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Saving data despite missing required fields in Participants Database (3 posts)

  1. jleivo
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hello,
    Thank you for an excellent plug-in! I am conducting a large cross-sectional survey with approx. 100 radio button questions and I am worried about whether everyone will answer all questions. I understand that the “required field” option would solve this, alright, but with such a big number of questions people might just quit without saving if they cannot easily find the missing answer (marking required fields might help, though). So, is there any way to get data saved after the user presses save button, but before the “required field” generates the “answer missing” message, i.e. data filled so far would be saved anyhow? What about autosave after every Field (probably slow) or after every Field Group (I have 10 Field Groups with 10 radio button Fields in each)?
    Thank you in advance.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/participants-database/

  2. xnau
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    What you are presenting is a classic UI problem for long forms. As you probably know, problems like this don't have easy answers and they tend to rely on some pretty crafty programming to do their job.

    My personal recommendation is to go with Javascript client-side validation using the jQuery validate plugin. It's incredibly simple to set up, but of course you'll still need to have some experience with Javascript to make it work. The advantage, though, is that you can actually use it to guide people through the form fill-out process field-by-field because each field they fill out is instantly validated.

    If you're serious about saving the data as it's entered, it can be done using AJAX, but that's an advanced application requiring sharp skills.

    The general wisdom on long forms is to break them up into pages, so each page of data is actually saved, and the form is reduced to logical parts, as you suggest. But this plugin is not set up to support multiple-page forms: it can support them, but you'll have to roll your own with that--and it's not particularly simple.

    I guess the short story is if you're not a coder, you'll probably have to enlist some help.

  3. jleivo
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Thank you for your prompt response. It is now clear that there is no easy way out and that's what I wanted to know. And though I got an M.Sc. in Computer Sciences few decades ago and having mastered assembly level languages, even machine code, I am not familiar with contemporary software languages. But based on this background the task to learn to use Javascript or AJAX is not unthinkable. So I will look into it. And don't worry, your plug-in is excellent even without this feature and as it is so easy to use, it makes people lazy, me included, not willing to use any more sophisticated tools!

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