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Restricted access challenges and how to set these up

Katherine Rooney -

When you add a challenge in Dialogue you have the option to make access to your challenge 'Restricted' by creating a list of users' email addresses whom you wish to participate. By doing so, your challenge will only be visible and accessible to those on this list (more on the various challenge states here).

This article talks you through:

Stage one: How to set up a restricted access challenge

Stage two: Inviting your participants

The participant journey

Stage One:
How to set up an restricted access challenge

For restricted challenges, you must enter the email addresses of one or more participants before you can publish the challenge. When you select 'Restricted' on the 'Change Access Settings' form, a box will appear where you can enter a list email addresses, one per line:

Screenshot of change access settings form

 You can enter email addresses in two different ways:

  • Full email addresses, for example 'alice@delib.net'. This means only the user who has registered with this email address and verified their email address can access the challenge.
  • Domain-wide addresses, for example '*@example.com'. This means that any users who have registered with an email address at the specified domain (charlie@example.com, dave.edwards@example.com, info@example.com, etc) and verified their email addresses can access the challenge.

A note on moderators: If you have moderators who also need to work on this challenge, their email addresses will also need to be added to your list (if they are not part of any domain-wide address you have already added). Like other users, they will have to verify their email addresses before they can see and moderate the challenge in the admin side. This is so you can run super restricted internal challenges only seen by site admins, certain moderators, and the people you want to take part.

Stage Two:
Inviting Participants

As restricted challenges are not displayed to the public on the Dialogue homepage, you'll need to invite participants to take part in your challenge and let them know the URL.

Once your challenge is published, you can see the URL at the top of the Challenge Dashboard:

Screenshot of dashboard with view challenge link highlighted

You could share the challenge by sending an email out to your selected invitees or perhaps putting some info on a page on your intranet if this is an organisation-wide challenge.

It's a good idea to provide a bit of information about the challenge and why it's important people contribute, the challenge URL, and instructions on what your invitees need to do to participate - this will make it easy for them to get involved.

Important note: Those on your invite list will need to register on your Dialogue site and then they must verify their email address in order to see the challenge. This is to keep the challenge totally secure and only accessible to those with email addresses you have specifically added to your list. 

Here's an example of some wording you could use for your email invite or intranet page:

"We need your ideas about <explain your challenge topic> to help us achieve <explanation of what you hope to achieve from this process>.

You are invited to take part in this challenge and join the discussion.

If you have not done so already, please firstly register on the site <hyperlink here to your Dialogue's registration form>

Once registered you will receive two emails, one to confirm your registration and the other asking you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email to verify your address. This will give you confirmation that your email is verified and you can then join this challenge. For security, you will not be able to see or participate in this challenge until you have done this.

The link to the <insert name of challenge> is: <insert your challenge URL>

We encourage you to submit ideas, comment on those of other participants and to rate each other's ideas and we look forward to receiving your ideas and thoughts."

The participant journey

For someone totally new to your Dialogue site, the first they will probably know about your challenge will be the email from you or via some other form of promotion you have used.

As the example instructions above suggest. They first need to register on your Dialogue site and then to verify their email address using the verification email sent out when they sign up. This will then allow them access to the challenge(s) they've been invited to.

If they are already registered on your Dialogue site before you invite them to a challenge, they may not have verified their address. If their email is unverified then they will see this red exclamation mark by their user name once they are logged in. 

image of a red exclamation mark by an unverified user's name once that user is logged in

A user may then click on this exclamation mark to take them to their profile page indicating that their email is not currently verified

image of profle page with red bar and exclamation mark saying that email is not verified and with links to 'get verified' and find out why to do this

By following either of the links they can have the verification email resent and find out why verification is important

image of the verification page where users can resend the verification email and find out why this is important

This feature is designed for running very private challenges with only those on your invite list, however it is possible to run more open challenges on Dialogue. For more information, see this article on access to challenges.