New online form designer: your feedback requested

Hi ODKers,

Thanks in large part to the Kobo team's efforts, our users have come to
demand an easier, less-error-prone way of designing their survey forms.
Mindful of the many merits of the XLSForm format, we resisted for some
time, then we set about building an online form designer that could truly
complement -- rather than replace -- XLSForms.

Now that we've released
, we'd like to invite your feedback. As expert XLSForm users, what do you
think of the balance we've struck? You can try the form designer by signing
up for a free trial on our website, logging in,
and clicking the Start new button on the Design tab.

We'd particularly like to know how you think we did with respect to these

  1. Providing an interface that even experts would want to use (for
    example, to be able to easily see which fields are nested within which
    groups, or which list of relevance conditions apply to a particular field).
  2. Making it easy to go back and forth between spreadsheet-based and
    drag-and-drop design views
    (for example, keeping the language and
    structure the same between the two worlds, and maintaining existing
    formatting when saving form-designer changes to an existing spreadsheet
  3. Helping new users to easily learn and succeed (for example, hiding
    some of the complexity by default).

It was a difficult balance to strike, and we're looking for feedback to
help guide us as we refine and extend this new designer. Since so many of
you are XLSForm users and understand many of the other approaches to form
design that are out there, we'd very much value your feedback.

If you do give it a shot, please just email any feedback to me at Again, we'd be grateful for any feedback that you'd
be willing to share.

Thanks very much,


ยทยทยท --- Christopher Robert Dobility, Inc. (SurveyCTO)