Create decision trees

A decision tree is a series of questions with choices in the form of multiple choice answers. Each choice leads to a new step in the tree and the goal is to eventually lead the person using the decision tree to a course of action or a set of advice that is appropriate to all of the factors to which they have given answers.

Each step in a decision tree can either be a Question or an Answer. A Question has a number of possible replies that the user can select from, and each of these either leads to another Question or to an Answer. In the latter case the process terminates, as no more selections are required.

It is quite possible for different paths through the questions to lead to the same answer. For a trivial example, consider the decision tree that might attempt to establish what day of the week today is. In this case the question “Is tomorrow Wednesday ?” with the choice “Yes” would lead to the Answer “Today is Tuesday”, but so would the question “Was yesterday Monday ?” with the choice “Yes”.


How to create a new Decision Tree

To create a decision tree, choose “Decision Trees” from the left-hand menu, and then “Add new”.

The title of the decision tree should reflect the decision being sought, e.g. “Is self-representation a viable option for me ?”.


Creating a new step

It is strongly recommended that before you start to create a decision tree you design it “on paper” as a network of connected questions and answers.┬áThis will enable you to be confident that you have considered all of the possible options and that your tree has no dead-ends. Once you’ve done this analysis and design, the technical work left is simply to enter the data you have assembled into your site so that it appears in your app.

Create a question step

Enter the question to display along with a subtext if you feel it needs further explanation. You can add two choices under this (as many questions are simple “Yes”/”No” choices), but you can use the “Add choice” button if your question has more than two choices available.

To link this question to another question or to an answer, first create that step and then go back to the previous step and use the drop-down box titled “Go to step #”.

Create an answer step

To create an answer first select “Answer” in the “Question/Answer” box and then enter the text/subtext as usual.

 


Publishing a decision tree

To make your new decision tree available for display you must save it by pressing the “Publish” button on the right-hand side of the page.


Using a decision tree in a page

In order to use a decision tree in your app you must embed it in a page. Create the new page as described here, and add it to your menu as shown on this page.

To insert the decision tree, place your cursor at the appropriate position in the page and then click the decision tree icon in the top menu:

You will see a WordPress short code ([ decisiontree id="123" ]) in the edit view, but when you view the page in the app, the decision tree will be rendered.