In this article we'll be talking through the process for setting up a Budget, Points or Bill Simulator. These are quick and simple to set up and the process is almost identical.
This article sets out the steps to get your site deployed and ready for launch. It provides an overview with links to further knowledge base articles which can help you with things like how to prepare your content and how to use the admin interface.
A handover call will take place between you, the sales consultant and your account manager to confirm time frames and answer any questions. Your account manager will be with you every step of the way and they'll be on hand to offer a screen share session as well as advise on how to build an engaging activity.
Our priority is to get your site deployed first so that you can begin populating the content as this is the most intensive part of the process. Your account manager will need to collect some information from you so they can set up and style your Simulator ready for launch.
- Decide on a URL
- Deploying your Simulator
- Decide on the structure of your service areas
- Start populating your service areas
- Provide us with your styling details
- Simulator training
- Think about promotion
- Going live
Step 1: Decide on a URL
We will need you to confirm the URL you wish to use before we can start deploying the platform.
There are two potential options for the type of URL that your Simulator instance can have:
- It can have a similar web address to your main site, or a project name, for example: 'budget.clientname.gov.zz' or 'clientnameprojectname.com'. If you would like this type of URL, you'll need to ask your technical team to register the subdomain and create a CNAME record (this is the technical name for something on our web server that points to another location). We will provide the CNAME address for your technical team to use for this. Please see our article explaining setting up a DNS CNAME record.
- If you prefer to use one of our Simulator domains, you will need to let us know what you would like the ‘clientname’ part of the address to be. For an English-language Simulator the options are:
- For Budget Simulator: https://<your-org-name-here>.budgetsimulator.com
- For Priority Simulator, either:
- https://<your-org-name-here>.prioritysimulator.com or
- For Bill Simulator: https://<your-org-name-here>.billsimulator.com
You may choose to use any of the above domains if you prefer.
For a version in a language other than English you will need to choose a URL in the format of for example: https://<your-translated-org-name-here>.budgetsimulator.com
For those customers having multi-language Budget or Priority Simulator e.g. the same activity in different languages, you will need to choose a URL for each language as we deploy a site for each language.
Step 2: Deploying your Simulator
Once your URL is confirmed with your account manager, the platform will be deployed. This will normally take place on a Wednesday, but you'll discuss this with your account manager to get a convenient date for deployment agreed.
Once the site is deployed, we will give you your admin account and password so you can access the admin dashboard - this is where you will add your content and eventually monitor responses. Once you have received your admin account and password you are then able to populate the site with your content.
Your account manager will be on hand to offer support and you have access to various Knowledge Base articles, set up guidance and templates to allow you to start preparing your content.
Step 3: Decide on the structure of your service areas
The best place to start writing content is to consider how your Simulator will be structured. Use our Groups and Items Template to collate your slider groups, items and financial info. By developing a clear structure early you will be able to create copy for each group systematically, populate the platform quickly and divide the work between departments without confusion.
Step 4: Start populating your Simulator
Once you have your structure template filled in, you can populate content.
You can type your content directly into the text boxes for each section of the admin settings and it's also possible to copy and paste from existing documents.
Alternatively you may wish to use our Consequences Template to collate the information first, this may be useful if you need to start writing copy before your site is deployed, or if you are collecting content from across teams.
Step 5: Provide us with your styling details
In order to style your Simulator we will require a number of details in order to theme the application in line of your organisation.
This list of set up requirements lists out all the information and details we need from you to theme you site. Once received, your account manager will apply the theming and will liaise with you to ensure the best result is achieved.
Referring to this theming guide will also aid this process and help explain which elements of the Simulator are editable and able to be themed.
Step 6: Simulator training
While the site is being set up, if you would like us to, we will take the opportunity to run a screen share training session with you, showing you around the tool, how it works and how to run a successful exercise with it.
There are also opportunities for your account manager to visit you for a more bespoke training session, and if you feel that would be helpful just let us know.
Step 7: Think about promotion
We are keen to help you in whatever way we can to ensure you are able to run a successful exercise. Having the tool is just the first step; getting the word out there is very important, and you need to consider how you are going to encourage people to get involved.
We are happy to have a chat with you about your expectations and, with our experience of these projects, offer guidance on the promotional avenues which may work best for you. We also have a success guide and promotional tips doc, both of which may help spark some inspiration.
Step 8: Going live
Once you have filled in all your content, had it QA'd, internally tested, got your comms all lined up, you are almost ready to go live. You have the power to control when you open your simulator - by selecting the green 'Open' option on the dashboard. You can invalidate any test responses you have put in during your set up to have a clean slate from which to start your Simulator. You will always have access to the admin side of your site to monitor responses as the exercise is running.
Ongoing support and feedback
If there is anything we can do to support you after your Simulator has gone live, please let us know.
We'll keep in touch with you and will be here for support enquiries, guidance on analysing results and waiting in the wings should there be anything we think you could do to increase engagement with your platform.
We like to keep up to date with all of our customers after their Simulator goes live so please feel free to call us for a chat if there is anything you think we could to do help.
A quick note about closing your Simulator
You will need to login to your Simulator and manually close it once your activity reaches its close date - unlike other Delib products, Simulators do not close automatically.