New Technology Available for Surveys

Recently, we had the opportunity to run a project that mixed observing shoppers in a grocery store setting with the shopper then taking a survey afterward. Part of this project entailed recording what the shoppers chose to place in their shopping cart before they moved on to the questionnaire portion. In addition, certain questions would need to be asked or skipped based on the items a person chose. A few different teams came together to make a complicated procedure work seamlessly using barcode scanners, iPads, and Logician, our survey building software.

Noah Figg, the software developer primarily responsible for maintaining and updating Logician explains, “The way the project worked was that the barcode scanners were connected through bluetooth to the iPads. The iPads treated the scanners just like a keyboard. The scanner input the UPC barcode from the products in the cart directly into our data-capturing program.

“On a particular page of the survey, a little html and javascript code presented a shopping cart that allowed us to capture items one by one via the barcode scanner. Certain UPCs that are recognized showed a friendly display name of the product. The data results of the shopping cart exercise were in a JSON format, which allowed us to store text in an open-end question in the survey. This was so successful that we’ve created a permanent shopping cart code, which is now an advanced question style available for any study.”