10 new things in Quirkos 2.0!

new quirkos 2


This week we are releasing the first major update for Quirkos, Version 2! A huge thanks to all our beta testers who have been putting the new version to the test for the last few months, and sharing their suggestions for improvements.

 

While there is a lot more to come in the next year, here are 10 new things that make Quirkos more powerful and more intuitive.

 

 
1.       The new User Interface
 
Quirkos already has the simplest layout of any of the qualitative software packages, with a visual and colourful design that puts everything within a single click. However, we’ve had 4 years of listening to comments and suggestions, and also running training sessions, watching new users to see where they get stuck and what isn’t obvious. So we’ve made a lot of changes to the layout which should make life easier for new and existing users alike. Plus, we’ve spent a lot of time polishing the layout and colour scheme, making the design more modern and just gosh-darn handsome.
 

quirkos 2 screenshot


We have moved the Actions bar to the top of the screen from the left, again making the layout similar to other software, but also opening up a lot more space for the canvas (and the new memos). We’ve also tweaked the whole screen to allow for more space for your Quirks, something a lot of people have asked for. The tree view is also more compact, allowing you to see more at once, even on smaller screens. We are also keeping the dark view which has proved so popular with qualitative researchers (and their eyes) on long into-the-night coding sessions. This now has a much more consistent layout as the result of some terrific UI feedback from beta testers.

 

 
2.       The new tab bar

Source tabs have now moved to the top of the screen (in common with your favourite browsers) which makes the interface more familiar. There is also a new tab layout for the text and properties, making it much easier and more obvious when shifting between the different parts of your sources. The flow is also much more logical this way, and you can change and compare properties by tabbing through the sources just like you do with the text.


 

3.       Groups

There are a series of new functionalities to help users who have a large number of Quirks/themes to manage. One of the most powerful is the Groups, which replaces the levels feature. Now you can assign any Quirk to any number of Groups, allowing you flexible and comprehensive ways to group your Quirks without limit. But you can now also choose just to show some or all of the groups on the canvas, with the drop down Groups menu. Now you can work just with one set of Quirks at once (useful if you are working with multiple iterations or stages of coding) and turn the rest off and on at a click. This makes much better use of the screen, and you can also use the Query view to see results just from certain groups.

 

 
4.       Quirk search

Another much requested Quirk management feature is the quick search for quirk title. Just start typing in the box, and only Quirks that match the letters you type will be displayed. This makes finding bubbles a lot easier, and it even works for nested Quirks.


 

 

 

5.       Memos!

They are finally here! Now you can just drag and drop a section of your text onto the memos column and get a little note to attach your comments and thoughts. There’s no limit to their length, and you can code directly from the memo selection, allowing better support for IPA and in-vivo coding. You can see your memos in any of the overviews, reports and CSV export. More to come for this feature!

 

 
6.       Rich/styled text

A lot of work behind the scenes now means that Quirkos can support all kinds of styles in the text, like bold, underline and italic. This will help keep the nuance of your transcripts, and allow you to preserve much more information and richness from your sources, especially historical documents.


 

7.       Improved exports

Not only have we moved all the exports into one convenient location, they’ve all been updated. The Reports now can be saved as Word files, allowing you to edit and customise them to your heart’s content. The spreadsheet/CSV files have been simplified, but also have more detail in them now, allowing a lot more cross analysis and drilling down to the detail of your quotes and data.


 

8.       Source information by Quirk

A long requested feature from market research customers has been a way to drill down into the respondent data by theme. We’ve added this as a properties tab in the Quirk Overview screen – now you can see exactly how many quotes came from any type of respondents you have source properties or demographic data for. Did most people coded to this view come from a particular age range? Now you can see… Lots more to come in this area in the future.


 

9.        Highlights column shows Quirk name

It was already the case that hovering the mouse cursor over a stripe in the highlights column showed the name of the associated code in the bottom of the screen, but this was missed by most people. Now a floating pop-up makes it clear right next to the text.
 
 

10.  10 More little things!

 

    • Quirks with subcategories now show total of quotes from child quirks (in brackets)
     
    • Improved CSV dialogue with scroll bar

    • Fix for text search views that got stuck

    • Ability to remove projects from recently used list

    • Streamlined source import with fewer clicks

    • Each quote in the report gets a unique number – much more reliable referencing system than line numbers

    • Longer source browser lists more results

    • Simplified language across Quirkos, with less technical jargon

    • Updated introduction tutorial

    • Clearer and more consistent icon styles

     

There are dozens more small tweaks and fixes. But as we keep saying, this is the start of the next few years of Quirkos, and we will again be adding a lot more features as free updates over the coming months and years.


So if you want to give it a go, download from our website today, and get three weeks to try it out, even if you have tried or used Quirkos before. This is still the longest free trial offered for qualitative software, and has absolutely no restrictions. You can even get an extra week by filling in a quick feedback survey!


And for users that want to upgrade, you can do this directly on our website and get a code for unlocking Quirkos 2 sent to you instantly. The link is right here.


We will also be releasing the last update this week for Quirkos 1, version 1.6. This ensures backward and forward capability for the future, and also adds the rich text support and many small bug fixes. This is free for all existing users, and while this will be the last update for version 1, there is no expiry date on any of our licences, so you can keep using it as long as you want.


We are so excited to share this with you, it has been months and months of hard work from our developer Lorinc and myself, so we would love to hear any feedback and suggestions. And don’t forget to spread the word about how the most visual and intuitive qualitative analysis software just got a whole lot better!

 

 

Why we will release two versions of Quirkos next week

 

Next week we will release Quirkos 2.0 on the 31st of October! It’s our first major update in 4 years, and will not only provide a number of major new features, but also sets the platform for a lot more new things to be added in the next few years.

 

Actually, next week we will be releasing two versions of Quirkos: 2.0, but also a final release for the 1.x series, version 1.6. This adds rich text support, all the bug fixes and forward compatibility with version 2.0. This is because we don’t want to have a situation where anyone who wants to stay with the older version of Quirkos can’t share files back and forward with others using the new version. We hate the ‘planned obsolescence’ and forced upgrades that certain other CAQDAS software forces on their users. With Quirkos, we’ve promised to always make sure that there are no compatibility issues with new and old versions. Users can upgrade to the new version if they want the new features, but not because they feel they have no choice. For those that want to stay with the current version of Quirkos, 1.6 will be the last update, but will keep forward and backward compatibility.

 

But Quirkos 2 brings a lot of exciting new things. For a start, the rich text support means that you can work with a much wider variety of sources, and keep much more detail and expression from your research transcripts.
Next, the memo feature is a whole new system for annotating and commenting on your text data, which can be used with the coding system. This opens up new ways for you to interpret and analyse your data, improving support in Quirkos for approaches like in-vivo coding and IPA. There's also the new 'Groups' feature, better exports and editable reports, and ways to see your source data by Quirk.

Most obivous is the refreshed interface, developed after feedback from dozens of users. We’ve improved the look and feel of Quirkos, keeping all the major functions in the same place, while regrouping some buttons to make them more logical and easier to find. I’ll go into this a lot more in the release post next week.

 

If you’ve brought Quirkos in the last 3 months (from August 2018), the upgrade will be free. Just drop us an e-mail with your licence code, and we will replace it with a 2.0 licence. For existing users, we want to make upgrading as simple as possible. From next week you’ll be able to buy an upgrade from a simple order page, you just need the e-mail address or licence code associated with your previous purchase.


An upgrade will cost £260/€295/US$330 for commercial or public sector users, £140/€160/$180 for academic and charity, and £40/€46/$55 for students. We think this strikes a fair balance between supporting loyal users to get new features and continued support, with the (frighteningly) high cost of software development. Also, the features in the first release of Quirkos 2 next week are a small part of what is to come in the next few years. Come join us and help support Quirkos into the future!

Quirkos v1.5.2 is here!

 

We are pleased to announce a bug fix release for Quirkos that takes us to version 1.5.2.

 

This is a fairly minor update, but includes 4 bug fixes people had reported:

    • Quirks that got ‘stuck’ and couldn’t be dragged
    • An issue with deleting sources that sometimes caused properties to have extra ‘not defined’ responses
    • A bug with some CSV import that led to “ characters being read incorrectly
    • A bug with docx import that would sometimes create extra spaces in the source text

 

As always, you can download and install the new version over the old one, and the update will not affect your licence or project files. There is no change to the file format, so backward compatibility is also maintained.

 

For this release, we have also created a new distribution method for Quirkos on Linux – a ‘Snap’ image. This solves several issues that Linux users had seen on some distributions, with unresolvable dependency issues and reports not launching correctly.

 

If you haven’t used Snap before, it aims to be a cross-distro package installation system, that should take care of most of the dependencies for you. It is included by default in Ubuntu 18.04, but the package manager snap (or snapd) must be installed first.

 

We’ve tested it on all releases of Ubuntu from 14.04, and Fedora 27/28. Many more distributions should be fine – please let us know if you have any issues, and we will help get around them. We are aware of two dependencies at the moment, on Fedora 28 if you are using the new Wayland driver (to replace the X window system) you will need to install the package qt5-qtwayland. On ubuntu systems using the proprietary Nvidia graphics drivers, you need to manually copy the libs:

sudo cp -r /usr/lib/nvidia-version/* /var/lib/snapd/lib/gl/

This seems to be a known issue with snapd at the moment.

 

Once you have downloaded it, you can install with a command like:

snap install quirkos_1.5.2_amd64.snap --devmode

and Quirkos can then by started from the command line by typing ‘quirkos’. Note that on some distros you will have to log out and back in again before bash is updated and typing ‘quirkos’ will link to the binary.

 

Please let us know how you get on, and as always we keep our older binary (32bit) and AppImage available for people that have had better luck with that. We hope to make Quirkos available in the Snap store in the future, which will make getting Quirks even easier for those on Ubuntu. We love Linux and supporting it, so please let us know your feedback, good or bad – there are so many different distributions and configurations of them we can’t test them all!

 

This now makes the 10th free update since Quirkos was publicly released more than 3 and a half years ago. However, check the blog next week for some very exciting news for later in the year and the future of Quirkos...

 

 

Quirkos version 1.4 is here!

quirkos version 1.4

It’s been a long time coming, but the latest version of Quirkos is now available, and as always it’s a free update for everyone, released simultaneously on Mac, Windows and Linux with all the new goodies!


The focus of this update has been speed. You won’t see a lot of visible differences in the software, but behind the scenes we have rewritten a lot of Quirkos to make sure it copes better with large qualitative sources and projects, and is much more responsive to use. This has been a much requested improvement, and thanks to all our intrepid beta testers for ensuring it all works smoothly.


In the new version, long coded sources now load in around 1/10th of the time! Search results and hierarchy views load much quicker! Large canvas views display quicker! All this adds up to give a much more snappy and responsive experience, especially when working with large projects. This takes Quirkos to a new professional level, while retaining the engaging and addictive data coding interface.


In addition we have made a few small improvements suggested by users, including:


• Search criteria can be refined or expanded with AND/OR operands
• Reports now include a summary section of your Quirks/codes
• Ability to search source names to quickly find sources
• Searches now display the total number of results
• Direct link to the full manual

 

There are also many bug fixes! Including:
• Password protected files can now be opened across Windows, Mac and Linux
• Fix for importing PDFs which created broken Word exports
• Better and faster CSV import
• Faster Quirk merge operations
• Faster keyword search in password protected files

 

However, we have had to change the .qrk file format so that password protected files can open on any operating system. This means that projects opened or created in version 1.4 cannot be opened in older versions of Quirkos (v1.3.2 and earlier).


I know how annoying this is, but there should be no reason for people to keep using older versions: we make the updates free so that everyone is using the same version. Just make sure everyone in your team updates!

 

When you first open a project file from an older version of Quirkos in 1.4, it will automatically convert it to the new file format, and save a backup copy of the old file. Most users will not notice any difference, and you can obviously keep working with your existing project files. But if you want to share your files with other Quirkos users, make sure they also have upgraded to the latest version, or they will get an error message trying to open a file from version 1.4.

 

All you need to do to get the new version is download and install from our website (www.quirkos.com/get.html) and install to the same location as the old Quirkos. Get going, and let us know if you have any suggestions or feedback! You could see your requests appear in version 1.5!