Release notes: Citizen Space v4.2

Citizen Space v4.2 was rolled out to customers in the week commencing 20 May 2019. It was the first release brought to you from our new Kaizen (continuous improvement) milestone process. Through this, we hope to be able to bring you more frequent releases made up of smaller feature requests along with other updates to give you regular and visible improvements to Citizen Space.

What’s new?

A small tweak to filtering and grouping responses in analysis

In the analysis tools in Citizen Space, it is possible to cross-tabulate your answers using both the filter and grouping features. You can apply as many filters as you like to a question to narrow the number of responses down, so sometimes you might end up with many different filters applied to one question. Prior to this release, you would have needed to clear each filter one by one in order to remove them all. Now we’ve made it possible for all filters to be cleared in one go.

Don’t worry though, you can still clear the filters one by one if needed.

Accurate closing dates on the hub homepage

The consultation hub would show the closing date on some consultations as, for example, "Closes in 1 month" if a consultation is set to be open for another five weeks. A number of you mentioned it would be good to have this display the exact date, so we've changed this to have the consultation hub display the accurate date for all open and closed consultations. (The open and close dates have always been shown as full, exact dates on the consultations themselves.)

Radio buttons vs. check boxes

Two of the most commonly-used multiple choice answer components in Citizen Space are check boxes and radio buttons. However, these serve different purposes: radio buttons allow a respondent to select one of a series of options, checkboxes allow them to select all the options that apply.

It's important to get the right answer component, not only for the experience of respondents, but also so you can be sure that the answers you get are accurate for the question you have asked.

We want Citizen Space to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible so we’ve made an edit to the answer component drop-down list to add some extra guidance text next to the options for ‘Radio buttons’ and ‘Checkboxes’ to explain the difference between them. We hope this will help to reduce any confusion during the survey build.

Response Publishing: searching by Response and Unique ID

When a submission is received by Citizen Space, the response is given a Response ID. These begin with ‘ANON’ for responses received through the online consultation and with ‘BHLF’ for any responses that are manually added into Citizen Space by administrators. Both of these prefixes are then followed by a set of letters and numbers.

For our customers who use the Response Publishing feature in Citizen Space, you will be aware that in the moderation queue each response is given a new, different ID (a Unique ID) which, for security reasons, is the one published with the response. However, you often need to search in the moderation queue to find responses and it's much easier to use Response IDs to do this. In this release we’ve made it so that wherever you can search by Unique ID in the Response Publishing workflow, you can now also search by Response ID.

More security amends

Along with the updates we made last year to allow for configurable password policies, log in back-off, security email notifications and so on. In this release we have followed further security guidance and increased the default minimum password length from eight characters to 10. We've also decreased the length of time an inactive session remains logged in to 50 hours. Both of these are configurable, so if you want that to be higher or lower, we can change this for you.

Bug fixes

A feature of this and every release is that we'll include at least four or five bug fixes. Some of these are things we notice, some of them you tell us about. We aim to fix bugs as quickly and as often as we can. 

What else?

Alongside these shorter and more regular milestones (six to eight a year): we're also working on taking Citizen Space from the current WCAG 2.0 to WCAG 2.1 compliance; we'll always be making sure security and infrastructure is a focus, and some of our engineering team will be tackling larger updates to bring bigger feature changes or products once or twice a year. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this new Kaizen regular milestone process (and how we’re going to use our own tools to make the process more democratic) our Delivery Director, Louise Cato has written a blog post on it which you can read here.