I’m pleased to offer you a glimpse of the future today with a few screen shots from our upcoming major web site upgrade. This has been a long time coming, and those of you who have heard me mention it in the past have probably begun to doubt whether it’s real. Well, it has really been coming together lately, so I thought I’d share some visuals to give you a taste of things to come.
Click any screen shot to see a larger view.
Making a Poll
I’m sure the first thing you’ll notice is the dramatic face lift. Yes, Mister Poll has had a lot of work done. 🙂 In addition to the haircut and new eyes, the web site itself has been redesigned from the ground up. After trying out many different colors schemes, we decided to stick with something based on blue. We really tried to focus on readability and ease of use. I hope you like the new look and feel. I know I do.
There are so many improvements to polls that it would be difficult to list them all today. Instead of only multiple choice questions, you’ll be able to choose from several question types such as fill-in-the-blank, essay, rating, ranking, etc. Through the magic of AJAX, you will add and edit questions in-place without ever leaving this page. Questions can be required or optional. A single poll can be deployed separately to different sets of people, resulting in separate sets of data. You can set begin and end dates. You may also notice that “Move Questions” link near the top. More on that in the next screen shot.
Technically this is still part of editing a poll, but so many people have asked for this feature over the years, I thought it deserved its own screen shot. At any time, you can edit your poll and move the questions around. Not everybody has their entire poll planned out ahead of time. Frequently as you’re building it, you will think of a new question. In the past, your only choice was to add it to the end of the poll, and that may not be the best place for it. You may also decide that your existing questions work better in a different order. That’s fine too. In the new web site, you can drag and drop your questions into any order you please. Look closely at the screen shot, and you can see that I had just begun to drag the first question to a new location.
The simplest view of your poll results will still be the familiar graph. However, I thought you might be interested in seeing that those have been given a face lift too. The results section is still being actively worked on, and you can see that we haven’t quite decided how (or if) to show a graph for some question types, like fill-in-the-blank or essay. If you have any thoughts on that, feel free to leave a comment. You will also be able to download result details, including the actual answers that each individual voter submitted. You could then do even more advanced reporting with external tools such as Excel. If you’re a techie programmer type, you could also load them into your own database and do just about anything you like.
Yes, as that big black rectangle on the right indicates, the public side of the web site will still show ads. (We have to make some money to keep the doors open here.) We will still offer our “Ad Free” subscription for those who want to kill the ads for themselves. Plus, for a fee, you’ll also be able to make sure your poll is always shown ad-free to everybody. We’re also planning some other premium extras. How much? Well, we haven’t finalized all of the pricing yet.
That is your next question, right? Because Mister Poll is only a part-time venture, project timelines are very difficult to predict. This project has been tackled in bits and pieces over the last year, and while great progress has been made, there is still a good deal left to do. We are getting close, and the pieces are really starting to come together. Those screen shots are not mock-ups. They are actual screen shots of a functioning system, taken from Mozilla FireFox on Mac OS X.
Please feel free to add your comments, questions, and suggestions to this blog entry. I hope you like what you’ve seen here. This is just a small part of the changes this upgrade will bring. I’ll post more updates as the project progresses.