Design process on polls


Description from nlnet application

Many times groups have asked us for polls, and they currently use external tools for this, but that is problematic as it’s not restricted to group members, and external systems often confuse less technologically comfortable people. Some groups have already appropriated other features within Karrot to try achieve this functionality.

We will add general purpose polls that groups can use for formal or informal purposes within their groups. It should be configurable how they work to support the groups real use cases.

Best practise in polls can be understood by looking at WhatsApp, Telegram, loomio, discourse, etc. to come up with an approach that will feel familiar and easy to use.

It will be extensible to incorporate new types of polls over time, with a potential for being used to facilitate consent-based processes, which some groups use in their internal organisation.

from the Siegen hackweekend session


  • democracy/ transparency / accountability
  • support groups that use external poll tools
  • reduce number of tools that a group needs to use
  • time polls
  • opinion overview
  • survey
  • easy way to get opinions from a group
  • increase participation
  • involve group members in governance
  • attendance
  • weave it together with other features, agreements, roles, etc.

from the Siegen hackweekend session

Difficult questions - what could go wrong

How might we…

  • combine polls and sanctions?
  • make the context clear?
  • know whether it is an informal or formal poll?
  • allow anonymous participation?
  • prevent people from feeling exposed?
  • preserve face to face interaction?
  • preserve culture of discussion?
  • lead users to use activies when it’s appropriate?
  • relate the features? E.g. scheduling
  • enable community wide polls or subgroup (place, roles) polls?
  • ensure that the time frame is clear?
  • ensure people are aware of polls?
  • make sure that the consequences are understand (if there are any)?

Existing polls

  • jitsi
  • bigbluebutton
  • whatsapp
  • telegram
  • discourse
  • loomio (vasilis)
  • ms teams


  • how you start a poll?
  • multiple choices? one choice?
  • how do you configure the poll?

from the Siegen hackweekend session



  • within a card, e.g. activity, agreement, chat message (context)
  • poll title, description
  • poll type → time/date, options, ranking
  • maximum number of options you can select
  • can other people add options?
  • does the creator want to stay anonymous?
  • voter anonymoity?
    • anoymouse
    • not anonymous
    • let voter choose
  • results
    • public results
    • or only creator/group to see results
    • show results in realtime, or only after submission


  • checked in loomio to see different options, very advanced
  • imagined scenario somebod has to make a poll, with a person that is editor
  • use main wall, have the option to make it for
    • all group members
    • members of a specific place
    • specific roles (e.g. only editors, approved, newcomers)
    • (but are the editors going to make polls for newcomers only? and newcomers can’t make a poll? if newcomers can make a poll to make an insurrection?)
  • can make it a “formal” poll
  • a chat connected to the poll
  • a list of options
  • a time frame
  • the creator of the proposal can edit the proposal, depending on the chat, which would reinitiate the voting process, e.g. for a week
  • a tickbox for the creator, can say that the outcome will become an agreement for 6 months (for example), and be locked for that time period
  • if the poll is specific to editors, for example, they’d receive a notification to say it
  • option to have anonymous participation or not, but not tangible scenario in head
  • what happens if somebody wants to close a poll, as they go “oh shit I didn’t want to make that”, do they just take it down or what?


  • copied whatsapp with one extra box
  • message + button create a poll (instead of adding an attachment)
  • can select an emoji for each option
  • checkboc with multiple or single option
  • can add a context box to the poll to explain what it is
  • menu option to get the list of all the polls on the wall
  • can view the votes by clicking on it
  • no other options, very bounded


  • first option, do you want a quick poll or elaborated poll
  • looked at telegram and whatsapp
  • whatsapp, if you type something you already have as an option it tells you, was helpful!
  • it always shows an empty box at the end for another option, on telegram you have to actively press “new option”
  • in telegram is has a visual aspect, tells you the percentage, and a line to show you, you can also click on it to show results


  • visual aspect to make it clear
  • add poll, next to attachment button, or just underneath it
  • about time limit, if it’s just checking boxes, vs submitting it, understanding when you can change your answer, and if there is a time limit that’s the end, and you can’t change your mind
  • if the editor can close the poll, after he has done so, order the results according to popularity (most chosen option on top, etc)


  • start with context, e.g. a chat
  • quite a simple view at first, need simplicity
  • was checking discourse where you can configure the paramters
  • mentioned lots, time limits, anonymous, type of poll
  • limiting voting to groups, but to certain roles here, could be useful depending on the roles
  • very extra features, connecting to agreements, activities, sanactions - results of poll could show up there
  • you might start it in a chat, or an agreement, and it might lead to an agreement, so then the poll results can be registered there
  • nice when a poll leads to a certain action, instead of going down that rabbit hole, connecting to contexts, so just visualizing for now


  • spend most of the time thinking about the context
  • looked at karrot, thinking about polls at places
  • another tab on the places view for “polls”
  • who can create polls?
  • if it’s tied to a place, there could be a menu item that fetches the polls from all the places
  • initially thought to only make it in the main menu, but prefer it within the places
  • but thinking about having it in the chat, wall, wow! :open_mouth:
  • have been following foodsharing logic (or having polls section)
  • looked into other features, like the view thinking about how it would appear, having an overview of the polls (running + decided, can filter them), then a side view with chat and the vote, so you can ask for clarification, etc… feels more advanced polls, not just a quick check

Quick reactions? MVP? What should be included?

What must be included?


  • need to put at least: title, description, whether new options can be added or not, voter anonymity


  • on the main wall, everyone can make a poll, description, options, can see results, chat box on side, like the membership review, but call it poll
  • simple voting instead of score voting


  • messenger poll
  • convertional aspect of it
  • title, free-form options
  • almost no features, make it a bit shit


  • everything has been said
  • maybe during cooking event, there is a board, could make a mockup, at breakfast could do it when half awake
  • take it eeeeeassy now :slight_smile: :beers:


  • agree with everyone, minimal viable version
  • one bonus option: the idea to find the polls, have a poll view, polls get drowned when there are new messages, finding polls quickly and effeciencenceoniceoitntly (haha!)


  • basic options
  • find the right context to put them
  • extra item on the menu?
  • need to find it easily, and not maybe too much to limit voting to roles (bonus feature!)


  • would like to think more about the context properly
  • feeling too rushed
  • minimal product would be to link it to the wall, but not in the chat message, first post could be a vote, then with comments in a thread.

I’m going to start working on a mockup. This is what I include, and the things marked with an * are a must have, whereas others would be a nice to have:

  • button to start a poll on the walls (main wall, place walls)*
    • should we have it on threads/conversations too?
  • polls will include
    • question*
    • options*
    • time frame
    • single choice or multiple choice
    • limit voting to role
  • notifications about polls*
    • a poll has been started
    • x day(s) or hour(s) left to vote
  • creating a poll creates a thread for a conversation as well
  • menu item to find all polls*
    • should it be pools and agreements? Should we create a new menu item encompassing all governance related stuff (issues, polls, agreements), maybe naming it Decisions?