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Points Simulator - an introduction

Katherine Rooney -

What is Points Simulator?

Points Simulator is one of the ways to configure Budget Simulator, to enable decision makers to understand people’s priorities in a way which doesn’t directly correspond to a financial figure. With Points Simulator, users are given a number of ‘points’, which they can assign to their preferred areas. It is great for exploring the trade-offs between any set of options –budgetary or otherwise.

How does Points Simulator work?

Points Simulator looks very similar to Budget Simulator:

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The total number of points, and the categories that users will allocate points to, are decided in advance. Users are challenged to allocate all of their points to different categories, and can do so by moving the 'sliders' from left to right. Users will see the consequences of allocating points, (or of leaving the slider at zero points), to help them to better understand the impact of their decisions. 

Respondents have the option to add comments for each category, for example to explain any reasons behind their decisions.

As users move through the activity the total number of points spent and remaining can be clearly seen at the top of the page. Should a user start to run out of points, they can easily go back to previous categories and amend the number of points allocated. 

Points Simulator can also be configured to enable users to 'earn' additional points: 

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Once all of the points have been allocated, the user is invited to review their submission, at which point they will be able to see the consequences of their decisions all on one page, and can choose to add additional final comments in an open text box.

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Until the user chooses 'Submit choices' they can revisit and change their decisions. 

At the end there is an optional demographic survey, and a final page which can be configured to include any message and link to other websites, (the consulting organisations main home page for example).

What are the benefits of using Points Simulator?

Points Simulator enables an organisation to ask users to think about how to divide finite resources, without needing to bring money into the equation. This can help people to think more about an issue than its cost, (and also can reduce the amount of maths needed in the setup of the site, in comparison to Budget Simulator).

If you'd like any more information about Points Simulator, get in touch with us via support@delib.net.