Guide to: Job Design

When designing a job, keep in mind that careful planning pays off. Creating wireframes, writing focused and clear questions, and thinking about the job from the point of view of contributors will go a long way toward launching a successful job.


Write Clear and Concise Questions

  • Keep the questions concise: Lengthy questions can slow down and confuse contributors. 
  • Use clear language: Contributors come from many linguistic and cultural backgrounds. By keeping the design simple, it allows contributors to do their job efficiently and effectively. 
  • Be mindful of the language: Review the language in the instructions and questions to ensure there is no bias toward a particular answer. 


Consider User Experience

  • Minimize scrolling & clicking: CML questions with lots of moving parts like scrollbars and buttons can become confusing. Carefully consider the layout to reduce contributor fatigue and improve efficiency.
  • Provide shortcuts and hyperlinks: If the job requires navigating to other web pages, make sure to include hyperlinks such as a predefined google search
  • View the job through the contributor’s eyes: Use the Preview tab to see how the job is currently designed. This is also a great way to test the logic and validators in the job. 
  • Provide any additional information: Including examples and definition of option answers can help contributors understand the job. 


Consider Data Collection

  • Use validation: When using text fields it is recommended to use a validator to normalize text entries. Appen offers validators for phone numbers, addresses, integers, proper case, and many other types of responses. For more information, see check out this article on Validations.
  • Use Regular Expressions with Test Questions: Regular Expression can be used to create flexible criteria when trying to match phrases or collect URLS. For more information, please check out this article on Regular Expression


Graphical Editor vs. Code Editor

  • The Graphical Editor is the ideal tool for creating a simple UI.
  • The Code Editor allows for the use of HTML, Javascript, and CSS to create and customize the job. Using the Code Editor is the only way to implement multiple layer logic into the design. Check out and review this CML Documentation.

Note: Some users have found success setting up basic UIs in the Graphical Editor before switching to the Code Editor to add more complex features. However, once the job is saved in the Code Editor it will not be possible to return to using the Graphical Editor.


Once the job has been designed 

  • Test out the job: Keep in mind that there's always room for improvement as things rarely go precisely as planned at the beginning, which is a great reason to test out the job prior to launching the full data set. Do this by either launching the job internally or launching a small set of the data
  • Monitor the job's test questions: By tracking which test questions are highly missed, this can highlight problem areas and provide insight into improvements for future iterations. 


Design History

  • Once a job is designed and when the job author makes changes to the job design, Design History (CML/JS/CSS) will become available for usability of CML versions. The job changes are tracked as different versions which are accessible via the UI



Figure 1. Opening View History

  • As seen above, the job design versions are available in a dropdown field upon opening up the View History modal

Selecting Job Versions

  • In order to view other job design versions, select the timestamp in the drop down or select the Previous or Next button to view a specific job version. 


Figure 2. Viewing Different Job Design Versions

  • You also have the option of showing the diff between the current CML version and the selected historical version. This is done by selecting the "Show diff" toggle. You have the option to revert to an older CML version via selecting the "Use this version" button.


Figure 3. Show diff Toggle Enabled

  • The Job Design History feature allows a job author to see how the job originated - either created from scratch, created using template or as a job copy.
  • When checking different versions it will also show the job author of that specific version
  • If no job history exists yet, the modal will show "There are no job design changes yet"

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