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Respondent journey: Answering an online survey

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Most respondents will find your consultations through specific promotion you have done e.g. emails, social media or more traditional promotional methods. Therefore, the most likely place for a respondent to start will be a consultation overview. 



The consultation's Overview page includes any introductory content you have included about the consultation, as well as additional details such as contact info, key dates, linked events and possibly related documents and links.

Consultation overview with information on what the consultation is about, why they are consulting, including open and close dates with contact information.


If users would like to respond to your Online Survey, they click the call to action link provided. In the example above, in the 'Give Us Your Views' box, the link text to take someone into the survey says 'Online Survey'.

After selecting the link, a respondent will be taken through to the first page of your survey.


Linear consultations

If the consultation is linear, this will be first page of survey questions.

Example consultation first survey page with questions.

Respondents can then provide their answers and navigate through pages of questions. If a respondent tries to move through the survey without answering a 'required' question, they will not being able to progress onto the next page until the question has been answered. 

If you are using skip logic (also known as survey routing) then the respondent will be routed through the survey depending on the answers they have given to certain questions or the pages they have visited.


Non-linear consultations

If the consultation is non-linear the first page after the overview will be a table of contents.

Screenshot of contents page on a non-linear survey

Respondents then answer the chapters in any order they wish and will return to this contents page after selecting 'save and return to contents' at the end of each chapter of questions they have completed.

As with linear surveys, they must answer any chapters which have 'required' questions in them in order to submit their response.

Screenshot showing the error message if someone misses a required question


Save a response to return to it later

If a respondent wishes to return to complete their response later without losing the information they have already entered, they can save their response to return and complete it later by using the 'Save and return' feature

Screenshot of Save and Return page with return link, response ID and Key and option to enter email for copy of information.


Completing a response

Once the survey is complete, users are given the option to provide an email address so they can receive a PDF copy of their response. This email address is not stored by Citizen Space, so responses remain anonymous.


After selecting the 'Submit response' button their response is submitted and they are shown their unique response ID on the screen (the Xs in the below screenshot would be replaced by letters and numbers for a real respondent).

Screenshot of default text on Response Submitted page


Email and completion messages

As an administrator, you are able to tailor the 'thank you' part of the email that is sent to a respondent and also the completion message shown on the response submitted page. This article explains how to tailor the email and completion messages for your consultation

The default email copy is:

Thank you for completing the consultation.

Your response ID is ANON-ZA66-VE2J-X.  Please have this ID available if you need to contact us about your response. If you would like to download a PDF copy of your responses, please click the link below, or copy and paste it into your browser's address bar.


This link is unique to you.  Please save this email and do not forward it on to anyone else, as it provides access to view all the answers you have submitted.


The consultation hub

If a respondent does not have a direct link to a consultation itself, or hasn't searched for a consultation via a search engine such as Google etc, then they may begin their journey on your consultation hub.


From here they can visit any of the consultations in the hub or find ones of interest by using the search feature in Find Consultations. They may choose to get involved in your featured consultation if you have one set up.

After selecting a consultation that is open for responses, they will be taken to the overview and will complete the consultation as per the steps listed above.