The ProofPilot Blog - Design, Launch & Participant in Research Studies

ProofPilot Embraer ERJ-145 Release: Supporting Quick Turn Around Tasks

The glamorous glory days of the airline industry inspired the ProofPilot brand. And while air travel today is hardly a glamorous experience, we still sometimes take the air travel references into our operations. For example, we often name our functionality releases on different aircraft types and air industry activities.

Recently, we’ve had a number of academic research groups express interest in running scaled N of 1 trials. We found that the study designs included many more short, frequent tasks and notifications. While researchers continue to identify to find a balance between burden and statistical validity, we saw an opportunity to better and more efficiently support these frequent turns.

We named the sprint, Embraer ERJ-145 after one of the smaller regional jet aircraft types that for a long time was a favorite of frequent short flights that couldn’t support larger aircraft. A Boeing 787 or Airbus A380 that can fly across oceans and continents. The ERJ-145 is meant to do frequent hops between airports relatively close together.

You’d never use a 747 to fly these short quick turn aroudn routes. Likewise, with ProofPilot, we needed to make some functional adjustments for these quick repeated tasks. This release also included a variety of bug fixes.

These small planes are the workhorses of domestic air travel. And likewise, even if you aren’t running a study with frequent prompts or tasks, you’ll likely see some significant value with this release.

Preview Fast Forward

This is one of the most significant updates we’ve made to the study simulation experience in a long time. We’ll do a stand alone post on this soon as it has usefulness across nearly every study on the platform. Preview fast forward gives study designers an opportunity to speed up timelines. With Preview Fast forward you can simulate a study that would normally take 30 days in a couple of minutes.

Remember Me for 30 Days

While fast forward is one of the most significant researcher updates in a while, “Remember Me” is probably the most controversial feature we’ve added in a while.

ProofPilot takes security very seriously. It’s not just abstract for us. We’ve worked with targeted organizations. We’ve been targeted with attacks in the past. We’ve fought them all off successfully.

However, we’ve heard from participants loud and clear. They already are logging into their computers. Their mobile phones have codes and biometric locks in place. They’re telling us over and over again, it’s annoying to log into ProofPilot for every single task. The frustration exacerbates in these frequent tasked N of 1 studies.

So, we’ve added the option for participants to stay logged in to the ProofPilot experience for 30 days. The option is not enabled by default. Participants, upon login, must check, “Keep me logged in for 30 days,” in order to activate the feature.

Once activated, the user does not need to enter a username or password to access their participant experience unless 30 days are up, they’ve cleared their cache, or installed a new operating system version.

Minute Based Repeats and Timings

Prior to this release, ProofPilot only allowed repeating tasks and wait times on hours, days, weeks, and months. Now, we’ve added minutes. You can now activate or expire a task within a couple of minutes from a previously conducted task. You can also repeat a study task every couple of minutes. Please note, we’ve found that the minute timing is only accurate within about 5–7 minutes given internet latency. This is not meant to be a timer.

Bug Fixes and Updates

  • Various fixes to timezones and issuing tasks at specific times of the day.
  • Improved the processing of in-person promotion codes that were not at the end of a uninterrupted task flow grouping.
  • Smoothed out page transitions when using in question skips
  • Improved handling of question delete in surveys
  • Corrected bug that mussed the order of survey multiple choice answers past number 10
  • Minor adjustments to desktop study landing/recruiting page layout
  • Improvements to page color handling in in person recruit
  • Minor usability adjustments to registration
  • ProofPilot app install prompt on Android devices
  • Improved participant “Your Study Tasks” list responsiveness to new tasks

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