Action Network Help & FAQs

Adding and editing questions

You can add a new question to your group by clicking the "Add New Question" button from your group's question page, if you have the permissions to do so.

In the window that appears, first choose a question type. Then, enter data about that question. Each question type takes slightly different data, explained below.

Text Field

A text field question is displayed to activists as a single line text input field. It's good for things like phone numbers.

Once you choose the text field type, you'll be asked to enter an administrative title and a name for it. The administrative title will be used internally to identify the question. The name field is what custom field the data entered by the activist will be stored in -- the column name, in other words.

You can also optionally enter a label and/or a placeholder for the text field. The label appears to the activist outside of the input field and the placeholder appears inside of it. Placeholders are great for short, descriptive instructions, such as "Phone Number" for a phone number field. Labels are good if you need to give a bit more information. 

Note: You'll want to add at least a label or a placeholder, otherwise your text field will appear as a blank input box without any explanation for what an activist should fill in.

 

Text Area

Text area questions are displayed to activists as a multi-line text input field. They're good for things like stories or other longer inputs.

Once you choose the text area type, you'll be asked to enter an administrative title and a name for it. The administrative title will be used internally to identify the question. The name field is what custom field the data entered by the activist will be stored in -- the column name, in other words.

You can also optionally enter a label and/or a placeholder for the text field. You'll likely want to add at least one of these. The label appears to the activist outside of the input field and the placeholder appears inside of it. Placeholders are great for short, descriptive instructions, such as "Phone Number" for a phone number field. Labels are good if you need to give a bit more information. 

Note: You'll want to add at least a label or a placeholder, otherwise your text field will appear as a blank input box without any explanation for what an activist should fill in.

 

 

Checkbox Group

A checkbox group question is displayed to activists as a list of one or more checkboxes. An activist can choose one or more options by checking the appropriate boxes. Checkbox groups can optionally can have a label above the list of checkboxes explaining the group's purpose. Checkbox groups are good for collecting attribute information, such as a checkbox saying "I am a parent" or "I'm interested in volunteering."

Once you choose the checkbox group type, you'll be asked for an administrative title. You can optionally give your checkbox group a label that will appear above the list of checkboxes.

Then, you can add as many options as you'd like, each representing a checkbox activists can check when submitting your form. Each option needs a label which will appear next to the individual checkbox as well as a name which is the custom field where the data will be stored.

Optionally, you can choose to make this question add tags to an activist's record instead of typing a name, in which case when the activist checks the box, that tag will be added to their record.

If you use a custom field name, when an activist checks a box, a value of "1" will be stored in each custom field corresponding to the boxes checked. Each name should be unique and different, so when an activist checks more than one, each "1" will be stored in a different custom field column and you'll be able to see exactly which and how many checkboxes they checked.

Click the "Add Another Checkbox" button to add another option. To delete an option, just leave both the label and name blank when you save.

Optionally, you can add options as text instead of filling out each option form, just click the "Or, create options via text" link below the "Add Another Checkbox" button. Creating options like this is similar to how options are created in the ad-hoc form builder, with each line representing an option. Read the question mark help text for more details.

 

 

Radio Button Group

A radio button group question is displayed to activists as a list of one or more radio buttons. An activist can choose one and only one option. Optionally can have a label above the list of buttons explaining the group's purpose. Radio button groups are good for collecting multiple choice answers, such as age or affiliation.

After you choose the radio button group type, you'll be asked for an administrative title and a name, the custom field where your data will be stored. Optionally, you can choose to make this question add tags to an activist's record instead of typing a name. You can also optionally enter a global label that appears on top of the radio button group.

Then, you can add as many options as you'd like, each representing a radio button activists can click to make their choice. Each option needs a label which will appear next to the choice. If you're storing custom fields, you'll enter a value as well, which is the data stored in the custom field name you set above. If you're storing tags, you'll choose a tag from the dropdown list, and when the activist chooses this option, that tag will be added to their record.

Click the "Add Another Radio Button" button to add another option. To delete an option, just leave both the label and name blank when you save.

Optionally, you can add options as text instead of filling out each option form, just click the "Or, create options via text" link below the "Add Another Radio Button" button. Creating options like this is similar to how options are created in the ad-hoc form builder, with each line representing an option. Read the question mark help text for more details.

 

 

Dropdown Menu

A dropdown menu question is displayed to activists as a drop down list of one or more choices. An activist can choose one and only one option. Dropdown menus are good for collecting multiple choice answers, such as age or affiliation.

After you choose the dropdown menu type, you'll be asked for an administrative title and a name, the custom field where your data will be stored.Optionally, you can choose to make this question add tags to an activist's record instead of typing a name. You can also optionally enter a global label that appears on top of the dropdown menu.

Then, you can add as many options as you'd like, each representing an option in the menu for activists to choose. Each option needs a label which will appear next to the choice. If you're storing custom fields, you can optionally enter a value as well, which is the data stored in the custom field name you set above. If you're storing tags, you can optionally choose a tag from the dropdown list, and when the activist chooses this option, that tag will be added to their record. 

Click the "Add Another Menu Option" button to add another option. To delete an option, just leave both the label and name blank when you save.

Optionally, you can add options as text instead of filling out each option form, just click the "Or, create options via text" link below the "Add Another Menu Option" button. Creating options like this is similar to how options are created in the ad-hoc form builder, with each line representing an option. Read the question mark help text for more details.

Note: You'll usually want to assign a value or tag to each option label. Option labels without values or tags will not store any data in your database when an activist chooses that option. However, option labels without values or tags are useful to provide dummy options. For example, you might use an option label without a value or tag as the first option in your menu, with label text such as "Choose an option." This way, activists must actively pick an option for their choice to be stored. Blank value or tag options will also trigger validation rules, so if you've made this dropdown menu required when you added it to your form, if an activist chooses a blank value or tag option they will not be able to submit the form until they choose an option with a value.

 

Note: Field names must be 255 characters or less.

Once you're done, click "Create Question" to create your question for your group. 

Later, you can edit each question you've created by clicking the "Edit" button next to the question listing. Editing questions works just like creating them, except you cannot change the question type once it's been created. 

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