Ethica allows you to prompt your survey to the participant when they are not interacting with the app or your study. For example, a survey with Time Triggering Logic is prompted at a certain time, and very likely the participant is not using the Ethica app exactly at the time that the survey is prompted. Therefore, you need to notify the participant about the new survey. Further, if the participant does not respond to the survey after some time, you might want to remind them about the survey to ensure they will complete it before it's expired.

To do that, you can add one or more Notifications to your study. Ethica supports 3 types of Notifications:

  • In-app notification
  • SMS (text) notification
  • Emails

If a survey is prompted via an Eligibility, Dropout, or User Triggering Logic, Ethica will not send any notifications or reminders to the participant. That's because the participant is actively using the Ethica app when either of these surveys are being prompted.

You do need to define notifications for surveys with Time or Proximity Triggering Logic. A Time Triggering Logic can use any of the Notification types specified above. For example, you can notify the participant via an in-app notification as soon as the survey is prompted, and after 30 minutes, if they have not responded to the survey yet, send them a text (SMS) notification. For Proximity Triggering Logic Ethica will only use the in-app notifications. That's because when a given survey is prompted using a Proximity Triggering Logic, only the Ethica app is aware of it, and the Ethica app can only issue in-app notifications.

By default, all Notifications you have added to your survey are used for each Triggering Logic of type Time or Proximity. If necessary, you can configure your Triggering Logic to use only a subset of the Notifications from the survey.

In-App Notification

The following image shows the dialog for adding an in-app notification to your survey:

Defining In-App Notification for Ethica Survey

Here you need to specify the title and the description of the notification which will be shown to the participant. You also should determine how long after the Scheduled Time the notification should be sent. This time should be a positive value which is less than the expiry time of the survey. If the survey is not responded by the specified time, Ethica app will automatically issue this notification.

This notification is issued regardless of whether the participant is online, has network coverage, or not. The only requirement is that the participant should have the Ethica app installed on her smartphone. If the participant is using Ethica's web-based app on her phone's or computer's browser and does not have the Ethica app installed, this type of notification will be silently discarded.

The in-app notification sent by Ethica is similar to the notification the participant receives if they have a new email or text message. The sound and vibration of the notification is set based on the phone's general settings. Therefore, if the phone is set to vibrate-only or silent, this notification will also behave accordingly.

Tapping on the notification will open the Ethica app and takes the participant directly to the survey. Participants may also choose to dismiss the notification and open the app directly to see the survey.

SMS Notification

The following image shows the dialog for adding an SMS notification to your survey:

Defining In-App Notification for Ethica Survey

SMS notifications are sent by the Ethica server to the participant's validated phone number. Therefore, in order for a participant to receive this type of notifications, both your study should require phone number validation, and also the participant should have validated their phone number. If your study does not require phone number validation and you try to add a notification of this type, Survey Editor allows you to modify the study such that the phone number verification is mandatory. The following image shows the related dialog in the Survey Editor:

Phone Number Validation in Survey Editor

When your study requires phone number validation, Ethica will ask participants to validate their phone number. The SMS notifications are not used for participants until they successfuly validate their phone number.

Note that this type of notifications require the participant to behave cellular coverage in order to receive the text messages. Also as the notification is sent from the server, if the participant has the Ethica app installed and responds to the survey, but does not have an Internet connection to upload the survey responses, there is a possibility for the participant to receive a text message asking them to respond to the survey while they already have done so.

Also, keep in mind this type of notifications may incur additional charges to the participant, depending on their cellular plan.

Email Notification

For surveys prompted via a Time Triggering Logic, you can choose to notify participants or send them a reminder via an email. The following image shows the dialog for adding an email notification to your survey:

Defining Email Notification for Ethica Survey

Similar to the SMS notifications, Email notifications is only available if your study requires participants to validate their email, and also is only sent to those participants who have validated their email address.