Future Directions for Q-Assessor
The Big Picture
Q-Assessor right now implements all of the standard features required to perform conventional Q-Methodology studies. However, there are several enhancements that might make Q-Assessor more useful. Particularly during this beta-release period, we are keen to receive input on these ideas.
We now have internationalized Q-Assessor. See details here. For historical purposes, we leave our prior discussion of this in place:
Because the content that subjects see during a Q-Assessor Session are all edited by an investigator as she configures the Study, the Statements and ancillary Questions can be written in any language. At this basic level, then, Q-Assessor already supports some degree of internationalization.
However, the instructions and page layout are all hardwired to English and its left-to-right text directionality. Further, all of the administrative pages are all in English.
So the options we are considering are:
- Make all subject instructions for Q-Assessor sessions editable — defaulting to English but modifiable by an investigator to any other language.
- Make text directionality a configurable option per Study — defaulting to left-to-right but settable to right-to-left.
- Revise the entire web site to accommodate multiple languages so that all visible content would be settable to different languages — which would require major assistance from other parties to provide translations for all the administrative language we use — likely an infeasible proposition.
We presume than any investigators or other subscribers will be fluent in English — even if their target subjects are not — so that the most appropriate step to add internationalization to Q-Assessor would be to make a Session effective in other languages, while leaving the basic administrative tasks (configuring the Study etc) to run in English.
What do you think?
Note: we’re still interested in what you think, particularly how useful this feature is to you.
All the regular literature regarding Q-Methodology utilizes simple text statements as the conceptual items that subjects rank. Prior to the computer era when slips of paper with typed words were all that could be used, this limitation was unavoidable. Now, however, a computer-based Q system could augment text with additional types of information:
- Video clips
- Sound files
- Potentially other sorts of attached files
These would presumably be presented to the subjects as clickable icons displayed adjacent to text for each Statement, in the case of video or sound, or thumbnail images that open up a larger image, in the case of images.
Q-Assessor’s Statement system could probably be enhanced to accommodate these additional features, though there are major interface design issues. Most obvious is the fact that these days the size of the screen the participant is trying to do the study on is entirely unpredictable and can vary from a tiny smartphone to a huge monitor. Manipulating the sort elements is hard enough even when they are limited to relatively short texts. It’s quite unclear how images could be displayed while preserving the ability to manipulate the “statement” to which they’re attached. Even if this and other problems could be solved, how important would these features be?
The branding of the Q-Assessor site (look and feel, logos, etc) are distinctly Q-Assessor’s. However, some clients/subscribers may want their studies to appear to originate from their own systems. Corporate clients may particularly prefer this.
There are several levels to which this could be taken:
- Add an optional client logo to the Session layout that would appear on the initial introductory page.
- Add an option to replace the Q-Assessor logo on each Session page with a client logo — which would presume that the client logo would have certain proportions or could be modified to more or less the size and shape of the Q-Assessor logo, so the rest of the page layout will fit.
- Add an option to modify the entire color as well as logo to look like a client site.
The ultimate end of such customization would be for Q-Assessor to license an independent, “private label” installation of its technologies to a client organization. This would enable the site to have a client-specific domain name instead of “q-assessor.com” and would permit all sorts of other customizations — which The Epimetrics Group, LLC, would perform.
Which of these options seem important? Which would you and your organization look for in order to want to use Q-Assessor’s technologies?
Please email us your ideas or post them in the Comments section below. Thank you!
Created: August 04, 2010 18:00
Last updated: December 01, 2014 05:15