Development update from Optimal Workshop

You may have noticed we’ve been gradually rolling out design and usability improvements over the past couple of months. Most notably, Chalkmark has a new image uploader and Treejack has a new tree editor.

What you won’t have seen are the huge, behind-the-scenes changes that have been taking place at the same time. We’re actually in the midst of making major technology platform changes that will mean awesome things for the future. And we’ve updated our design at the same time — because why not do it simultaneously!

The changes we’ve made so far

We first updated the pages your participants use — the surveys themselves. Following this, we updated the accounts and purchasing pages. Then, in February, we started on overhauling the survey creation process, beginning with OptimalSort and Chalkmark, and ending with Treejack (which was released recently). It’s been action-packed around here, let me tell you!

I know a lot of you are already enjoying Treejack's new Tree Editor, especially the commonly requested features like a super-speedy-keyboard-only tree entry mode, drag and drop tree editing, and greatly improved ability to change a tree without losing your correct answer selections.
Since then, we’ve begun reworking the final (and arguably most complex) part of the site — our results analysis section. Which is why I’m writing this post.

What you need to know

We’ve decided to gradually roll out the updates to the analysis tools. So for a while the new design will be available in parallel to the version you’re already using. This is instead of releasing everything in one hit.

You’ll therefore have a chance to get familiar with the new layout and to compare the new with the original if you want to see the changes clearly. And, if you’re inclined, provide feedback and input into our work as we progress.

Overhauling the analysis tools is no small job. We'll be releasing things one bite at a time. There may be bugs and you will have suggestions. In this phase of design and development, our aim is ‘Parity, but better.’ And if you see something we've overlooked, get in touch. Tweet us. Email us. Send screencasts. Don't hold back. We want to get it right.

You can switch between the new and original designs

If you have any Closed Card Sort surveys in OptimalSort, you can log in right now and view the New Look. You’ll see a button on the top right that will allow you to switch between the two looks.

New Look Results

When you switch to the New Look, you should see exactly the same information as what you’re used to, but prettier, and...well, just better. We know you've invested significant time into using these pages to analyze results and gain insights. We want you to have the chance to get familiar with the new design, and to have the freedom of returning to the original design if you want to.

You'll be able to switch between the original and new look pages on other surveys soon. Here's our current plan of attack and order of play:

  1. OptimalSort Closed Cart Sort Results AVAILABLE NOW
  2. Chalkmark First Click Results AVAILABLE NOW
  3. Treejack Tree Test Results AVAILABLE NOW
  4. OptimalSort Open Card Sort Results AVAIlABLE NOW

How you can help

We've done a lot of the groundwork and expect things to come together pretty quickly from here. Weeks and months, not months and years.

We've built these tools to make it easier for you to make life easier for everyone else. If there's a way we can do this more effectively than we're doing, given time, we'll do it. Just let us know.

Email any feedback to

Thanks everyone.


Published on Sep 19, 2014
  • Nahum
  • Nahum is CTO of Optimal Workshop.

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