Triggering Questions and Triggered Sessions

The LifeData system allows you to deliver notification initiated sessions (NIS) based on a participant’s response to a question.  In other words, a mobile user’s response can serve as a trigger that activates the delivery of notifications and content that you specify.  For example, you might create an experience sampling question asking how strongly smokers are experiencing cravings. Whenever they report “strong” or “very strong” cravings, then you could deliver an NIS after a specific period of time following the triggering response (e.g., 60 minutes), asking them how they managed the craving and whether they smoked.   

Setting up a Triggering Question 

Triggering questions.  Triggering questions allow you to define what response(s) will activate a Triggered Session. There are three question types that can trigger a session: 

  • Range Slider 
  • Multiple Choice 
  • Rating Scale 

Once you have chosen the question type you want to use, and input the question text and response options, you will see a field called “Add Trigger(s)” at the bottom of the prompt creation modal.  Select “Yes” and it will open additional fields that allow you to define what response(s) will trigger a session. 

The If Response is” field establishes the response(s) that will activate a Triggered Session. Define the triggering condition(s) using one or more of the following logic commands: 

  • Equal to (=) 
  • Less than (<) 
  • Less than or equal to (≤) 
  • Greater than (>) 
  • Greater than or equal to (≥) 
  • From (allows you to specify a range) 

Once you have chosen your logic command, you must input the “Response Option Value” which you’d like to use for that triggering condition. 

For example, you might want to have a multiple choice question with two response options Yes (1) and No (2), and to trigger a session if a participant answers Yes.  In this case, in the “If Response is field, you would select “equal to (=)” and enter 1 (the response option value for Yes).  If you had a 1 to 10 range slider, and wanted to trigger a session if the User’s response is greater than 5, you would select “Greater than (>)” and enter the value “5”. 

If needed, you can use more than one condition to activate a Triggered Session. To accomplish this, click “+Add Conditions” and define additional conditions.  

The “Trigger Session for” field defines who will receive the Triggered Session.  This field is only relevant and active if you have enabled “Yoking” in the Create/Edit LifePak modal.  Once this is done, you can deliver Triggered Session to the user who gives a response (“Same user”) or to a user who is yoked to the responding user (“Yoked user”). To learn more about that, check out the Yoking feature description. 

The “Specify Session” field allows you to identify which session will be activated when a triggering response is given.  If you name a new Triggered Session, the name of the session will be added to the NIS list. Later, you can access and edit this new session in the NIS “Session Definition” section. If you have already created your triggering NIS, you can select it from the list of existing sessions.  

The “Select Session” field appears if you choose to trigger a session that you have already created.  Choose a triggered NIS from the list of existing sessions so that it will be linked to your triggering question. 

The “Session Name” field is where you enter a new session name If you create a new session name, remember that the session name is what shows up in the notification to the mobile user. So you will want to think about what session name best fits. Names like “Trigger Session” are less clear for users, relative to others like “Craving Checkup” or “Mood Assessment”. 

+Add Trigger allows you to create another Triggered Session using the same Triggering Question.  This allows for more advanced trigger scheduling. For example, you might deliver a Triggered Session to the Same user for one response.  However, if a different response is given, you might want to deliver a triggered session to a Yoked user. Another way to use this feature is to ask participants about their sleep/wake pattern, or their work schedule and set up NIS schedules that work best for their schedule. For example, if you wanted to create different experience sampling schedules depending on whether a person works the day shift, afternoon shift, or night shift, then you could add a multiple choice question with response options (and response option values) like this to your startup session: 

What shift do you work? 

○ Day Shift (1) 

○ Afternoon Shift (2) 

○ Evening Shift (3) 

 

You would then set up a trigger “If Response is equal to 1” and link it to a “Day Shift” NIS that delivers notifications to the “Same user” during that shift. A second trigger would be created for the afternoon shift “If response equal to 2” and linked to an “Afternoon Shift” NIS.  A third trigger would be established for the evening shift “If response equal to 3” and linked to an “Evening Shift” NIS schedule. 

 

Setting up a Triggered Session 

Triggered Sessions are a special kind of notification initiated session (NIS) which is activated by a response to a Triggering Question. Triggered Sessions allow you to customize the interactions you have with your participants, based on their response to questions. This tutorial focuses on setting up a Triggered Session.  Additional information is available on Setting up Triggering Questions. 

Triggered Sessions created while setting up a Triggering Question. Triggered Sessions can be named in the process of setting up a Triggering Question. Once a new Triggered Session has been named, it will then show up in the NIS list.  Click on the edit icon (see below) to access the NIS edit modal and define your trigger session. 

  

Creating a Triggered Sessions before Triggering Questions. If you want to create your Triggered Session before your Triggering Question, go to the NIS “Session Definition” and select “+” as shown below. This will open the NIS creation modal where you can define your trigger session. 

 

NIS Name is where you will input the name of your Triggered Session. Remember that the NIS name is what shows up in the notification to the mobile user. So you will want to think about what session name best fits. A name like “Trigger Session” is less clear for mobile users, relative to others like “Craving Checkup” or “Mood Assessment”. 

NIS Type allows you to choose between a regular and triggered NIS. Select “Trigger” to define a Triggered Session that will only be delivered if a mobile user’s response to a Triggering Question meets the conditions you have established, or will establish, when creating a Triggering Question. 

Trigger Condition(s) are shown if you have already created a Triggering Question that is linked to this session.  When this is the case, you will see the Triggering Conditions listed here. If you have not yet established a Triggering Question and linked it to this session, then this field will not appear during the initial creation of the session.  Then, when going back to edit the session, you will see “Undefined-Specify Condition(s) in Triggering Prompt” until you establish a Triggering Question. Before publishing your LifePak, make sure that you have linked each Triggered Session to at least one Triggering Question. 

Trigger Type options make it possible to create different kinds of triggered schedules. “Timed to Trigger schedules allow you to deliver one or more notification that is scheduled in relation to the triggering response. For example, you could schedule a notification to fire one hour after a triggering response, or you could schedule three notifications to be delivered randomly within 8 hours of a triggering response. Schedules that are “Activated by Trigger are similar to regular schedules in that they deliver notifications at fixed or random times of the day and on the days you select. Once a triggering response is given, the schedule you establish will be activated and notifications will be delivered for as long as you specify. 

The type of trigger schedule you select will determine what additional information is needed. Below, the first section describes how to set up a “Timed to Trigger” scheduled and the second describes schedules that are “Activated by Trigger”.  Information on features available for all notification schedules (e.g., user response windows, reminders, etc.) is available in other areas of the Help Center. 

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NIS Timed to Trigger Setup 

Fixed or randomized notifications determines how you schedule your notifications in relation to the triggering response.  

Fixed Notifications for a Triggered Session are scheduled after a certain amount of time has elapsed following the triggering response (e.g., after 30 minutes, after 2 days, etc.). Single or multiple fixed notifications can be scheduled to follow a triggering response. Fields related to fixed notifications are described below. 

User Response Window is the amount of time (hours: minutes) that a user has to respond to a notification once it has been delivered. If it is left blank, users can respond to available notifications up until the next notification for that NIS is delivered. TIP: consider leaving this field blank so that you don’t miss valuable data. NIS data reports include the delay between when each notification was delivered and when the user responded to the notification. This allows you to decide later whether you will include data that has a long response delay.  

Time Lapse from Trigger to Notification indicates the amount of time (in days: hours: minutes) after a triggering response that a notification will be sent. 

Enable Reminder(s) provides the option of delivering reminders following the notification. If you create more than one fixed notification, you will see that reminders can be customized for each notification. 

Maximum Delay for Notifications indicates the amount of time (in days: hours: minutes) that a triggered notification can be delivered after it was scheduled to be delivered. While triggered notifications are usually delivered according to schedule, they can be delayed. If a User answers a triggering prompt but does not complete the rest of the session questions until later, notifications will be delayed. Delivery of notifications to Yoked Users can be delayed due to lack of internet connection or if mobile users do not keep the app running in the background. To prevent the delivery of untimely notifications, enter a Maximum Delay. If the maximum delay is reached, then a notification will not be sent for that instance of a triggering response.  Leave this field blank and the notification will be sent regardless of the delay. 

Reset Schedule with Each Triggering Response makes it possible to deliver fixed notifications each time a triggering response is given. If you select “Yes”, every time a participant’s response meets the triggering condition the trigger schedule is reset or reactivated. Selecting “No” means that after an initial triggering response is given and a session is triggered, subsequent triggering responses will not trigger additional sessions. 

Randomized Notifications allows you to schedule one or more notifications that will be delivered randomly during a time window that you define in relationship to the triggering event. For example, you could schedule 3 notifications to be delivered at random times within 8 hours of the triggering event. Fields related to randomized notifications are described below. 

User Response Window is the amount of time (hours: minutes) that a user has to respond to a notification once it has been delivered. If it is left blank, users can respond to available notifications up until the next notification for that NIS is delivered. TIP: consider leaving this field blank so that you don’t miss valuable data. NIS data reports include the delay between when each notification was delivered and when the user responded to the notification. This allows you to decide later whether you will include data that has a long response delay.  

Delay from Trigger to Time Sampling Window is the amount of time (in days: hours: minutes) that will elapse before the time sampling window for random notifications begins. 

Time Sampling Duration is the length of time (in days: hours: minutes) within which random notifications will be delivered.  For example, a Time Sampling Duration of 00:03:00 means that once the “Delay from Trigger to Time Sampling Window” (above) has elapsed, the number of notifications you have specified will be randomly delivered over the next three hours. 

Enable Reminder(s) provides the option of delivering reminders following the notification. If you create more than one fixed notification, you will see that reminders can be customized for each notification. 

Maximum Delay for Notifications indicates the amount of time (in days: hours: minutes) that a triggered notification can be delivered after it was scheduled to be delivered. While triggered notifications are usually delivered according to schedule, they can be delayed. If a User answers a triggering prompt but does not complete the rest of the session questions until later, notifications will be delayed. Delivery of notifications to Yoked Users can be delayed due to lack of internet connection or if mobile users do not keep the app running in the background. To prevent the delivery of untimely notifications, enter a Maximum Delay. If the maximum delay is reached, then a notification will not be sent for that instance of a triggering response.  Leave this field blank and the notification will be sent regardless of the length of delay. 

Reset Schedule with Each Triggering Response makes it possible to reset the notification schedule each time a triggering response is given. If you select “Yes”, every time a participant’s response meets the triggering condition the trigger schedule is reset or reactivated. Selecting “No” means that once a schedule has been set by an initial triggering response, subsequent triggering responses will not alter the schedule. 

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NIS Activated by Trigger Setup 

NIS Activated by Trigger schedules are similar to regular NIS schedules in that they deliver notifications at fixed or random times of the day and on the days you select days. Once a triggering response is given, the schedule you establish will be activated. and notifications will be delivered, for as long as you specify. Fields that are different for NISs that are activated by a trigger are described below. 

Session Duration limits how long notifications for the session will be delivered once a triggering response is given. There are three ways to limit how long a session will be active: 

Until Pak Ends will begin delivering notifications once a triggering response is given and continue for as long as the LifePak is running on the mobile application. 

Limit by Range of Days will send notifications for a certain number of days, following the triggering response. 

Limit by Completed Sessions specifies the number of sessions a User must complete before notifications will stop for this session.  

Reset Schedule with Each Triggering Response makes it possible to reset the notification schedule each time a triggering response is given. If you select “Yes”, then every time a participant’s response meets the triggering condition the trigger schedule is reset or reactivated. Selecting “No” means that once a schedule has been set by an initial triggering response, subsequent triggering responses will not alter the schedule.  

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