Survey Elements

The following short descriptions give an overview of all survey elements, including a picture, a use case and the specific setting options.

At the end of this page, you’ll also find an explanation of all of the basic settings which you’ll find for almost all question type survey elements.

Basic Survey Elements

Question types

Single Choice

Single Choice survey element

A single-choice question is a question that allows only one answer from pre-defined answer options. This question is particularly useful for questions with a short list of possible answers, such as “Are you satisfied with your current employer?”. In this case, the available answer options would be “yes” and “no”.

Specific Options

Arrangement option single choice

The arrangement options allow you to either arrange the elements in a single column (beneath each other) or in multiple columns. When using multiple columns, the number of columns depend on the screen width and the number of choices.

Multiple Choice

Multiple Choice survey element

A multiple-choice question allows participants to select options from a list, just like ticking off tasks from a to-do list. This type of question is useful for questions such as “Which of our company services have you used?”, allowing the participant to make multiple selections.

Specific Options

Arrangement option

The arrangement options allows you to either arrange the elements in a single column (beneath each other) or in multiple columns. When using multiple columns, the number of columns depend on both the screen width and the number of choices.

Exclusive Option

When selected, the exclusive option unchecks all other options. For example, if you define an option such as "none of these", this option would only make sense when it is an exclusive choice. The N/A option is always exclusive.


drop down survey element

A drop-down question is basically a single-choice question with a slightly different design. This type of question is particularly useful for long lists as it’s more compact and easy to use.

It’s not possible to have a semi-open option (like “other: __“) within a drop-down question.

Specific Options

prompt option drop down

The prompt option sets the wording of the initial text in the drop down. The default text is "Please choose...".

Open Question

open question element

An open question is basically a free text input field for the participant. It can be set to three different sizes; small, medium or large.

Specific Options

open question small

Small is useful for short numbers like a 4 digit year, or the age of the participant.

open question medium

Medium is useful for names, email addresses or whole dates.

open question large

Large is useful for typical feedback questions, where you´d expect the participant to write in whole sentences.

Use small, medium and large as needed. There is no limit to the maximum number of characters.


When this option is activated, a text area appears where each line represents one autocomplete value. This can be used to help the participant, for example, to select the correct name of a location.

An open question can be validated with the following standard validation options:


content validation number

With number validation, the participant may only enter numbers which meet the conditions defined in the validation options.


content validation email

With email validation in place, the participant can only enter correct email addresses.


content validation date

If the participant uses the input field, a data picker appears. This validation only allows the selection of dates.

Value listed in autocomplete

content validation autocomplete

This validation only allows entries which are listed in the autocomplete list.

open question with placeholder
placeholder option

When the placeholder option is activated you can set a text into the input field which will disappear once the respondent uses that input field.


date element

The date question type is an open question with a date validation in place.


email element

The email question type is an open question with an email validation in place.


slider element

The question type Slider is also a kind of single choice question. It comes with two possible settings: discrete and continuous The slider is meant to collect values, but not necessarily in the same way the single choice question works. It’s not possible to have a semi-open option (like “other: ____”) within a slider question. Specific Options

discrete slider options

When the slider is set to discrete it works just like a single choice question, but in a different design. It is not suited to work with long lists, since this question type is not designed for this purpose.

Note: When the slider is shown on a small device like a tablet or smartphone the labels will be replaced by the value of each option.

slider element
Labels are replaced by values.

slider options

When the slider is set to continuous it works as a value picker. In the options you can specify minimum and maximum values, if it should display decimals.


Text Block
text block element

The text block is not a question. It is an element to place text or images somewhere within the survey. The content of a text block will not be exported in any way.

Page Break

page break element

The page break creates a next button where it is placed on the build page. This way the participant only sees questions up to the last question, before the page break. The following questions appear after the participant clicks on “next”.


section preview

A section is a survey element container. Whenever you start to build a new survey, you start to add elements to a section (in a new survey it is called “Section 1”). A section is on a higher level than the other survey elements. It is not possible to place a section within a section.

A section always initiates a page break after its last survey element.

A section can be used to group specific questions which all need to be hidden or shown if a previous option of a question is selected. More about this topic can be found on the filter page.

Specific Options

section element

The section name is only displayed on the build page of the survey. It will not be exported and will not be seen by the participants.

With randomise pages it´s possible to randomise the order of all pages within that section.

Advanced Survey Elements



matrix question survey elements

Using a matrix question enables the use of multiple questions. It creates a table-like question, where each row represents a sub-question. For example, your participant uses several of your company’s services and you’d like to know how they rate these services on a scale from 1 to 10. In this case it’s useful to deploy a matrix question; with one row for each service. The rating scale would be set as columns and would automatically be the same for all rows.

Specific Options

randomize rows options

With the randomise rows option, each participant will see the rows in a random order. When randomization is enabled you are also able to exclude rows from randomization.

randomize columns option

Using the option randomise columns, each participant will see the columns in a random order. When randomisation is enabled, you are able to exclude columns from it.

column setting matrix question

With these, you can set the question type for all rows of that matrix question. Types available are: Single Choice, Multiple Choice and Drop-Down. This page contains information on each of these question types.

add column group
column group title

By clicking this button, a new column group will be added. This creates a "multi-matrix" question. Each column group can have its own title, its own question type and it creates its own set of variables. This can be used, for example, to enable the participant to rate attributes of several suppliers / manufacturers at once.


Semantic differential survey element

Semantic differential questions are a form of rating scale that serves to determine the associative, emotional or evaluative meaning of objects, words or concepts. A semantic differential looks like a matrix question, but has a label on each side of the row.

Semantic Differential rows

For example, you want to evaluate a new product name and are wondering what participants associate with that new name. Do they think it’s boring, interesting, innovative or old-fashioned? This can be evaluated with a semantic differential.

Rank Order

Survey elemens: Rank order question

As the name suggests, this question can be used to ask the participant to rank elements in order. Through this, it’s possible to establish the participant’s favorite, but also which option has the highest average ranking.

It’s not possible to have a semi-open option (like “other: __”) within a rank order question.

Specific Options

randomize option

With the option randomise items, each participant will see the items in a random order. When randomization is enabled you are able to exclude items from randomization.

number of ranks slider question

With this option you can specify the number of options to be ranked. The highest number of ranks is defined by the number of items you have set for this question. If the question is set to "force response" then the respondent has to set all ranks.



validation element options

With a validation it’s possible to validate the participant’s answers to ensure that they are plausible. This means that you can check if the answers actually make sense. It works just like a filter in Survalyzer.

Important: The validation element is an individual survey element and is not filtered automatically, even if the condition only affects one question.

An example:
The question you are validating (let’s call it q2) is only shown if the value of a preceeding question (q1) is more than 5. Your validation now only checks if q2 is between 1 and the value of q1.
If the respondent now answers q1 with a value of 4, q2 won’t be shown. However, then the validation checks if the value of q2 is between 1 and 4, but since q2 is not shown, a validation error message will appear.
To avoid this problem you can do one of two things:

  • Put q2 and the validation into an own section and filter the whole section. In this case both elements will not be shown.
  • Or add the filter conditions of q2 to the validation conditions, this way the validation succeeds when q2 is not shown.
setting a validation

Conditions for validations have specific options. Firstly, how the validation should work: "Validation passes" and "Validation does not pass".
Following this, it reads like a sentence, which helps comprehension of the conditions.
You can check all kind of values: panel variables, custom variables, question values and url variables.
You can also validate answers depending on the device or language used, or you can calculate several values and validate these for their plausability.

error message as shown in survey

Let´s say you ask a teenager how much money they receive as an allowance (q1). After this you want to ask how much of this allowance is spent on video games (q2). Now you have two seperate questions, where question 2 (q2) relates to question 1 (q1). To validate the values you would create something like this:

Now we can be sure that the answer for question 2 cannot be greater than the answer of question 1.

URL Forwarding

url forwarding element

The URL Forwarding element, forwards the respondent to the defined target URL. This can be used for Screen-Outs, Thank-You pages or when working with an external panel provider.

url forwarding dataset flagging

When forwarding your respondent, you can set which status they are allocated:

In Progress (default): This status can be used if the respondent should be able to continue with his interview within Survalyzer. In this case they are redirected back to the survey when the survey link is re-opened. So URL Forwarding only gets triggered once.

Complete: This status sets the interview status to completed. As soon as the respondent passes this point they cannot go back or continue the survey. So URL Forwarding gets triggered each time the respondent opens the interview.

Screenout: The Screenout status takes the same action as the complete status. The only change is seen on the analyze page, with the interviews flagged with a different status.

Value Assignment

value assignment in survey preview showing all survey elements

By using value assignment it’s possible to set values to custom variables. To use value assignment at least one custom variable needs to be created.

drop down
new variable for value assignment

There are four different data types to choose from when creating a custom variable: Number, Real, String and Date. More information about data types can be found on our datatypes page.

It’s also possible to complete calculations within value assignments. For more information please see: “Calculations with Variables”.

Custom variables can also be used as placeholders and filter conditions within the survey. They will also be found in the raw data exports of the survey.

For examples, please see the: “How to use Value Assignment” page.

Specific Options

value setting for value assignment

The input field works as the value for the variable. It´s also possible to calculate and use placeholders for this.

Note: Always have a look at the chosen data type. For example, it´s not possible to save string values in a number variable.

execute options

The execute options decide when the value assignment should take place. The default option is "Only the first time".

Only the first time
This will only be executed for the first time the respondent reaches this element. If the respondent clicks the "Back" button and clicks "Next" again, the value will not be changed for a second time.

Every time the respondent passes this point
This will be executed each time the respondent reaches this element. If the respondent clicks the "Back" button and clicks "Next" again, the value will be set every time.

Send Email

Send email element

The Send Email element, as the name suggests, sends an email from the survey.

Once the respondent reaches the “send email” element, the email will be sent.

Send email survey element
You can define the typical email fields:
From, To, Subject, Message

Placeholders can be used for all fields.

A typical example is to ask clients if they would like a Sales Agent to get in touch. If they say yes, a method and preferred time of contact could then be specified. With "send email" it´s then possible to send (via email) the contact request (containing this information) to the relevant Sales Agent.

Basic Options available for Question types

Hint Text

Matrix question hint text. Hint text is available for all question type survey elements

The hint text is used to explain the question and / or how to answer it. As seen in the screenshot, the hint text usually has a smaller font size.

Note: The hint text is not exported to reports.

For example, you ask the respondent to rate a product from 1 to 10. The hint text can now be used to explain how the rating scale works: 1 is "very poor" and 10 is "excellent".

Force response

force response option

The force response option makes a question mandatory. This means that the client always has to answer that question before they can continue to the next page.

validation error message force response, available for all question type survey elements

In case of a multiple choice question, the respondent has to choose at least one option. In case of a single choice question, only one option has to be selected. And finally, in the case of a matrix question, a selection in all rows has to be made.

If you set all questions as mandatory, but still want the respondent to have the possibility to skip a question, simply set the “N/A” option – as explained below.

Randomize choices

Randomise choices mixes up the order of the choices. This means that the order of choices varies from respondent to respondent. However, the respondent doesn’t see that this is randomised. When randomization is enabled, you are able to exclude certain choices from it.

exclude from randomization option
The option “exclude from randomization” can be found in the choice’s settings.


The N/A option stands for “not applicable” or “no answer” and adds this choice to a question. This enables the respondent to not answer a mandatory question. When a respondent chooses the N/A option, a special value will be saved. This value enables the system to tell you how many respondents chose not to answer this question. The N/A option is available for all question type survey elements and the label can be customized.

N/A option available for all question type survey elements
The N/A Option will always be on the end of the list and will be set slightly apart from the other options. In the case of a multiple choice question, the N/A option is exclusive by default.

Note: This option will be excluded from chart analysis, but will be shown in the numbers in the table below the chart.

Allow text entry

Text entry with validation

The allow text entry option allows the user to add an open text field to a choice. For example, one answer option of your question is “other”, and you’d like to know what that “other” is. Simply enable the option “Allow text entry” for that choice. This enables the respondent to give more details to “other”.
Once you enable “Allow text entry” some other options appear. One of these options is “force input”. This option forces the respondent to answer the semi open question when the answer option is chosen.

The other options are explained within the Open Question options.

Add Filter

The “Add Filter” button can be found on several layers of your survey. The first one is Section (which will include all questions within that section). The second layer is the survey item or question itself. And the third (and final) layer is the choice of question.

More information about filters – including several examples – can be found on our filter page.

Updated on April 19, 2020

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