This month, we've been working on events - a feature which will allow you to add key dates, announcements and (of course) events to consultations, and for citizens to add them to their diaries, increasing active participation. More on this below, but first...
We continued improving the appearance of the user interface, and as usual, fixed some bugs that either you reported or we found:
In response to customer feedback, you will no longer be able to delete a Department (called Teams for some customers) if it still contains consultations and/or users. (Previously deleting a department would also remove any users and consultations within it.) Now you will see a warning message if the department contains users or consultations:
The users and consultations can be moved to another department, or deleted as appropriate. This prevents unintentional removal of consultations or users. As an alternative, a department can be suspended, which is not permanent (unlike deletion), and is our recommended method to take a department 'out of use'.
Since the last release, in some versions of Chrome, the Closed Consultations box on a Citizen Space homepage would, in some instances, appear beneath Open Consultations. This is fixed.
- We've fixed a bug which affected the layout of checkboxes in Online Surveys, visible in Internet Explorer 10.
The 'events' feature is ready for pioneers:
We're really excited about this addition to Citizen Space, which will mean that end-users can save your consultation events and key dates to their diaries, and receive reminders so they don't forget to attend. It's been co-designed with Wyong Shire Council (New South Wales).
Now it's ready for pioneer customers, before we bring it to general release. As a pioneer feature, we will need to activate it on your request, which you can do by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll find the full detail about the functionality of the feature, and some of the limitations at the pioneer stage, in this Knowledge Base article, but below is a summary of what it's all about...
So what will 'events' do?
This new functionality will enable you to add an event associated with a particular consultation, such as a public meeting, press conference, or exhibition.
The event will then appear in the Consultation Hub (your Citizen Space homepage), a new Events Calendar, and within the Key Dates section of the Consultation overview page. Each event will also have its own page (below). Events can be downloaded as a .ics file to personal calendars, such as in Outlook or to an iPhone.
It is important to let you know that, if you choose to activate events in the pioneering stage, the Events listings on your homepage will replace your Forthcoming Consultations column (to the left of the page - see example below). Forthcoming Consultations, once published, would still appear in searches. We welcome feedback on how you currently use Forthcoming Consultations, and if you think this is a better use of the space.
Tips & Tricks
Welcome to our new customers!
Our newest Citizen Space customers this month are Staffordshire County Council and the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames. Karl is looking forward to training the team at Richmond-upon-Thames soon.
Remember, you can get updates on all consultations running in Citizen Space by subscribing to the Citizen Space Aggregator.
Help! How to request support from the Citizen Space team
We have an online database full of FAQs and how-to articles to help you use Citizen Space and all of its functions. Sometimes that's not enough. Here's a blog post about the different ways you can find the answer you're looking for.