Change the reply-to address for automatic email notifications

In the past, all replies to our automatic email notifications (for instance, the email notification you receive when someone has commented on your idea) would be sent to us here at CitizenLab. This was because in general, the automatic emails weren't meant to be replied to by the recipient. 

However, it turns out people are indeed responding to the automatic emails and in some cases with specific feedback and ideas. So, we've made it possible for you to designate a 'reply-to' email address for automatic emails sent from your platform. This means, every time someone responds to an automatic email, it will go to this email address. Please get in touch with your GovSuccess manager to add your organisation's reply-to email address to your account! 

Customise your banner copy and sign-in forms

The banner at the top of your homepage is one of the first things visitors see when they visit your participation platform.

Did you know you can display different text on your banner depending on whether the visitor is just browsing your website, or if they're signed in as a registered participant?

We've added the ability to change the text fields on a couple of places on your platform:

  1. The text on your banner for signed-in platform participants
  2. The header displayed above the projects on your homepage
  3. "Helper text" that is shown on the sign-up form - you can use this to help people understand what they're signing up for, and why you're asking certain questions during registration. 

Want to give it a try? You can find the new text fields in your administrator's panel:

1. Settings > Homepage and style (to change the text on your homepage banner)

2. Settings > Registration (to add "helper text" to your sign-up form)

Add your own spatial layers to your project maps

Showing neighbourhood boundaries, schools, bus stops or other information on a map can be a great way to engage people in providing place-based input.

If you're on our standard and premium plans, you can now add their own map layers to projects that use "input collection" as a participation method.

Just open your project, navigate to the "Map" tab, and upload your GeoJSON files directly. You can give the layers a colour and name, and set the map center and view.

As always, participants can click directly on the map to add their idea or input at a given location.

Ready to give it a try? More detailed information and guidance can also be found in our support center.


Assign admin rights for specific folders

We've added a new level of access rights to the platform.

Previously we supported two types of administrators:

- Platform administrators, who have access to all folders, projects and data on the platform

- Project managers, who have access to specific projects

We heard your request, and have added a third administrator type. You can now also assign administrator rights at the folder level. What does this mean? People who are folder admin can edit the folder description, create new projects within the folder, and have project management rights over all projects within the folder. They cannot delete projects and they do not have access to projects that are not within their folder. You can visit our Help Center to find more information on project management rights.

Folder administrators can be added to a folder in the Permissions tab of the Folder page. 

Happy foldering!

Polling in our online workshops

We've added polling to our online workshops. The polls enable you to set up short multiple choice questions within the workshop and get immediate feedback from your participants.

How does it work? 

Create a new "room-step" and select "Poll" as the participation method. You can add one or more polls in each room-step, and you can give participants the option to vote on one or multiple answers. All responses are anonymous, and the final vote counts are available in the Excel download from the workshops interface.

Workshop admin can choose when to start the poll - you will then see how many workshop participants still need to vote, and finally, be able to end the poll when all inputs are in. Once the poll is ended, the results will be displayed to all participants. It is also possible to reset poll results (e.g., if you want to test the poll in advance).


More terms available to collect input and feedback

We heard you - sometimes you don't want to collect ideas from your platform participants, but other types of input. Perhaps you want to be able to display your own options or scenarios for commenting, or pose a question about a policy under consideration and generate comments and discussion around it.

We've now added the option to select from six terms that you can use on your platform to collect free-form inputs. In addition to ideas, you can also choose Option, Project, Question, Issue and Contribution. So, you don't have to invite people to "Post an idea," you can also ask them to "Submit a question" or "Add an issue."

If you're on a standard or premium plan, you'll now see the option to specify "What should an input be called?" when you're setting up your project. You can also change this for existing projects in your admin panel.


Updated design for project folders, projects and ideas.

We've made some changes to the layout and design of our project folders, folders and idea pages.

Project folders now display the projects on the right hand side of the screen, rather than under the folder description - this is meant to increase the visibility of the rich engagement opportunities within your folders.

Project pages now have combined all three tabs: participation method, about, and events into a single page. Consolidating all of the information into a single view will help to make sure that all of your content gains visibility without too many additional clicks.

Our idea cards and idea pages have also been given a rethink. Idea cards are now more compact, allowing us to display more ideas in a single view (desktop and mobile), so participants can see the rich content and posts within the project. They also now display the status and the first characters of the description, providing more context and information at a glance. 


Create custom statuses to update project participants

You can now add, delete and edit the statuses that are assigned to an idea or other post. Statuses are an important way to signal where in the process an idea is. You can assign a status to a post in the Input Manager - this status is displayed to the public when they're viewing the post. 

To get you started, we've set up some default statuses that you can use: proposed, viewed, under consideration, approved, not selected, and implemented.

With our latest release, you can add your own statuses to this list, and edit or remove the ones you don't want to use. If you're a standard or premium customer, you'll see a new tab called "Statuses" in your Input Manager in the admin panel.


Customise your project page web links

Have you ever changed the name of one of your participation projects, and wanted to update the web link? Or perhaps, you want a shorter web link that's easier for participants to remember. 

We've now made it possible to customise the project web link to meet your communication needs. While the first part of the URL is fixed (e.g., participationplatform.citizenlab.co/projects/), you can specify what the end of the web link is (e.g., change from participationplatform.citizenlab.co/projects/project-name to participationplatform.citizenlab.co/projects/revised-project-name).

This can be set up per project in the admin interface.

Workshops update

We've added some new functionality to our online workshops:

  • New flow and design for the Q&A step (if you have multiple questions in one step, only one question is displayed at a time; the facilitator can move participants through questions)
  • Added the ability to end a workshop for all participants - workshop participants are then redirected to return back to your platform
  • Added the ability for facilitators to switch to full-screen mode for all participants. This is especially useful when you are sharing your screen and want to make sure participants can clearly see what you are presenting
  • Allow workshops to be accessed on two new browsers in addition to Google Chrome: Microsoft Edge and Firefox 80+

New Q&A Flow



Switch to full-screen mode for all participants


End workshop for all participants

Happy workshopping!

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