questfox server now operating on german premises

The GDPR rules are already implemented into questfox for years. But still more and more german clients ask about the server infrastructure as they need to include this into their contracts.

From today on questfox.com is running on a Microsoft Azure server system located inside of Germany.
It does not change anything for the user, but for some people it just feels better. 😉

Independent from this step we continue to be devoted to the highest standards of data security. After 15 years of operating the questfox system we know that the user itself is the risk category no. 1. So keep your passwords secure and never share your logins with anyone.


NEW Maths function in questfox

Mathematics is clearly defined for centuries now. questfox is offering you a set of mathematical operations since the beginning of our development from the standard toolbox of database manipulation.

See our special questfox functions under https://questfox.news/2021/03/08/how-to-calculate-with-missing-values-in-questfox/

Besides those questfox specific procedures we are using a bunch of functions to interact with mathematics. The Jace.NET framework is now used to support your calculation inside of questfox. More info under https://github.com/pieterderycke/Jace/wiki/Standard-Functions

Here is the list of functions so far to be used inside of questfox calculations.

FunctionArgumentsDescriptionMore Information
sinsin(A1)Sinehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sine
coscos(A1)Cosinehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigonometric_functions
asinasin(A1)Arcsinehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse_trigonometric_functions
acosacos(A1)Arccosinehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse_trigonometric_functions
tantan(A1)Tangenthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigonometric_functions
cotcot(A1)Cotangenthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigonometric_functions
atanatan(A1)Arctangenthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse_trigonometric_functions
acotacot(A1)Arccotangenthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse_trigonometric_functions
logeloge(A1)Natural Logarithmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithm
log10log10(A1)Common Logarithmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithm
lognlogn(A1, A2)Logarithmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithm
sqrtsqrt(A1)Square Roothttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_root
ifif(A1, A2, A3)If FunctionIF A1 IS true THEN A2 ELSE A3
maxmax(A1, …, An)Maximum 
minmin(A1, …, An)Minimum 
avgavg(A1, …, An)Average 
medianmedian(A1, …, An)Median 
roundround(A1)Round 
randomrandom()RandomGenerate a random double value between 0.0 and 1.0

What do you have to do?

ln-Funktion, Gesetze und Regeln

Syntax check from ln to loge

Please check your questfox project for the correctness of the syntax. For example: The formerly implemented function ln is now called loge. You now need to switch to this new version in order to perform those calculations in the future with questfox.


How to calculate with missing values in questfox

We are also adding functions to this world of math by creating our own formula for the market research world being able to create a sum or an average respecting the fact, that someone did not see or answer a question. Our operations for the so called “missing values” help you to analyze correctly long before you can do similiar things with sophisticated tools like SPSS. See our idea of how to treat missing values https://questfox.news/2021/03/08/missing-values-in-market-research-with-questfox/

When you then want to calculate with a variable that contains “missing values” you will face trouble in the analysis. questfox has two special functions to take that into account.

The syntax is described here

qf_avg()Returns the average value of the input values (seperated by comma) and excludes missing, not seen and not answered values.
qf_avg(@81c4af14-4857-49b8-9dd7-449b33e73e60@ , @7151c6d2-48af-4619-8318-39b62aa99b07@)
qf_sum()Returns the sum of the input values (seperated by comma) and excludes missing, not seen and not answered values.
qf_sum(@81c4af14-4857-49b8-9dd7-449b33e73e60@ , @7151c6d2-48af-4619-8318-39b62aa99b07@)
Calculations with missing values.
Live Calculation in questfox

We suggest to ad an invisible number inside the questionpage and calculate right into that hidden variable. You can later use this value as a trigger for questlogix or to show this value live to the respondent.


Missing values in market research with questfox

The phenomenon is not recent. People do not answer to questions. If someone does not answer to a question we are talking about so called missing values.

Also see the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_data

questfox knows 3 different kinds of missing values.

Missing value -99

someone clicked explicitly on “no answer”

Missing value -77

the question was not even shown to the repsondent (due to skipping/hiding procedures)

Missing value -88

classic missing value meaning the question was shown, but the answer was not mandatory so the respondent could click through

A good idea is to make someone click on each question, but this means that you will have to add the option “no answer / do not want to tell” to every answer where you require a mandatory click. Even if you do some of the questions or items will not be shown and therefore create a Missing value (-77).

Why is it negative with two digits in questfox?
The answer is pretty simple. If you use a scale from 1 to 5 and your default missing value is 9 (as some of us learned in their statistics class), you may not realize that you have an issue with missing values in your report. In the questfox default you would easily see that something is wrong in your definition of missing values.

These three default values are assigned to every question type and can be changed under “Define Missing Values” in the edit answer section.

3 types of missing values in online research

When using SPSS these values can be defined as discrete missing values.

Discrete missing values in SPSS

Now it is up to you if you can force your population into answering all the questions.


questfox maintenance 1st of March 2021

The world is turning faster than ever. In order to cope with this we have to work on our servers as of today the 1st of march 2021.

The servers are still available but some data intensive services like export or analysis may make you wait longer than normally.

Sorry, for any inconvenience but you will feel a more powerful version of questfox after the maintenance procedures.


Handling of internal and external IDs for re-direct links

The questfox system is a little picky in terms of letting other tools know about internal IDs. But here is the description of a work around if you need to use the internal or the external ID.

Internal response ID

Internal questfox ID: The internal ID is a unique ID that is generated for every participant.

It looks similar to this:
ff211178-8f79-40ec-8ffa-bce6914ec5fa

If you export the data you will find that internal ID in the first row of the data set.

Example of IDs in questfox

Now here is the trick how to use that ID inside your questionnaire and for re-direct links.

  1. Create a new TEXT question
  2. Hide this new TEXT question from being shown in the questionnaire
  3. Create a questlogix with calculation
  • Trigger: At the beginning of the survey
    Calculation (pick the target variable, in which you want to overwrite the internal ID.
Example of copying internal and external ID
  • Just type into Calculation Formula:

qf_RespondentsID

Using Calculation to copy the value from the internal system into the questionnaire

This procedure will right at the start of the survey write the internal ID into that new variable that is accessible to you. You now have access to that field as if it was a regular question. For example you can transfer this value into a panel tool by adding the new variable code to a link.

The code can be found on top of each variable.

Example of a response ID / question ID in questfox

Add your variable to the link in brackets like {yourVAR}

Panel.TLD/questXYZ&InternalID={d3239cec-2a9e-435d-9b46-dd8ead10a870}

External Response ID

External IDs are pretty common in the interaction with people. You may find them as Panel ID; Customer ID; Student ID etc. In normal studies startet from questfox you may not even use an external ID. It is possible to upload addresses into questfox using this external ID. In case you are in interaction with an inviting panel company they will definitively send an ID over to questfox to be treated as an external ID. Normally this value does not leave the survey system. But sometimes you may want to re-direct into other tools and back and may need that ID.
The procedures is identical to the one described above for internal IDs. The only thing you need to remember is that the internal description of any kind of external ID in questfox is called:

qf_ExternalID

Again you may want to create a hidden TEXT Variable and overwrite its value at the start of the survey with qf_ExternalID.

Using Calculation to copy the value from the internal system into the questionnaire

And after that procedure you can use that ID as often as you want.

VariableName of the variable
Internal ID for each questionnaireqf_RespondentsID
External ID (only in connection with other partner)qf_ExternalID


Device Agnostic Implicit Measurement with #questfox #system1 # implicit #seriousfun

Happy to announce a break-through in the development of a brand-new question type inspired by the ideas of Daniel Kahnemann and Amos Tversky.

The question type Implisort is meant to cover the system 1 environment of fast and instinctive decision making.

We are very proud to be the developer of the first worldwide implicit measurement tool that works on all kinds of devices without necessary technical adaption. The question type is functional with multiple interaction tools like mouse, defined keyboard keys or even touch screens. This also includes mobile smartphones.

The continous development of our TinSort idea is now measuring the time a respondent needs to answer to a specific stimulous. Series of simuli can be exposed in random sequencens to be answered and measured in reaction time.

The new question type ImpliSort is avaiable exlusively in questfox. It can be combined with any other question type and therefore be analyzed in totally different szenarios.

The flexibility of questfox allows to transfer data and even react on data given by the respondents (Ex. Someone slower than average is re-directed to other questions).

We are entering a new field of research allowing questfox users to develop their own approaches of implicit measurement. We are just the technical provider of an idea which will grow with the usage of more savvy people in the world of psychology. Looking forward to see your ideas grow with our tool.

We have to admit that we are still running a series of questions testing the effects of different interactions modes and their results in numbers. We will be able to deliver a lot of new ideas based on that initial idea of analyzing decision making in system 1.

By the way: We still offer a complex world of system 2 questions in the Analytic Hierarchy Process environment. With our recent developments both worlds can be better understood in the future. A combination of this idea with other questionnaire approaches helps to develop new research ideas.


WaveNet Text-to-Speech integrated into questfox

Reading out loud the research question

For years we have been using different tools to create synthesized speech from text. In 2017 these features were implemented in questfox in times when it was even a little too early for that technology. Our speakers sounded a little too artificial to the human hear.

With the last update we are now able to deliver more human sound in the reading out loud functions of questfox by integrating WaveNet right into questfox.

WaveNet

This is what Google tells about the WaveNet Development.
“Google Cloud Text-to-Speech enables developers to synthesize natural-sounding speech with 100+ voices, available in multiple languages and variants. It applies DeepMind’s groundbreaking research in WaveNet and Google’s powerful neural networks to deliver the highest fidelity possible. As an easy-to-use API, you can create lifelike interactions with your users, across many applications and devices.”
Source: https://cloud.google.com/text-to-speech/

TTS in questfox Multimedia Insights

You will find the function right under Multimedia Insights – Text to Speech

At the moment we offer 5 languages for the text-to-speech functionalities inside of questfox. The default language is English (US).

5 languages already available in questfox

WaveNet was first supporting English and only integrated German lately. It may take some time before other languages may be available. We will keep you updated on the issue.

Select the voice of your choice

Listening while reading?!?

We are still in consideration whether participants should listen and read at the same time. Some of our own people argue that we should force interviewees to listen only. If you plan to do this you can set the visibility of the text to hidden by integrating the following into CSS.

Click on View – Source Code to open the HTML Window of the editor.

Put the following command in front of your text

<p style=”visibility: hidden;”>Your text here</p>

And you will no longer see the written words.

Please only do so once your text is finalized because you will not even see the text anymore in the editor 🙂

Future of speaking software

Looking at the speed of development we are pretty confident, that these functions will become better and better. It’s not bad already. But are you and your respondents already ready for this?

An interesting project in South Africa showed us the potential of this approach with people who are listening to the read out loud questionnaire.


#questfox feature alert: Client’s SFTP Server integration for audio files

We are very proud of the questfox development in speech. It is possible to record someones voice and to transcribe what the person said into text.
With more than 120 languages integrated, we are perhaps the leading tool for this kind of feature in market research.
As more and more users were saving thousands of answers on our servers we constantly discussed this feature set for security and performance reasons.

Saving Audio Files outside of questfox

The idea of questfox speech tools is to receive the content said as a transcribed text. On top of this procedure questfox allows to save the recorded voices. The default setting for recording audio is OFF. So you need to switch ON this feature if you want to use it and later listen to the audio files.

To record the audio files you can switch the answer settings of an audio question type to ON.

The multimedia files used to be saved independently from the answers on the questfox server in a special folder structure.
In this setting we could not prevent that project admins of a project space could listen to the audios of other projects in the same project space.
In projects with thousands of audio files we had to admit, that performance of data handling in gigabytes became an issue in the browser. With the new approach this is over. You can decide where to save your data and you will have much quicker access as you can use your established tools to work with these multimedia files.

Security by Design with SFTP

Multimedia Files are now saved on the client’s side via SFTP
We now changed this forever and fulfill an important demand of our clients who always ask: Where is the data stored? From now on the answer will always be the same: The multimedia files are saved in your own security environment and not be in connection with the rest of the survey.
The recorded answer can be saved in your own environment and therefore out of everyone’s reach, using questfox. This is a major improvement in the field of data security as the multimedia data is now stored on the client’s side.

Important Notice: Make sure, that you have a user’s allowance to record his or her voice or video before saving this very personal information somewhere on the internet. This was a requirement before this new technology was implemented and still needs to be respected.
questfox is not responsible for your behavior and not reliable for your actions with our software. So please take data protection issues serious – especially in this very delicate field.

How to integrate your SFTP Server into questfox

Under CREATE – Projects Settings you will find a place to integrate your SFTP Settings.

SFTP Settings und CREATE – Project Settings

Your password will never show-up in questfox and cannot be copied from the data input file.

Organize your data following your needs

The data can be organized by three different settings: Question, Calendar Week or Participant. We advise you to do this only once per project to avoid confusion in the data structure.

Default is the organisation by question. Saving a single file would create a folder called “questfox” on your SFTP Server with a subfolder carrying the project ID and more subfolders named Q1 .. Qn with your multimedia data.

Folder Structure of SFTP Server after recording voice in questfox

If you wish to organize the folder structure differently you can switch to “Order by Calender Week” and see the result later as “44-2020” which is the 44th week of the year 2020.

Folder Structure if ordered by Calendar Week

If you plan to look at the answers of one person you can organize the folder structure by “Participant”. questfox would create one folder for each individual and ad the answers to one question in this folder organized by question number (here Q1 and Q2).

Folder Structure by participant

And by the way: We updated to the most recent versions of transcription services. So the overall quality should become always better.

We wish you all the best with this new security feature which gives you the full power to manage sensitive data on your side. The flexibility of this approach will be important for complex projects.

FLAC – Free Lossless Audio Codec

In order to be independent from any kind of manufacturer we opted for the FLAC Codec to save in perfect nearly lossless quality.

For understanding this codec better we recommend this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC

In case your Audio-Tool is not able to play this data we recommend the VNC Player which can be used entirely free of charge. Download available here: https://en.vlc.de/


How to motivate survey participants from the start?

Every questionnaire is too long

It is a sad truth that every questionnaire is too long. But the reason why respondents drop-out are more related to the first minute of interaction than to the actual duration of your questionnaire. On average more than 50% of the people clicking on your survey link drop out on the INTRO Page. They run away as you are trying to say hello. So please take some extra care when designing this page.

INTRO Page is the most important page in a survey.

The INTRO-Page is by definition the most important page of your questionnaire. Here people are coming in after an e-mail invitation or a link on social media not exactly knowing what to expect from the survey (sometimes even not knowing that it happens to be a survey).

So please make sure, that these first seconds of the contact with an unknown third party are a pleasant experience. Try to integrate some interesting things and try to avoid boring necessities like legal texts (if your institution does allow you to link=hide that somewhere else)

Killers of Motivation

  • Standard text is not a motivator
  • The detailed descriptions of your problem is not helping others
  • Your internal issues are not motivating
  • Legal hints are not motivating
  • The need to scroll is a killer on a desktop and even worse on a smartphone resulting in drop-out rates. If one can’t see the start button chances are high to lose that person even before the start.
  • Big pictures need to be downloaded by the participants and will create drop-outs when they come in slow over slow internet connections.

Suggestions for motivating INTRO pages

  • try to be interesting
  • Move things
  • Do not use too much content in this phase
  • FOMO: Create the fear of missing out

Example of the questbox Intro

How to create a motivating INTRO Page in questfox?

INTRO Page in every questfox project

Manipulating the Intro page is questfox is easy as the Intro page receives it design from the question page Q1. Whatever you design in Q1 becomes the design of the intro. Here is the trick if you want to use a specific design for the intro:

Add an empty question page and move it to the position as Q1

Add an empty page to your project
Change the order to make your empty page Q1
Enter Q1 and change your design under “Page Style”

Example of an intro page with positive effects on participation

The following example is pretty easy to set up following those instructions.

Animated Intro Page inside of questfox
  • Upload animated GIF in the middle of a white INTRO Text
Animated GIF uploaded into the intro text editor
  • Big Photo uploaded in the background of the outer frame under Project Style
Outer Frame Picture upload in questfox
  • Set color of the inner frame to black and Opacity to 0,6
Set color to black and Opacity to 60%

Hope this helps you think about the motivating intro. Looking forward to see you create marvelous intros.

More inspiration on animated content under https://giphy.com/kochstrasse

Tap Here GIF by Kochstrasseâ„¢
https://giphy.com/kochstrassehttps://giphy.com/kochstrasse