It’s Alchemer Lab Week!

October 15, 2009

Here at Alchemer, we’re excited to be holding the first ever Alchemer Lab Week! Our inspiration came from watching the awesome results that have come from Google Labs and MailChimp Labs. We tasked the developers and designer with choosing a project to work on for the week. The only guideline was that their project must somehow enhance Alchemer, and make it an even better product for our users.

Once Alchemer Lab Week is completed next Thursday, all Alchemer employees will cast their votes for the best project. The winner will receive the highly coveted prize, chosen by the development team: a Lego Motorized Walking AT-AT™Pew pew!


Now, let’s meet the contenders. In no particular order,

Joseph West is building a Survey-wide Spellcheck (utilizing the GNU Aspell library) with multiple language support. This spell check will function much like Search and Replace, checking the spelling in pages, questions, reports, and more.  It then displays the misspellings and offers suggestions for each word. The initial version will simply display the suggestions, but streamlined replacement functionality will be added over time to make it easier to replace any word with one of the suggestions, or with something you type in yourself.

Jean-Francois Hardy is working on a new interactive tutorial system. Unlike our written tutorials, it will teach you how to use Alchemer by performing various tasks. It will present a description of what needs to be done and why, and then highlight the areas on the screen where the step should be performed. The tutorials will walk you through commonly-requested support questions, and teach you new things about Alchemer in real-time, from within your own account.

Chad Shinsato is working on a page jumping logic analyzer. This tool will analyze your default, simple and advanced page jumping logic and display all the possible page paths that your survey takers can take, allowing you to easily debug issues in your survey.

Finally, Jase Smith is working on creating a Alchemer mascot. Jase tells us that it’s been a fun challenge to come up with a character that fits the Alchemer persona. With his life-long love for comic books, cartoons, and anime style art, we are sure he’ll come up with something everyone will love!

Credit also goes to rock-star CTO Christian Vanek, who has heroically covered all of the technical support during Alchemer Lab Week, allowing the development team to fully dedicate their efforts to their projects.

Best of luck, guys! And, while one of these projects will be voted “best” on October 22, ultimately we feel as though all of our users win!

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