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SSM: Create, manage, view, and submit ideas & votes

In this article

What are Ideas?

What you typically call feedback, we call Ideas. Ideas are a part of the Systems Status Management tool to help you gather and manage feedback in a simple, straightforward manner. Ideas can be:

  • Submitted from a System Help Widget
  • Submitted from the System Status Dashboard
  • Added manually by librarians & staff (Admin > System Status Management > Ideas)

Unlike the other types of feedback patrons can provide via your product widgets (i.e. questions, problems, and praise), ideas are not tickets that you manage in your queues. Rather, these are managed separately within the Systems Status Management (SSM) tool.

All SSM Admins and Editors have the ability to review, publish, edit, and delete ideas.


Submit and create ideas

The Systems Status Management tool not only helps you share status updates with patrons about your systems and services, but it also helps you gather feedback, as well. One way patrons can do this is by submitting and voting on product ideas, such as new features, changes to existing features or services, etc. Similar to FAQ comments, new ideas are not published immediately. Rather, staff must first review and publish an idea before it appears and can be voted on from the public dashboard.

Staff users can also add ideas, too. This can be helpful if you want to get patron feedback about an idea before implementing it.

Ideas can be submitted in a few places:

  • Via the public Systems Status dashboard
  • Via a product's widget
  • Via the Systems Status Management admin page (admins only)

Via the public status dashboard

Patrons can submit and vote on ideas from an individual product's page in your public status dashboard. You can link to your public systems status dashboard by adding /systems/ to your LibAnswers URL (e.g. https://springylib.libanswers.com/systems/). (If you are an Admin user, you can also click on the View Public Dashboard button on the Admin > Systems Status Management page.)

  1. Click on a product at the top of the dashboard to view its page.
  2. On the product's page, click on the Ideas tab.
  3. Click on the Submit an Idea button.
  4. In the Submit an Idea window, enter the main point of your idea in the Title field.
  5. In the Idea text area, you can explain your idea in more detail.
  6. Enter your email address in the Email field. (This does not display to the public.)
  7. Click the Submit button.

Submitting an idea from the public dashboard

Via a product widget

Another way that patrons can submit ideas is via a product widget. That way, patrons can submit ideas right within a product, rather than navigating to the system status dashboard.

  1. In the widget's form, select the An Idea option.
  2. In the Subject field, enter the main point of your idea. This will become the idea's title.
    • Relevant FAQs from your LibAnswers system will appear automatically as the patron types.
    • This may help patrons discover that their idea is already possible!
  3. In the Details field, you can explain your idea in more detail.
  4. Enter your email address in the Email field. (This does not display to the public.)
  5. Click the Submit button.

Options for submitting an idea in a product widget

Via the systems status admin page

Systems Status Management tool Admins and Editors can also add ideas for a product. For example, if you are considering adding new features to a database or your catalog, you could add an idea to that product. That would allow patrons to vote on whether or not they'd like to see it, giving you valuable user feedback.

  1. Go to Admin > Systems Status Management.
  2. Click on the Ideas tab.
  3. Click on the Add an Idea button.
  4. In the Edit Idea window, enter the main point of your idea in the Title field.
  5. From the Product dropdown, select the product this idea is about.
  6. In the Idea text area, you can explain your idea in more detail.
  7. Enter your email address in the Email field. (This does not display to the public.)
    • If you want to create a ticket from this idea (Step 9, below), enter the email address that should be listed as the asker of the ticket.
  8. From the Status dropdown, choose whether or not you want to publish the status upon saving.
    • Unpublished: your idea will be saved, but will not be visible on the public system status dashboard.
    • Published: your idea will appear on the public system status dashboard and patrons will be able to vote on it.
    • Completed: your idea will be saved and will appear on the public system status dashboard with a blue "Completed" label. (This status is intended for ideas that have already been implemented.)
  9. Optionally, you can choose to create a ticket about this by selecting the Create a Ticket from this Idea checkbox. This can be helpful if you want to follow up with the patron about this idea (just make sure the patron's email address is entered in the Email field -- Step 7 above).
    1. From the Queue dropdown, select the queue where this ticket should be added.
    2. If you would like to assign this ticket to a specific user in that queue, select them from the Optionally assign to a specific user dropdown.
    3. Optionally, you can use the Add Internal Note to Ticket text area to add notes to this ticket.
  10. Click the Save button.
    • If you created a ticket from this idea, the new ticket will be tagged with the product's tag, so you can more easily look it up later.
    • The ticket will also contain an internal note indicating that it was created from a product idea, and list the idea's ID number.

Options for adding an idea from the Systems Status admin page

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View & vote on product ideas

Once published, patrons can view and vote on ideas via the product's dashboard page. You can link to your public systems status dashboard by adding /systems/ to your LibAnswers URL (e.g. https://springylib.libanswers.com/systems/). (If you are an Admin user, you can also click on the View Public Dashboard button on the Admin > Systems Status Management page.)

  1. From the public dashboard (or dashboard widget), click on a product name to vote on it.
    1. Or, if products are organized in folders, first click on a folder to view the products inside it. Then, click on a product name.

List of products on the public dashboard page

  1. Click on the Ideas tab.
    1. Each idea will show you the current vote tallies.
    2. If an idea displays a Completed badge, that means the idea's status has been changed from "Published" to "Completed". This can help indicate to patrons when an idea has been implemented.
    3. Click on the View Comments button to view comments submitted by other patrons about this idea.
  2. To vote on an idea, click on its Add your vote button.

Options under a product's Ideas tab

  1. In the Vote On window, choose your voting option: Vote Up if you like it, or Vote Down if you don't.
  2. Optionally, you can provide a comment to provide feedback or add context to your vote. This will display anonymously to the public.
  3. Enter your email address. This is not displayed publicly.
  4. Click the Submit button.

Options in the Vote On window 

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Manage pending ideas & votes

While most of the management of SSMT is handled under the Status Mgmt module from the command bar (and from Admin > System Status Management), you can quickly manage and approve ideas, and votes on published ideas, from the Pending Ideas/Votes tab of the dashboard. From here you can:

  1. Click the Edit Idea () icon in the Actions column to make changes (visibility, publishing status, text of the idea, etc.) to the idea.
  2. Click the Delete Idea () icon in the Actions column to remove the idea.
  3. Click the View Pending Votes () icon in the Pending Votes column

screenshot of Pending Ideas and votes tab on the dashboard

Editing an Idea

Once an Idea has been submitted, you need to change its status to Published before it becomes visible. While doing this you may also want to edit the Idea to clean up any typos or formatting issues.

To edit an idea and change its visibility:

  1. On the Edit Idea modal, you can make changes to the Title, Product, the Idea itself, and the Email of the submitter.
  2. Set the Status for the Idea as Unpublished, Published, or Completed.
    • Unpublished Ideas are not visible to your users.
    • Ideas with a Completed status will have a Completed tag attached to them.
  3. If the Idea needs immediate action you can also choose to create a ticket from the Idea.
  4. Click Save.

edit an idea

Approving and editing pending votes and comments

On the Ideas Comments modal:

  1. Click the Approve vote () icon to approve the comment.
  2. If you need to edit the comment (or any existing comments), click the Edit Vote () icon.
  3. If you need to remove a comment, click the Delete Vote () icon.
  4. You can also manually add a comment by clicking the  Add a Comment button.
  5. When you're done, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to close the window.

edit an ideas pending votes

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Manage all ideas & votes

To view and manage all ideas and votes, SSM Admins and Editors can go to the Systems Status Management admin page.

  1. Go to Admin > Systems Status Management.
  2. Click on the Ideas tab.
    1. Use the Product filter to view ideas for a specific product.
    2. Use the Search field to narrow the list by ID number, Title keyword, Product keyword, Visibility status, or Created on date.
    3. Click on any column heading to sort by that column in ascending order. Click on it again to sort in descending order.
    4. If there are multiple pages of ideas, use the pagination buttons to browse between them.
    5. To view and manage an idea's votes, click on its eye () icon in the Votes column. From here, you can:
      • Approve, edit, and delete an idea's votes
      • Add your own comments
    6. To edit an idea, click on its edit () icon in the Actions column. From here, you can:
      • Edit the idea's Title, Product, Idea text, and Email address.
      • Change the publication Status of the idea.
      • Create a Ticket from this idea.
    7. To delete an idea, click on its trash can () icon in the Actions column.
      • This will permanently delete the idea and its votes.
      • This cannot be undone, so please be careful.

Options under the Ideas tab 

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