How to submit a feature request

At Dobility, we're committed to bringing you a fully-featured data collection system that's secure, and helps to promote high quality data. To this aim, we work constantly to improve existing features and build brand new ones. In the process of deciding what features to add and what to improve, the needs of users are an important consideration. To this end, we take feature requests, and users can vote for and comment on them to help encourage the development of those features.

If you have an idea for a new feature and improvement you'd like to see in SurveyCTO in future, we'd love to hear from you. Read through the steps in this guide on what to do to share your idea.

1. Try to confirm what you want doesn't already exist

As much as possible, try to confirm that the feature doesn't exist already. Perhaps we use a different name for the functionality that you have in mind, so working this out might not always be easy. For example, the name for "skip logic" in SurveyCTO is relevance. Do your best to search the product documentation and Support Center to see if you can find the feature you're looking for first.

If you're a trial or paid user, you can also get in touch with the support team by submitting a support ticket, to ask if the feature you have in mind exists.

2. Is there a workaround that you could use instead?

Not everything in a software system is solved for by using explicit features. Sometimes a combination of two features working together can do exactly the same thing, or very close to what you have in mind, perhaps with an extra step or two. For example, the integer field type in SurveyCTO has a technical limitation that does not allow capturing a number of more than 9 digits, making it unsuitable for collecting phone numbers. The solution is not a new feature, but to instead use a text field with the "numbers_phone" appearance.

As in step 1, the support team can help you work out what to do, so think about getting in touch.

3. Confirm whether there isn't already a feature request

If you're sure that a feature request for what you want doesn't already exist and that there's no acceptable, indirect solution, try to confirm there isn't already a feature request for what you have in mind. Browse the feature request forum (you'll need to log in) and search the Support Center to see if you can't find a request that's similar. Like in step 1, other SurveyCTO users might have used different words to describe the same thing, so it might not be obvious.

It is a much better idea to show support for an existing feature request rather than duplicate it. When you show support for an existing request, you raise the chance that we identify that request as something valuable to our users, whereas a request with one vote is starting right from the beginning.

To show support for an existing feature request, click on the up arrow on the left of the request's title. Consider adding a comment too, to share any ideas you have about how the feature should work.

 4. Briefly consider the merit of the feature idea you have

Not all requests will be considered, and this has to do with the merit of those ideas, and how well they align with our guiding principles and current feature development roadmap. In particular, we'll look favourably on features with security and data quality in mind. At the same time, we are not looking to replace leading analysis, data visualisation, and data warehousing systems. This is why we offer various integration capabilities to empower users to connect to a world of possibilities, using the world’s very best software systems focused on analysis, visualization, and reporting, while we continue to focus on every aspect of data collection.

In addition, if there's a workaround (as in point 2), we're unlikely to build an explicit feature. We'll look to create value in new ways instead. 

5. Post your request

Visit the feature request forum (you'll need to log in) and click on the +New post button. Give it a new, clear title that helps the reader understand exactly what you mean. Also give your request a nice, clear description in the body of the post. The general idea helps, but if you have specifics or examples of how you'd like this new feature to work in practice, please go into detail and share links if you have example. Remember that you're trying to make a case for the fact that your feature idea is a good idea, and is worth introducing for the benefit of you and all other SurveyCTO users.

Remember to show support for your own feature request! Post the request, return to the page, and click on the up arrow on the left of the request's title.

Once posted, you've done your part. Please be patient, and with enough support for your idea from other SurveyCTO users, we'll consider selecting it for development. There is unfortunately no specific number of votes that will get a feature idea selected for development and no timeframe commitment we can offer. That said, feature requests are still important and a few popular feature requests have been selected in each major software release to date, so the voice of the user does get represented in these decisions.

Thanks for your support and passion for SurveyCTO, to the point that you are willing to share ideas on how we can improve SurveyCTO! 

Do you have thoughts on this support article? We'd love to hear them! Feel free to fill out this feedback form.


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