There have been a number of posts with users being frustrated by data being lost when participants exit the study before the end.
Of course, it’s understandable that users want to keep as much data as possible, including data from a part-finished task.
On the other hand, my personal feeling is that it’s essential that participants have a way to exit and have their data deleted - the vast majority of ethics boards/applications would have that as a requirement. Whereas in the lab participants can verbally state they wish to quit, when online they can’t communicate with the experimenter and the obvious way to exit (and delete data) is simply to close the tab.
There’s another issue about whether you, the user, wants to have the data from a partial run, which would then consume a credit. You might decide that you do want it (especially if you have a site license) but you might feel you only want to use your credits on full data sets.
The question is how to balance these desires, to maximize data collection in an ethical environment.
Here’s my proposal for how we continue, providing you more options (on a per-project basis on your Pavlovia Dashboard?):
- I suggest we provide these options for User exits with Esc key:
- Delete partial data (don’t consume credit)
- Keep partial data (consume credit)
- What to do when a Participant closes the tab:
- Aways quit (delete partial data and don’t consume credit)
- Attempt to warn user that data are about to be lost and offer them the options including save partial data (potentially consumes credit for partial)
- Attempt to warn user that data are about to be lost and offer them the options but not including save partial data
The closing-tab options presented to participants may not work unifromly - some browsers may not allow it, either now or in the future, because of the possibility of creating malicious websites that prevent users from closing tabs. But it would be reasonable to try.
Do people have other thoughts? Are there better solutions? Have you seen something on other platforms that’s better? Should we be allowing you full flexibility to store data without the user being able to exit privately at all (on the basis that it’s your ethics approval being used)?