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Analyzing Qualitative Data
October 31, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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!