This article outlines the basic steps required to implement an online poll with the results displayed on your digital signage. Polls are a great way to engage the viewer/customer and can provide useful feedback for enhancing your business or service.
We're going to use Google Docs to create a spreadsheet with a form and a chart. The form will be used to submit the poll data, and the chart will provide the visual to be embedded in your signage.
Create the Google Form
Head over to https://docs.google.com and create a new Form.
Set the Question Type to Multiple choices and add your questions.
Save the form and Google will create a new spreadsheet with your new form embedded in it.
Modify the poll spreadsheet
Find the new spreadsheet in your Google Docs the select it to edit.
Create a new Sheet by clicking the + icon at the bottom of the page.
This new sheet is responsible for formatting the poll data so that it can be represented in a chart.
Select Sheet 2 and create the following columns
Column A represents the options from the poll from Sheet 1. Column B represents a tally of poll answers and is calculated using the formula shown in the above graphic: =countif(sheet1!B: B, A2). Make sure the formula references the correct row for the A parameter!
Next, we need to embed a chart, so from the menu bar select Insert then Chart, which will open the chart editor.
Select the data range for the chart which is essentially all of Sheet 2. Also, make sure to select Use row 1 as headers. Now you can customize the look by selecting the chart type and font sizes etc.
Embed in your digital signage
Now that the poll is setup we need to provide a way for users to interact with it. We need essentially two things: a way for users to submit poll answers and a way to display the poll chart on our signage.
To get users access to our poll we'll use a QR code which will point to the URL of the Google form we created earlier. The URL for the form is available by selecting Go to live form from the Form menu item.
Copy the URL from your browsers nav bar and save it for later.
Now we need the URL for the chart. Click on your chart and select Publish chart...
Select the Image format and then copy everything between the double quotes and no more. For example, the URL for this image is https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/oimg?key=0ApSc3DpjNyLJdDhMdlJ6NmZUbGpwc2tFREpCSXU5SHc&oid=1&zx=ixj9kky649dr. This is the URL for our image which we can use our signage.
Now we've got all the pieces we need to edit or create a new template in your RevelDigital account.
Create two template zones - a QR code zone and a Web zone. In the QR code zone paste in the URL from your live form. In the Web, zone paste in the URL for the poll chart. We recommend using a URL shortening service such as http://goo.glfor the QR code URL. Bump the refresh interval for the Web zone to something like 300 seconds (5 minutes) to keep the poll chart up-to-date.
Preview your template and you should have something similar to the following.
You now have both live data and the ability for viewers to interact with your sign.