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Linear vs non-linear consultations

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Citizen Space allows you to select whether you would like to create a linear or non-linear online survey. 

Linear consultations

A linear consultation contains pages in a specified order. Respondents complete the online survey in order, page by page from 1 to x, selecting 'Next' at the bottom of each page to move to the next page of questions. You must use a linear consultation if you want to set Skip Logic rules.

If there are any 'required' questions in a linear survey, these must be completed before the respondent is able to move to the next page along. 

Non-linear consultations

A non-linear consultation has an automatically generated ‘contents page’ as the first page after the overview. This structure is appropriate for e.g. long and detailed consultation documents, and consultations in which only certain sections of the consultation document may be relevant to a respondent. Respondents can pick and choose which area of the consultation they wish to respond to, and in which order. Respondents return to the contents after each page of questions they answer.

If there are any 'required' questions in a non-linear survey, these must be completed before the respondent is able to leave a page, and they must be completed for any page which has them in. Only then will the 'Finish' button appear to allow a respondent to submit their response.

An example of a non-linear consultation's contents page is shown below:


If you choose a non-linear survey structure, then you can add introductory text to the contents page (which can include more engaging detail such as images, videos, maps etc.) via the Online Survey Settings.

To learn about how to change your survey from a linear format to non-linear, please follow the instructions in the article linked here