Collect: make better use of larger screens

In some projects there’s use of different devices (tablet and smartphones of different sizes and models).
Through the “appearance” column is possible to customize the form to have a better rendering of the questionnaire on the device according to the screen size (e.g. no-calendar, compact etc etc...).
But this option is set on the XLSform and once is defined the form will be transferred on the device with the “appearance” defined on the form definition.
It would be great if we would have a setting in the general setting->"user interface" that would override the original appearance of some widgets on the tablet.
This setting (“widget settings”) could have the following options:

  1. Use standard (form) appearance (default)
  2. Use compact appearance (for small screen phones: no calendar, compact, minimal etc..)
  3. Use “non compact/larget” (no idea how to explain with one word) widget.

In some projects is growing up more and more the idea to use enumerators device instead to buy project devices. This mainly for 3 reasons:

  1. Of course budget reduction as no need to buy devices
  2. People usually are more careful with they own device (less are stolen, lost or broken)
  3. Enumerators are already familiar with their own device

I think this could be a useful feature and not too complicated to implement.

I agree with you and your users that Collect isn't as nice as it could be on large screens.

I've been thinking about this and I'm not convinced about the toggling several appearances approach. I don't see the appearances you've listed as related to screen size but more about preference or how adapted it is to the data. For example, I always use the no-calendar appearance for dates because the calendar confuses me and I find it's harder to train for. If I have a long list of items to choose from, I may want the minimal select appearance no matter what the screen size is.

I would suggest two directions related to this:

  • Introduce alternative layouts and/or responsiveness to better use screen size that is available (increase font size, spacing, etc)
  • support logic in field-lists so related fields can be on one screen. This touches a lot so it's a big project. Issue is at
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