Setting up a registration process is an essential step when creating a platform. It enables users to create a personal account and access the features of the platform. When setting up a registration process, it is important to keep the user experience in mind. A user-friendly and intuitive registration process can help to increase user satisfaction and reduce the likelihood of users abandoning the process. The registration form should be simple and easy to complete, with clear instructions and guidance.
Our recommendation is that you keep the registration flow as short as possible. As a platform admin you may have come to realize that not all users are willing to go through a lengthy registration process before they can start using your platform. Thus, before you start setting up the registration form we recommend you ask yourself:
What, if any, demographic data do I want to require of users wanting to get registered?
What, if any, demographic data is important that we have for all users in the platform, and what data will likely be only relevant for certain kinds of participants or projects?
Registration fields vs project/phase-specific demographic fields
Historically, we have only offered one way of capturing user data: the registration flow. As a result, you might have become accustomed to adjusting the demographic questions listed in the registration flow to fit their evolving needs. E.g. If a new consultation granted asking users for their socio-economic status and profession, customers would adjust the registration flow to include those two questions; inadvertently ‘forcing’ other users participating in other active consultations to a much longer registration process, now inclusive of the socio-economic status and profession questions.
This is where the concept of "project/phase-specific demographic fields" comes in! By introducing it, we are essentially lowering the barrier to entry for your platform, making it easier for new users to get started. All Premium account holders will be able to set a short registration flow that only includes the questions/fields that are ‘must-haves’ for platform-wide reporting purposes, while defaulting to the ‘project/phase-specific demographic fields’ feature, which lives under the project Access Rights tab, to ask project-relevant demographic questions. This way, only users participating in that particular phase will get asked those demographic questions, and only if they have not previously answered them.
Responses to these project/phase-specific fields will get stored as user data under each users’ profile. These responses may be used to create Smart Groups in the future.
The importance of locking the registration flow
Before you start, there are some important considerations to take into account when deciding what information you are asking people when users are registering.
There’s two mandatory fields that are part of the registration flow that cannot be disabled: Name and Last Name.
If you anticipate needing to report on platform-wide demographic data, we would recommend you consider setting certain fields like the below to required, especially also if you want to make use of the Representativeness Dashboard:
'Year of birth' registration field
'Gender' registration field
'Place of residence' registration field
Consider the number of questions you want to ask: it's also about striking a balance between the need of having many relevant data points, and your participants' need for a smooth registration flow and their resistance against sharing too much information.
Why is asking the right user information important?
Asking the right user information and aligning on the registration flow is important for three reasons:
User registration data allows you to categorize your users in (normal or smart) groups. You can give those users/groups specific rights to take certain actions or see certain projects
Registration fields are asked platform wide, i.e. to every user that registers on the platform. A field that would be added later in the process (e.g. after x users are already registered) wouldn’t automatically be shown to users that are already registered.
Note: If you use an embedded survey in your project (phase), you could always ask extra (user) info inside that survey. Or if you collect input using the input form’, you can use the fields in that form to ask for extra (user) info
User registration data will allow you to analyse inputs based on demographic features, as well as the ability to use the Representativeness Dashboard. This dashboard allows you to compare your platform registrants to census data in order to see if your platform participants accurately represent your community. To get the best results, match the platform demographic questions with your census questions.
Customizing the registration process
Watch the tutorial to discover how to customize the registration process or follow the steps below:
The below paragraphs guide you through the steps to get your registration process all set-up:
Start from your platform's default registration fields
Add custom registration fields
Add some helper text and change the order of the fields
STEP 1: Start from your platform's default registration fields
Your platform comes with a set of default registration fields that are relevant to ask in many contexts:
Gender: the built-in options are 'Male', 'Female', and 'Unspecified'; If you'd like to customize this, you can turn off this toggle, and create a custom field as explained under title 2.
Year of birth: when using this default field, the answers get automatically binned in age groups in the graph on your dashboard (cf. the bar chart below).
Place of residence: people will be able to pick from the options you've set under "Geographic areas".
Do you want to turn off one of these default fields, as it's not relevant for your context, or you'd like to create a custom field instead? Simply disable it by clicking the toggle.
Do you want to make sure all participants fill in a specific default field during registration? Click 'Edit' and turn the option 'Make answering this field required?' on.
STEP 2: Add custom registration fields
You can now also add any number of your own custom registration fields for your participants to fill in. These are the different formats you can choose from:
Multiple choice (select one): create a list of options, from which participants can only select one - e.g. 'Which household income range applies to you?';
Multiple choice (select multiple): create a list of options, of which participants can select one or more - e.g. 'What topics are you interested in?';
When you selected 'Multiple choice' as the registration field format, you will now be able to add the answer options people can choose from.
Yes-no (checkbox): ask a closed yes-no question, on which participants can answer 'yes' by checking the box - e.g. 'Are you interested to join our citizen panel?';
Short answer: ask an open question on which you expect short answers
Long answer: ask an open question on which you expect longer answers - e.g. 'What do you hope to contribute to this platform?';
Numeric value: ask a question on which one can only answer with a number - e.g. 'How many people live in your household?';
Date: ask a question on which one can only answer with a date - e.g. 'When did you first hear about this platform?'.
You can now
Name your custom registration field
Add a description to it, to help participants understand how they should answer the question
If you want to turn certain questions into a required field, turn on the toggle "Make answering this field required?". When you make it a required field, participants won't be able to complete their registration without answering that question.
STEP 3: Add some helper text and change the order of the fields
This third and final step is all about optimizing the experience for your participants. Start by adding a helper text to explain why you are asking these questions during registration and to create sufficient trust with participants to answer them.
Step 1: email and password: This text will be shown on the top of the first page of the sign-up form (asking for a name, email and password).
Step 2: registration questions: This is shown on the top of the second page of the sign-up form (asking to fill out the additional registration fields).
You can also change the order of all registration fields by dragging and dropping them at any given place in the list. Make sure to bring a logical flow to your questions, and group linked registration fields together (e.g. ask for someone's neighbourhood, after asking for the place of residence).
You're now all set up to offer participants a smooth registration flow while making sure you collect all relevant user data on your platform.
Linking the registration field “Place of residence” to “Geographic areas”
The 'Geographic areas' on your platform serve three purposes:
You can link them to specific projects so that people can easily find projects that are relevant to them.
You can use the place where people live to grant them specific viewing or participation rights (e.g. "only people living in District A can vote on the suggestions to improve the district's playgrounds").
They provide insights on which neighborhoods are (under)represented on the platform, and how different neighborhoods react differently on specific projects or plans.
To get you all set up, this article outlines 4 steps to take:
Define your 'Geographic areas'
Enable 'Place of Residence' as a registration field
Link projects to 'Geographic areas'
Create smart groups based on people's 'Place of Residence'
STEP 1: Define your 'Geographic areas'
In the 'Geographic areas' tab of the 'Settings' section of your platform, you can add, edit and delete the geographic areas that are relevant to your context. Simply give them a name and hit 'Save'.
Optionally, you can add a description. This description is shown nowhere to people, so it only serves internal clarification goals.
You can also define how 'geographic areas' as a concept should be called on your platform. People will see this terminology on the home page, where they can use it to filter on projects. 'Neighborhood(s) and 'district(s)' are two commonly used examples for this terminology.
STEP 2: Enable 'Place of Residence' as a registration field
Go to the 'Registration' tab in that same 'Settings' section, and make sure 'Place of Residence' is enabled.
Doing so will make sure that you ask people where they live during their registration. Do you want to have certainty that you are collecting this information from every single participant? Make sure to set the registration field to 'Required'.
The 'Place of residence' registration field will show people during their registration all the 'Geographic areas' that you've defined in the previous step. They can select the one they live in or indicate they live elsewhere.
'Place of residence' is a built-in registration field you can turn on or off, and make optional or required. If you want to obtain other geographical data of people, such as 'street' or 'street number', you can create additional custom fields. These fields can also be used as a basis to make smart groups, but they won't be part of the area filter on the homepage.
STEP 3: Optionally link projects to 'Geographic areas' or create smart groups
Now that your 'Geographic areas' are set, you can link a project to one or several areas to indicate which areas are impacted by the project. This is done in the 'General' tab of the project. When you don't specify this, 'No specific area' will be selected by default.
Linking your projects to specific areas will help people easily find the projects relevant to them on your home page. There they can filter on area, resulting in a selection of projects that have a link with where they live.
Because you're now asking people where they live during registration, you can use that information to create Smart Groups.
These smart groups can in turn be used to define who can view certain projects, or who can take specific actions on your platform.
Need more help or support? Contact our Support Team via the chat bubble in the admin panel.