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What software to use to make an EXE for a touch-screen kiosk survey that can record results to spreadsheet?

Posted on 2008-11-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I am building a survey-type-thing for a touch-screen kiosk.  There will be 30 or so different "pages", and answers to various questions will result in the user being asked different questions later (they will get directed to different questions based on their answers; for instance, young men will answer different questions than older women).

Various components include:
- Drop-down list of age to choose from.
- button to select male or female.
- multi-select button grid (user selects "all that apply", then pushes a "continue" button)

I'll want the screens to fade in/out, and I want to be able to customize each screen with different photos faded in the background.

Most importantly, all information needs to be recorded to an external file (there will only be one external file per kiosk, updated with each survey-taker).

Since I have web design experience with Flash, I was thinking of using that for this project.  I know similar things have been done in Director, and am open to other suggestions.  I'd like to know what the best and fastest software would be for this job.  Is there specialized software for developing something like this?
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Question by:jodaboda
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Expert Comment

by:Chris-Chambers
ID: 22975829
Hi,

I'd use Director for this project for a number of reasons.

It would be simple to arrange all your sections easily on the Director timeline, and using an xtra you could have very nice transitions between sections. Check out:

http://www.billeniumsoft.com/btx/index.htm

Question responses could easily stored in a list and saved to disc either as a text file using the free fileIo xtra, or using a database xtra such as:

http://www.web-cd.net/mdb/default.aspx or
http://www.xtra-ucd.com/pages/page.php?product=xtra or
http://www.paradigmasoft.com/en/products/developer/adk/V4MD

Hope this helps,


Chris.

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Accepted Solution

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CABIS earned 150 total points
ID: 22976681
From your description, it looks like there will be a good bit of coding to this project, so I would use Director. There are several third-party xtras (some free, some not) that can help with recording the data.

Another option you may want to look at is a rapid-development e-learning program like Articulate or Lectora, each of which contains a survey/quiz option.

http://www.articulate.com/
http://www.trivantis.com/

One more thing to consider if this is going to be a public kiosk is the ability to lock down the host computer from tampering. Take a look at a program like Internet Kiosk Pro.
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Author Comment

by:jodaboda
ID: 22977038
Thanks a lot, guys.  I talked to someone who did a similar kiosk project in Director, and said they couldn't get rid of the Director "Frame" around the window.  I don't know anything about director yet... If you guys do, do you know of a way to get rid of this "frame"?  It's definitely unacceptable.
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Expert Comment

by:CABIS
ID: 22977110
Since this will be a kiosk, you already know the display resolution it will be running. If you create the Director movie with the same resolution as the target display, there won't be any frame if you run the exe fullscreen

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Assisted Solution

by:Chris-Chambers
Chris-Chambers earned 150 total points
ID: 22977325
Hi,

A couple of things you should be aware of when creating a kiosk app.

A touch-screen monitor cannot receive 'mouseEnter' or 'mouseLeave' events, all touch interactions should be handled on 'mouseDown' or 'mouseUp'.

Make sure you have a touch-screen during development and test all user interactions well.

A good idea is to have a link to the .exe file in the Windows startup folder so that if there is a power cut your app will start up again.

Test your app by leaving it running for a few days, if you get crashes after long periods check for memory leaks.

Hope this helps,

Chris.
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Author Comment

by:jodaboda
ID: 22986145
great tips everyone. thanks.

I just spent a few hours using Articulate's QuizMaker.  I spent hours making a beautiful quiz using their fantastically intuitive software... only to find out it doesn't actually do the most important (and obvious?) thing: record results.  Basically, the user can choose to email their test score (not question results), but the test distributor (or in my case survey maker) doesn't get results.  There's just no way to save results to an external file.

I'll be trying Trivanta Lectoris and Adobe Captivate.  If those don't do what I want, I guess I'll go to Director or Flash.  If anyone wants to chime in, please do (If you've used any or all of these programs, what do you think?).

Make a quiz, gimme the results when someone takes it.  It doesn't sound that complicated...
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Author Comment

by:jodaboda
ID: 23001164
If anyone else comes across this topic, I'm leaning towards using Moodle (free LMS I've already got running on a server) in conjunction with either Adobe Captivate or Articulate Quizmaker.  I'm not entirely sure they're going to do what I want, but I'm not finding anything else that comes close (besides a couple apps costing many thousands of dollars, and don't create very graphically pleasing surveys at all).

Anyway, thanks everyone for your help.  I'll be posting another question soon regarding use of Captivate and Moodle.
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