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Free Format Questions in combination with Shelf-Facing Display

Dear all,

Is it possible to combine a CBC Free Format Question with a Shelf -Facing Display? The idea is to replicate the shelf-facing from the standard layout but enrich this task with several fancy functionalities in the free-format environment.

If this is possible: could someone please give me some tips or pointers?

Very much appreciated in advance.

asked Aug 27, 2014 by Bjorn Arenoe

1 Answer

0 votes
I don't think you can really combine the two.  Shelf-facing display just takes your CBC task and kind of makes the profiles look like they are on a shelf and you'd put the price below the profile (often replaced with a graphical image of the product).

In free format, you start off with a blank page and create the layout of your tasks, usually by using HTML table tags.  Inside the cells of the table you use scripting functions to pipe in attribute and level labels from the design file.

Another way to put it is that shelf-facing display is kind of a one-click, fixed alternate way of displaying choice tasks, while free format is a start from scratch, do whatever you want (including a custom shelf display) on your own.

An example of free format CBC questions can be found in the help files at https://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/help/issues/ssiweb/online_help/index.html?hid_web_cbc_customcbc.htm.
answered Aug 28, 2014 by Brian McEwan Gold Sawtooth Software, Inc. (46,120 points)
Thanks Brian, for your helpful reply.

My experience with both approaches (free format and shelf-display) is quite extensive so I know how they both work in detail. I probably should have been a bit more specific as to what I want to achieve.

In my current setup, when I'm using a shelf display, I apply some JavaScript code so that if a respondent 'hoovers' over a product picture on the shelf (which is often too small to make out anything important like brand, design, pack size, claims, ingredients, etc.), a 'blown-up' picture of the selected SKU is shown to the respondent right next to the shelf-picture. This 'blow-up' (as we like to call it internally) is a much larger picture with a much finer resolution on which you can read all the product info that you would normally also be able to read if you were in an actual supermarket. The problem with this setup however is that the blowup is shown right next to the shelf-product to which it belongs. Therefore, if a respondent moves his mouse pointer across the screen, the whole experience becomes quite chaotic as all the different blowups are constantly moving around all over the place. We believe quite strongly (from experience) that it discourages respondents to really look carefully at the information that the blowups provide (especially for really new products and pack designs).

A much neater solution would be to have one single location on every screen (for instance a 300 X 150 pixel screen-frame on the right-hand side of every screen) that acts as a standard location for all the blowups. So now if a respondent hoovers over a SKU on the shelf, all it's relevant information (including the picture) is neatly placed in one place, i.e. the single frame on the right of the screen.

Have you ever heard of such a setup in SSI Web? Do you expect that programming this could somehow be 'easily' accomplished within the standard CBC + shelf-display wizard or would I have to program this "from scratch" using free format questions in combination with some PERL and JavaScript. I wouldn't mind doing so, but if a simpler solution already exists than off course I wouldn't mind using that ;-).

Thanks in advance.


PS: the link that you provided doesn't seem to work.
Hi Bjorn,

It probably is possible to do what you want.  We actually employ a similar method when you do a conditional display on the BYO of an adaptive CBC exercise (the conditional graph shows up, say, on the top left of the screen).  So, I'm sure it's doable, but it's not built into SSI Web for a CBC task and would need to be coded manually, which unfortunately goes beyond my skillset.  I would hypothesize that you could probably wrap some CSS like a span tag around the image you want to display, and then using additional CSS, tell the browser to display it on the top left of the page, or something like that.

With the link, it looks like the period got picked up and is breaking the link.  Make it just say .htm instead of .htm. and it should work.
Hi Brian,

Thanks for your reply. I will definitely start experimenting a bit with this and see where it leads me ;-)