The Ideas tool allows you to collect your community’s views and suggestions on a range of set topics or challenges. Participants can add their ideas and vote on other contributions in order to help you unpack priorities and most relevant ideas to your community.
Using the Ideas tool is great for co-designing solutions with your community and also for collecting input in the early stages of developing your consultation. It is also a great tool to use with a mobile device such as a tablet to collect ideas digitally in a face-to-face setting. By virtue of how it is used, this tool is designed to allow only registered user participation.
To use the tool, first you need to add it to your project page. In the project page, click on the Add tool button.
A list of tools is displayed on a draw from the right of the screen. Click on Ideas to add the Ideas tool to your project. This tool is available in the Open environment tools tab.
NOTE: The Ideas tool is also available in the All tab.
The Edit button
Click the Edit button to change details and settings of your Ideas topic, as displayed below. You can also click on the title.
Here, you can view Details and Settings tab.
The Details tab displays the title, description and tags of the ideas topic. You can edit information in these fields, if required. The Settings will allow you to edit participation settings, permalink and admin notifications.
In this section, you can change participation settings based on how you want your participants to engage and allow Unverified participation. Customise the settings of your Ideas topic as explained below.
- Allow unverified participation - Select the checkbox to allow anyone with an email and screen name to add ideas, comments, and likes.
- Allow comments - select the checkbox to allow participants to comment on ideas posted by other participants.
- Allow image upload - select the checkbox to allow participants to add images to their idea contributions.
- Indefinite voting - selected by default, this option is apt for a long-running activity to accumulate ideas and votes over time. Ideas can be added and voted for as soon as the tool is published.
- Scheduled Voting - set a timeframe for when voting is allowed. As soon as the voting is open, ideas can no longer be added. This splits the activity into an idea collection period and a voting period. On clicking the Scheduled Voting option, the following screen is displayed.
Admins get notified by email when new comments are added. Based on your notification requirements, select the Send email acknowledgement to participant when a new idea is added checkbox to inform a participant whenever a new idea is added and/or Send email notifications to admins when new ideas are added checkbox to notify admins when new ideas are added in the Ideas tool of the project. In the provided field, enter the email address of the administrator who must receive the notifications.
When your tool is ready for use, you can publish it by selecting the Publish option as shown below.
After publishing the tool, options to unpublish and archive are available. After completing the consultation, you can archive it by clicking on the Archive option. An archived idea is still visible, but a participant cannot comment if they were previously allowed. You also have the option to unpublish it by clicking on the Unpublish option in the drop-down menu.
To schedule archiving of the Ideas topic, click on the Schedule button. Once you click on the button, the below screen is displayed.
Set the date and time for publishing the ideas topic. After this, click the Save button to save the publish schedule. The saved idea is displayed as a draft.
How to highlight an idea in the tool ?
You can reorder your ideas to highlight the display of a particular one.
If you have several ideas awaiting input and would like to reorder the list, you can do so by dragging and dropping the Idea in the relevant order as in the screen shot below. So an Idea that needs to be highlighted can be reordered to appear first.