Please note that this article is an in-depth guide to the different question types and best practice techniques for using them.
Please see our Guide to Creating and Managing Ops for a quick overview and more general instruction.
New question types are added from time-to-time. The ones we currently support are:
- Checkbox (typically Yes/No or Done/Not Done)
- Number (number input only)
- Rating (5 point scale with configurable labels)
- List (the user can choose one option from a predefined list)
- Information (displays to the user, no user input allowed)
- Free Text (the user must enter text or numbers, or can collect this data by scanning a barcode)
- Date and Time (requires the date and/or time to be input)
- Repetition (the same question/questions can display multiple times)
- Photo (the user must take one or more photographs)
- Issue (raise an Issue i.e. an action to be followed-up and completed)
- Pause (prevent the Op from continuing until a specified time has elapsed)
- Signature (collect authorization via mobile touchscreen)
More detail, examples and best practice guidance on each question type is provided below (including a video to show how they appear on the TeamBoard), however, it is first important to be aware of the following features:
- Form Flow (enables different questions to display based on user input)
- More Info (extra question-specific info for the less experienced user)
We've written a separate guide to Form Flow which is conditional logic that applies to user input. For example, if the user answers 'Yes' then you can display one set of questions and if they answer 'No' you can display a different set of questions.
The Form Flow button looks like this...
See our Form Flow guide for more detailed instruction.
More experienced members of staff know what they're doing and generally like to quickly move through their tasks ticking them off as they go. Our clean user interface allows them to do this.
Newer and less experienced staff may want to access further guidance on a particular task (question). For example, if the task is 'Clean the dishwasher', they may want to know 'how?'.
The More Info option enables you to add:
- formatted text
...that is displayed when the user taps an 'Additional Information' button. Because this is provided at a question/task level, it keeps it short and relevant.
Question Type Best Practice and Examples
Scroll to the end of the article to see a video of all question types being used on the OpsBoard.
Checkbox Best Practice
Checkboxes are the most simple and common question type, giving the user just two choices of response e.g.
- Yes or No
- Done or Not Done
- Now or Never
Simply click the text label to change it. You can also change the flag and turn on form logic for one or both possible responses.
Number Best Practice
The number question type requires the user to enter any number, other input such as £ or % is not allowed.
Optionally you can add 'less than' and/or 'more than' validation... so that if the user enters a number outside of this range, then something will happen e.g. Red Flag (i.e. raise an Issue) or initiate conditional form logic.
Temperature checks and breakage counts are common uses of the number question.
Rating Best Practice
Ratings can be used for any 5-point scale e.g. from Good-to-Bad, Hot-to-Cold, Clean-to-Dirty, Satisfied-to-Unsatisfied.
Every point on the scale can optionally be given it's own text label, flag colour and also trigger conditional logic as desired.
List Best Practice
Lists require the user to select one option from a predefined set of choices.
Every possible response will have it's own flag colour, and optionally conditional logic. For example, if the user responded 'Other', then a Free Text question could be displayed asking what their favourite animal is.
Information Best Practice
Information will always be displayed to the user and requires no response from them. It can be used for section headings or to provide more detail.
As well as formatted text, it is also possible to include:
- Videos (links to videos hosted on other sites)
- Hyperlinks (to websites)
Free Text Best Practice
Free Text allows the user to enter a text response, it is not limited to a single line. This is commonly used when a more descriptive answer is required (and that answer doesn't require reporting or analysis).
This question also allows to enable barcode scanning as well. When switched on, the user will have the option to enter free test, or scan a barcode or QR code to collect that data and save time.
Date and Time Best Practice
This question can be configured to request the date, time or both.
The system will log when Ops are started and submitted, so this question is most useful for Ad-Hoc (i.e. 'run on demand') Ops where you want the user to enter a date/time that might be different to the Op start or submission time e.g. 'when did the accident occur?'.
Repetition Best Practice
The purpose of the repetition question is to enable one or more questions to be repeated. It can be powerful when used well, so requires a little explanation to get the best results...
There are 3 types of repeat:
Here you can specific how many times the following question(s) should repeat. A good use of this is when you want staff to probe 3 item from a delivery.
REPEAT UNLIMITED TIMES
Here the user can choose how many times to answer the question(s) by tapping a button in the app to 'add another'. This is good for audits or breakages where the number of responses is not known prior to the event. For example, an inspector visiting a site might not know how many refrigeration units there are, but will need to record the temperature for each.
REPEAT FOR EACH ITEM IN A LIST
This is best used when you know both how many repeats are needed and what it is that you're recording information about e.g. all of the fridges at a Site.
Note that we'd recommend using a separate repeat for freezers so that you can have different number (temperature) validation for each.
See our guide to using the Repetition question for more info.
Photo Best Practice
Photos are good for evidence. A common use of these would be to prove cleanliness or show the nature of pest activity. For example, if the user responds to a previous question that pest activity is visible, then conditional logic can reveal the photo question so that you're able to see one or more photos and evaluate the extent of the problem from afar.
Issue Question Type Best Practice
The Issue question will prompt the Op Performer to enter a comment and will then generate a new Issue in the system for follow-up action.
Ordinarily the Issue question will be used in conjunction with Form Flow, so that an issue is only raised when the response to a previous question is 'negative' (as per the example below).
The settings for the Issue Question allow you to specify a Title, a Type (which will be used to auto-assign the Issue based on rules you configured in Organisation Settings) and a Flag colour.
For more detail, watch the video in our article raising Issues from Op responses.
Pause Question Type Best Practice
The pause question type prevents the user from proceeding with the next question on the checklist until the time has elapsed (though you can optionally allow the user to change the timer duration).
An example of when this question type is most useful is in cooking or hot-hold processes.
You're able to set both an instruction and a message to display when the time has elapsed.
The actual time taken (including lateness) is visible in reports.
Signature Question Types Best Practice
Although OpsBase keeps a record of the completer of each Op upon submission, it may be important to you to collect a signature, for a variety of reasons:
A signature is collected digitally via mobile touch screen, and saved in the Ops Report.
Question Types Demo
This short video shows all question types in use from an end user (staff) perspective.