The joy of a Web developer on call
One of the great things about the Web is that almost any functionality is possible—it's just a small matter of programming (and budget and time and compromises). Sometimes you can imagine a widget which will make your respondent's or visitor's experience smoother or richer. Sometimes it's a function which will make your site easier to manage.
For Web surveys, there's a huge range of tools and services, so someone may already offer your dream feature. However, there are times when you just need something custom.
I got lucky and didn't have to quest for my coder. A former colleague, who spent several years tweaking code for SurveyHost and QuestionWeb, is now freelancing. So when I have a bright idea, I can drop her an e-mail and see if she can manifest it, such as:
An e-mail alert when a survey is submitted.
This is great for low volume surveys, so I just take a peek whenever I get a response. I've packaged up the code for you to use.
An address forwarder which passes along embedded data values.
For long-running surveys I always prefer to make the public address my company site rather than wherever I happen to be hosting my surveys. With this function I can not only do a simple redirect, I can also embed values such as the origination of the link, password, or product name.
A time-conditional Web page.
Now I can make paragraphs appear and disappear within a Web page based on a date/time, such as adding the link to my speaking handouts right as I begin my session.
My coder on call is Molly Magai http://sparkoid.com/. I expect that at some point I'll ask her for a double-byte translation of a survey to Kanji or some other goodie. So far I've only tapped her for general Web work, but it's reassuring to know she has the experience to tweak my survey pages themselves without changing anything critical.
I always hear your voice in my head ‘if it is taking you too long, there is a simpler way to do it!’
Market Research Analyst
Alberta Motor Association