How to use the Messages tab in OptimalSort

This article tells you how to:

  • write welcome and thank you messages to your participants
  • write participant instructions for an open card sort
  • write participant instructions for a closed or hybrid card sort
  • add a redirect URL to your study.

We've provided default text for your messages and instructions. If you want to change this text, or add more information, use the text editors.

How to write an effective Welcome message

 

Your welcome message is the first thing your participants will see. This message is meant to prepare participants for what to expect in the study, and to tell them why you're running the study. Keep it short and friendly, and include:

  • a friendly hello and thanks
  • an estimate for how long the study will take to complete (like “10 to 15 mins”)
  • a short explanation of what your participant's response will help you with
  • a hint that they'll find instructions on the next page

You can also include any other information you think is suitable for the study and organization. For example, you might need participants to accept a privacy policy so that you can use their data. Or you might want to give participants some background information about your website to help them complete the study.

We recommend keeping it as brief as possible. This welcome page gives participants their first impression of your study. If they are faced with a complex wall of text, they may assume that your study will be difficult as well, and be less likely to complete it.

What your welcome message looks like to participants:

How to write an effective Thank You message

 

Keep your thank you message short and friendly. As you can see in our default message below, all you need to do is:

  • thank your participants (of course!)
  • tell your participants they can now close the window or navigate to another webpage
  • advise that they can now close the window or navigate to another webpage

If there's any other information you'd like your participants to have, or any other impression you'd like to make, then use this space to do so.

What your Thank You message looks like to participants:

How to write clear instructions

We've included default instructions for you to use in your study. Check that the default instructions make sense for your study. You may want participants to do something slightly different than what we've written. If you want to make changes to the text, keep it simple, and make sure the instructions stay in the correct order.

Instructions for an open card sort

 

Instructions for an open card sort (where participants have to create all their own categories) are split into two steps.

  1. Participants see the first message before they've sorted any cards. The first message tells them what the exercise is about, and how to sort a card.
  1. Participants see the second message after they move one card. The second message explains that the card group can be renamed, and that more than one card can go into each group.

This is what your instructions look like to participants before they move a card:

And after they move their first card:

Instructions for a closed and hybrid card sort

Instructions for a closed and hybrid card sort are presented in a pop up window to participants.

Instructions for a closed card sort look like this:

Instructions for a hybrid card sort look like this:

How to set a redirect URL

In a paid account you can add a redirect URL to your studies. When your participants click the answer to their last task, they'll be taken to your URL instead of the thank you message.

You can also use a redirect URL to integrate with a participant panel. See this article for more information about doing this.

How to hide instructions and welcome messages

Welcome messages and instructions are optional for your OptimalSort study. In the Messages tab, you can select the checkboxes ‘Skip Welcome message’ and/or ‘Skip Instructions message’. However, we suggest you keep these enabled so your participants can learn how to carry out their card sort.

Hiding the instructions and welcome messages comes in handy if you’re chaining multiple studies together. For example, if you chained together an OptimalSort study and a Treejack study, you might show the instructions and welcome messages for OptimalSort, then only show the instructions for Treejack.