This article is for Citizen Space administrators wishing to preview their consultations. Follow this link to find out how to share a preview of your consultation with non-administrators.
The first section of the article is a short run through of how preview works. You can find out troubleshooting tips and some useful things to know about preview mode, such as how it works in non-linear consultations, at the bottom of this article.
Step 1 - Enter preview mode
You can preview your consultation at any time by selecting Preview Consultation on your consultation dashboard or from within the 'Online Survey' building section. It doesn't matter if your consultation is published or not, the preview will still work.
Step 2 - Review your consultation
When previewing the consultation you will see a yellow bar along the top which allows you to see what the consultation will look like when it is open, closed and forthcoming. The default view shows you the consultation as open. Learn more about the difference between these three states.
It's also possible to jump to any individual page in a consultation to preview it, including the 'Almost done' page and the submitted response page to view your completion message. When in preview mode use the dropdown at the top of your consultation to select the page you wish to preview and select 'go'. This is an especially useful feature if you have required questions, or a very long consultation.
When building a consultation in 'Online Survey', the 'Preview Consultation' link appears in a small grey box toward the top right of your screen. if you select preview there to see the question you have just added then Citizen Space will jump you straight to that page to see your work. Selecting 'Leave Preview' will take you back into the survey building section.
Step 3 - Preview for mobiles or smaller devices
You can get a very good feel for what a consultation will look like on a mobile or smaller device by looking at in a small browser window.
It's easy to resize your browser window. In your browser, open a new window and drag the corners of the window box to expand or contract it.
Step 4 - Getting out of preview mode
Troubleshooting and things to be aware of in preview mode
Preview mode does not store cookies so it will not save any of your answers after you move to a different page. This is deliberate as otherwise the memory of your site would be full of responses tested in preview mode. However, because it does not store any answers when previewing there are a few things to be aware of:
In non-linear consultations:
In a live non-linear consultation, a respondent visits the contents page and chooses which chapter they want to begin with, they are then brought back to the contents page after each chapter of questions they complete. They will only be shown the 'Finish' button on the contents page once they have answered any of your required questions or visited at least one chapter and continued back to the contents.
As preview mode does not store the information that a page has been visited or any question answered, the 'Finish' button will never appear in that mode - please trust us that it will in real life! You can still see what the 'Almost done' page and the completion page look like using the dropdown list in the preview bar, as described in the step by step instructions above.
More information about non-linear consultations can be found in this article.
The email address field on the Almost done page:
In preview mode you will always see the email address field on the 'Almost done' page, which is a feature to allow respondents to receive a copy of their response via email should they wish. In live consultations, if you have left in the default email address question and your respondent has answered it then they would not be shown this field to enter their address again, they would automatically be sent a copy of their response to the address they had already given in your question. However, in preview mode, even if you have the default email address question and you've answered it during testing, your answer won't be stored so this field on the final page will still be shown to you in this mode. More information about the three default Citizen Space questions can be found in this article.