.

- The 6 boxes : it's just an example. We can debate about what to put in this home page and in those boxes. This boxes design could be used in other places, like Gobal Settings

@holch
- Yes, we need to take time and to discuss about it. First, my work consist in converting all the admin views to Bootstrap (this work is nearly finished). Then, we'll can make many changes again.

- I like your ideas about making a more complete home page. Maybe we could use a button "Expert". On click, it would slide on the side or on the bottom more menus, links, boxes, or whatever. Once this button is open/closed; its state could remain for the next sessions.

@gab79
- For LS3, LS users roles and permission will be rewritten. The publisher flow also will be improved. But it's still too soon to speak about it.

@krypsin
- Making the whole box clickable is an easy change. I will try to do it for next commit to the preview version.

@david2013
- We're thinking a lot about how to navigate between questions and groups. I love your idea, wich is close to mine. I'd like simply to add some filters on top of the list for searching questions/groups name/code/etc. But, your general search box could also be placed in the side menu. I will work on those filter/search box as soon as I finished the whole conversion to Bootstrap.

- Giving the possibility to users to edit the box of the admin landing page is a very good idea, but would take time... So not a priority for now. But, it's just some HTML, and you can simply edit the view to change it. I could write an How To for that point. It's just simple HTML, and few PHP to generate urls and manage permissions.


Thanks again for your feedback !
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by LouisGac.

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2 years 2 months ago - 2 years 2 months ago #123814 by holch
holch replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
Hi Luis,

Thank you very much for the thorough feedback. Very much appreciated. Because we all know that not all our wishes and requests will find their way into the new versions, but at least we want to know that we are heard and that the ideas are at least taken into consideration. If they make it into the next version is always a different aspect.

Navigating through the questions and groups. This was always a big problem with Limesurvey, because it could potentially take a lot of clicks. The little arrows for back and forth that were implemented a few versions back were already a step in the right direction, because it helped us to navigate quicker between questions (problem is that it doesn't jump from the last question in a group to the first question in the next group, but...).

I personally would like to see a navigation (a little tree type), to the left or the right, so you can open the groups with a click and choose the respective question you want.

Today, someone who works on creating a survey will mostlikely work with a relatively big screen/resolution. On tablet/mobile phone resolutions I don't think anyone will create a whole survey, rather change something or check the updates, etc.

I think we should set up a little quantitative qualitative research among Limesurvey users on how they would like that the next generation Limesurvey works (more for 3.0), so that we have a good base and idea of what would work for the different users here.

First of all, I would create personas. These are example users, with a typical use case (anyone who as some kind of interest in using Limesurvey - in whatever way this might happen). We would then create a description on how they usually use Limesurvey, what they need, what they really use.

I could imagine at the moment the following personas (of course these persona might have some overlap here or there or one person might be two personas, but that doesn't matter, it is just to help to develop the interface):
  1. Installation administrator: Will set up Limesurvey and administrate the installation, keeping the installation up to date, create new users, administer user rights, etc.
  2. Survey programmer: Someone who will create the survey, create all the questions, etc.
  3. Researcher (might be the same as the programmer, but not necessarily): Will test surveys, check if everything is alright, might make smaller corrections, especially with text, etc. Will mainly follow the progress of the survey, thus would need a dashboard with key performance indicators and access to the results.
  4. Client: Might want to have access to a test link of the survey to revise the survey and make comments. Might also want access to preliminary results/online reporting (can't have access to the survey system itself though)
  5. Translator: Might be contracted to directly translate a questionnaire to a different language.
  6. Respondent: Might want to return to a survey completed, login to a survey, register for the central participant panel

Of course this is just my point of view in "my little world" (although it probably covers pretty well the use case of a survey tool in most market research institutes).

There might be a lot more different personas and use cases in other organisations. so please feel free to add upon this. Maybe we can create a section in the development forum for ideas generation for 3.0? I am not sure how much we can do and influence though. I would only put in the work if there is a certain interest from the developers for this. There might already be concrete plans for 3.0 that should/ can not be change. If this is the case, it wouldn't make sense if the users here put a lot of effort in something that will never be read or taken into account (for what ever reason - no hard feelings, just being open and honest).

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by holch.

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2 years 2 months ago #123831 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version

holch wrote: I think we should set up a little quantitative qualitative research among Limesurvey users on how they would like that the next generation Limesurvey works (more for 3.0), so that we have a good base and idea of what would work for the different users here.

Is there a chance to create a survey on LimeSurvey Professional (previously LimeService) or limesurvey.org, which will collect some feedback from forum users in a structured way. Perhaps there is way to implement the link into LS Updates as well, to get beyond the forum space.

LS 3.0 will be a long way, since it won't be released with 1:1 feature set in comparison to LS2.X.
The claim "add questionstypes more easily" was already the claim for LS2.X. Haven't seen a rush to implement questions types. There still seems to be too much code for each individual question to let thirdparty add a questiontype. LS 3.0 seems to be a step to regain control of the code base in the first place.
I hope the team is blessed and made the right architectural decisions.

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2 years 2 months ago - 2 years 2 months ago #123836 by LouisGac
LouisGac replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version

jelo wrote: The claim "add questionstypes more easily" was already the claim for LS2.X. Haven't seen a rush to implement questions types. There still seems to be too much code for each individual question to let thirdparty add a questiontype.


Well, today, the LimeSurvey code is a procedural code encapsulated into a "more or less" MVC pattern based on Yii framework. More or less : the rendering is not using any layout, but a "render_wrapped_template" method based on the old php method ob_start() and inclusions. Most of the "controllers" still contain HTML and queries to the database. Helpers are used to do classical model's job, and there are global variables and functions everywhere...

Concerning the process to manage the creation/display of the survey itself, it is "task oriented", rather than object oriented. There are files to manage certain tasks (such as database.php, quanda.php, editquestion.php ), and then, very long condition checks (if question type = this or this or this then do that). Those checks can be done in PHP files (controllers, core files, plugins, helpers, views...), in the EM, or in JavaScript files. For example, to know if the question editor should display the option "other" or "mandatory", the check is done inside the view itself, by the file questionJavascript_view.php. So, to add a question type, you must modify a lot of different files, and find in a chronological way what to add or change, step by step.

Question should rather be an abstract class, with different methods to handle each task (like displaying the admin options of the question, displaying the questions, rendering the datas for the stats, managing the question database, validating the user input, etc. ). Each question type should inherit from this abstract class, and of course, it should have its own table in the database. The survey controller, and the admin controller, should then just be in charge to call the methods of those questions objects, without needing at all to check the question's type. For the survey display, it should do it respecting the scenario defined by the user in the admin interface. So, creating a question type would be like creating a Joomla component : just creating a new implementation of the Object Abstract Class, its database, and some configuration options.

To do that : we must parse all the actual procedural code into the right methods of the new objects...

Also, there is a design problem of the database. Each survey, when activated, create a new table... each column of this table corresponding to a question...

So, I think you understand why, right now, the emergency, for 2.07, is just to have a new interface, a modern responsive design, and a modern responsive template for surveys. I'm doing it respecting the original procedural logic of LimeSurvey, so it will work quickly, as it worked before. :laugh: :laugh:
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by LouisGac.

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2 years 2 months ago #123865 by holch
holch replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
Hey Louis, thank you very much for the clarifications. It is good to hear from developers. Up until now it was usually really quiet - which often gave the impression nothing is moving - just as Carsten suggested in the original post. While I agree that developers should focus on development, communication is also quite important because I am quite sure that we have lost some supporters on the way, because it wasn't clear were LS is going. I see some improvements in this aspect lately.

Most of the stuff you explained went totally over my head, but it gave an idea of the difficulties that are encountered when it comes to bigger changes in LS.

A new interface sounds pretty good to me and a modern responsive template for surveys as well. With the template I would suggest not to go too fancy, because it helps users to adapt the template to their needs (which is usually only changing the logo and some colors, fonts, etc.). So a very simple and clean template will be very much appreciated. Template creators can go from there then. But the less changes are necessary (ideally only in CSS) to adapt a standard template to some corporate colors and logo the better.

Looking forward to your work.

Had another look at the link and actually there is a vertical navigation bar to the left. Not yet with all I would like to see, but as for this release it says "no new functions" I can see why there is just a button for showing groups and showing questions and not a tree type navigation combining groups and questions. But it looks promissing and gives good opportunities for the next version.

What is strange is that then the navigation turns to horizontal again. At first I didn't even notice, especially as the navigation goes over the whole spaces and not only up to it's parent navigation, which is the vertical bar.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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2 years 2 months ago - 2 years 2 months ago #123887 by LouisGac
LouisGac replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
Ok, I just committed the last changes :
http://preview.limesurvey.org/
Now, 90% of the menus and submenus are working.

Please, let the default language to English.
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by LouisGac.

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2 years 2 months ago #123902 by holch
holch replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
Gave it a little try. Looks good. I like that some things are now on one screen that were spread out over various screens before. Will make editing surveys a lot quicker.

But when I go on "Create surveys" in the top level navigation I am led to the personal settings page. Probably part of the missing 10%. ;-)

I also saw that set token length is available in "Token" and in "Notification & Data management". I think it makes most sense in "Token".

Addin question groups redirects to the survey list, so I can't test the process of how to create groups and questions. Will wait to see how this works out.

At the moment I find the navigation approach a little confusing. There are so many different navigation hyrarchies (vertical, horizontal), not making clear which one is "above" which one. Then the Vertical side bar is called "General", which for me would rather be the upper horizontal bar. It is actually the top level survey navigation.

For example, I would move the sublevel navigation bar for the survey ("Execute Survey", etc.) either into the vertical navigation under "Survey", or at least move the so that it only starts on the same hight of the Vertical navigation. Because at the moment this sub navigation seems to be one hyrarchical step above the main survey navigation. Not sure if it clear what I mean?

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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2 years 2 months ago #124006 by pmonstad
pmonstad replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
@tammo
- Translations : for now, only english is available. When everything will be finished, and when we'll be sure that the new texts will not change anymore, then the translation work will start.

I insist you keep using the existing translations. I have spent hours, days, weeks and months translating LS 100% into two languages.

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2 years 1 month ago #124023 by LouisGac
LouisGac replied the topic: LimeSurvey 2.07 Preview version
For sure, I'm using the existing translations as much as I can.
For example, the menus are using the old alt attributes text.
But sometimes, we need new texts, or we can't use old ones. We should have very few of those new texts.

What ever : if in the interface, you see some new texts that could use some old texts, you can tell it.

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