Real-time Voting Results
What is Real-time voting?
Polltab offers real time results on all polls. This means that for every vote the poll receives the page will automatically be updated with the latest votes and tallied appropriately. This keeps all viewers of the poll results up to date without having to refresh the page. Most traditional online polls do not offer this feature. Without this feature each voter who would like the latest results would need to manually refresh the page over and over to get the updated votes. This is undesirable as different users will see different results and would have inconsistent results based on when they last refreshed the votes page.
How does Real-time voting results work?
Polltab uses a web protocol called WebSockets in order to support real time data transfers. The WebSocket protocol is a communication channel that allows a browser to talk with the web server (where polltab is hosted). A handshake is made between the browser and the server, this is similar to a contractual agreement between two parties who promises to send reliable data between each other. After establishing a secure connection between the two parties, data can then be shared between the server and the client (browser) at any time. WebSockets are also how most traditional chat applications handle real time chat messages in a chatrooms.
Benefits of Real-time result
By showing real time results users will likely be more engaged because they can reliably trust the data they see as it is updated the moment a vote is captured. Going back to the chatroom example, imagine if you were in a chatroom and the text you type is not sent between you and the chatroom participants in real time. This means you would have to guess when a user might have typed a new message and refresh the page in order to receive the latest text. We take this for granted as most chat applications handle this by default, but for most polling applications this is not the case.
When are Real-time results useful?
There are many examples of when real time results are useful. For example, imagine you're creating a poll for a presentation with a large audience (assuming they have internet access, and a smartphone), and would like to engage the audience by allowing them to vote on a poll that is related to your presentation. As the presenter you have the link and the poll result page ready on a slide. You ask the audience to visit the vote page using the unique link and cast their votes. To their surprise they will notice the votes are being tallied in real time creating a more engaging presentation.
Hiding Real-time vote results
There are times when you might not want the results to be displayed because it might cause potential biases for voters who have not voted on the poll yet. Polltab offers a simple checkbox when creating the a poll to disable showing results until the poll ends. This way, results will no longer be updated in real time, and the votes are tallied and displayed the moment the poll ends. Read more about it in our tutorial on how to create a poll.
Questions regarding real time results?
If you have questions regarding real time results feel free to contact us with any questions.