About the Ideas Tool

An introduction to the ideas tool (previously called the brainstormer tool).

Deepa Prabhu avatar
Written by Deepa Prabhu
Updated over a week ago

The Ideas tool is an online brainstorming space in which participants post, comment, and vote on ideas. This simple tool is perfect for ideation and can get your community involved quickly and easily. Participants can post as many ideas as they want and contribute by voting on other ideas.

The Ideas tool can be completely open or based on sourcing ideas for a specific consultation. For example, you can use the Ideas tool to:

  • Generate ideas from your community about a project, such as park redevelopment.

  • Formulate ideas about a specific aspect of a project, such as a playground redesign.

  • Internal brainstorming for your organization.

  • Create a photo contest in which participants can upload and vote on images. These images can be useful for your EngagementHQ site.

You can also set the Ideas tool to have scheduled posting and voting periods. By selecting Scheduled voting in the Settings tab of your tool, you specify when voting starts and concludes. This splits the tool into an ideas period (from tool publication) and a voting period. Idea posting will be locked at the scheduled voting start date.

Using the Ideas tool

When adding the Ideas tool to a project, admins can Preview it to see how it looks for participants. Your community will see the Title and Description you give your Ideas tool with an option to add their idea below. You can use the Title and Description fields to introduce the Idea tool and explain its purpose. They will also see any Tags you add in the Details tab; this is a strictly visual element for the participant interface.

Each Ideas tool can be filtered by Discover, Oldest, Newest, Most Votes, and Most Comments, and users can search the Ideas by title.

Participants can:

  • Select Add your idea and use the Add your idea field as a title and the optional description field to expand on it. If you have enabled the Allow Image Upload setting, users can also select Upload Image. After uploading their image, participants can crop, rotate, zoom, or flip it before they Save Changes.

  • Participants can see their idea in the Preview window and, when ready, select Add Idea to post it or Cancel to stop. If Unverified participation is enabled, users must provide an email and screen name before posting.

  • Once posted, users can Delete it within 30 minutes of posting, which is the default duration of each session. Ideas cannot be deleted if someone has commented on that idea. Registered participants can also Edit their posted ideas. Additionally, participants can Report idea posts for inappropriate or offensive content.

  • Participants can vote for ideas using the heart symbol, Share it on social media, and Comment if you have enabled the Allow comments. Anonymous voting is allowed if you have enabled Unverified participation, but you cannot vote for your own idea. When commenting, you can use the @ symbol to tag any other user who has commented on the post.

  • When someone comments on an idea, the original Idea poster will receive an email notification informing them. This is the default setting and cannot be deactivated.

Add the Ideas tool to your project when you’re ready to start brainstorming with your community.

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