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 response

Click here for a description of this question element.

Multiple response

Click here for a description of this question element.

Slider

Click here for a description of this question element.

Open question

Click here for a description of this question element.

Date

Click here for a description of this question element.

E-mail

The e-mail address is validated in an open question.

The participant can only enter a valid e-mail address, which always consists of a user name, an at sign, a domain name and an extension (e.g. .com).

Star scale

Click here for a description of this question element.

Other

Text block

The text block is an element in which a participant cannot enter an answer. It can be used for a variety of functions, such as

  • a greeting at the beginning of a survey,
  • explanatory texts between questions,
  • a footnote to a question.

The thank you page is a special text block that appears at the end of a survey. No information is to be entered into this textbox. A blank thank you page will appear as a blank page.

PDF export settings

If you tick the Do not show this text block in print export setting, then the corresponding text block will not be included in the PDF file which can be downloaded by a participant at the end of the survey. This file will then contain all questions and answers of the participant MINUS the data of this text block. Click here for a description of the PDF download procedure.

Page break

The page break is a feature that allows you to split your survey into multiple pages. Without page breaks, all questions and text blocks – in a section – will be displayed in consecutive order on one page.

If you include a page break in a survey, the Next button will be generated. This button is shown to the participant when filling out his/her survey. The participant will only see the questions before the page break. The next questions will only appear, after he/she has clicked the Next button.

If you tick the Force page break in print export setting, then a page break will be included in the PDF file which can be downloaded by a participant at the end of the survey. Click here for a description of the PDF download procedure.

Note: Since Essential customers cannot divide the questionnaire into sections and can only use page breaks to format the text appropriately, these page breaks are not considered questions (max. 50).

Section (professional user)

A section contains one or more survey elements. When creating a new survey, you start by adding elements to a section. You start with Section 1. The name of this section can be edited in the textbox under Section. Survey participants will not see the section name.

Note: 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 acts as a page break. When you include a section in a survey, the Next button will be generated. This button is shown to the participant when filling out his/her survey. The participant will only see the questions of the corresponding section. The next questions will only appear, after he/she has clicked the Next button.

A section can be used to group specific questions to be shown or hidden, if the participant has made a specific choice, e.g. Section 1 contains one question. This is q1 - What country do you live in? The corresponding answer options are:

  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • the Netherlands

Now you want to set, for example, the following data:

  • Section 2 contains all questions for people living in Switzerland.
  • Section 3 contains all questions for people living in Germany.
  • Section 4 contains all questions for people living in the Netherlands.

For this, you can use filters. Once you have selected a section (e.g. Section 2) in the survey, you can click the Add filter button on the right pane. In the Filter window, you can then enter the following data (click here for more information on filters):

  • Section 2 - Show this element
    if - Question - q1 What country do you live in? - 1 Switzerland - selected
  • Section 3 - Show this element
    if - Question - q1 What country do you live in? - 2 Germany - selected
  • Section 4 - Show this element
    if - Question - q1 What country do you live in? - 3 The Netherlands - selected

If a section contains a large number of questions, you can create page breaks in this section. As a result, the questions will be shown to a survey participant per page within a section. Only when he or she clicks the Next button, the series of questions from the next page in the section will be displayed.

If you check the Randomize pages setting, the order of all pages incl. questions will be randomized within the corresponding section. It is then unpredictable in what order the questions in a section will be shown to a participant. Below is a schematic example of a randomized section.

Advanced Survey Elements

Question types

Matrix

A matrix question allows you to include more questions in one question. With a matrix question, a question is created in the form of a table, with a sub-question in each row. Example: Your participants use various services from your company and you would like to know how they rate these services on a scale of 1 to 5. In such a case, it is useful to deploy a matrix question – with one row for each service. The rating scale is displayed in the form of columns; it functions similarly for all rows.

If you check the box next to Hint text, an input box will be displayed allowing you to give a detailed explanation to the participants as regards the purpose of the question. The hint text is not included in reports.

A participant is required to select an answer per row, once the box next to Force response (mandatory question) has been ticked. If he/she fails to select an answer per sub-question (e.g. Service 1), the message ‘Please answer this question before you continue’ will be presented on the screen.

Note: For each service, you must indicate the rating per row. Filters should therefore be set for the services to be rated in the rows. See Add filter.

If the Randomize rows option is ticked, each participant will see the rows (with for example the products or services to be rated) in a random order. When randomization is enabled, you are also able to exclude rows from randomization.

Here you specify per row all products or services to be rated, e.g. Service 1, Service 2. To add an extra row (sub question), click the Add row button. To remove a redundant row, click the cross (x) at the end of the corresponding row.

All rows (sub-questions) have a unique variable suffix (i.e. a unique variable value); this value is incremented by 1 for each row. The first row has the variable suffix 1, the second row has the variable suffix 2, etc. If these suffixes are not unique for a question, this will undoubtedly result in an error message. In order to edit the variable suffix of a row, you must click the ellipsis sign (3 vertical dots) at the end of the corresponding row.

In order to allow a participant to enter a text in a row himself, you must leave a row empty and place check marks on Add text entry and Force response (mandatory question). When filling out the survey, the participant can then, for example, enter a product or service to be rated.

If randomization of rows is activated (see the Randomize rows tab), you can indicate for each row in a matrix question that this row should not be randomized (check mark at Exclude from randomization).

You can change the chronological order of the various rows in a matrix question using the cell sign in front of the row. In order to change the position of a row, you have to select the cell sign and drag the corresponding row to its desired position while holding down the left mouse button. As soon as you release the left mouse button, the corresponding row will be dropped to its new position.

Note: The text in the rows of all matrix questions is displayed in full, when the participant fills out a survey. However, when downloading a PowerPoint export from the Activation - Online Report page, this text will be truncated, if it exceeds 50 characters.

If the Randomize columns option is ticked, each participant will see the columns (with for example the rating criteria) in a random order. When randomization is enabled, you are also able to exclude columns from randomization.

Rating labels allow you to specify two extreme values, e.g. Poor and Excellent, which apply to, for example, the rating criteria defined in the columns.

Here you can set the question type for all rows of a matrix question:

  • Single response: The participant can select a maximum of one answer per row. Only one radio button can be selected per row.
  • Multiple response: The participant can select several answers per row. Multiple checkboxes can be ticked per row.
  • Drop-down: The participant can select a maximum of one answer per row. These answers are displayed in a drop-down list. In the Prompt field you can add a helpful hint to the drop-down list, e.g. Please select… This instruction is shown to the participant when making his/her choice per row.
  • Text: The participant can enter text for several answers per row.
  • Starscale: The participant can indicate the quality aspect of a product or service, e.g. by the number of stars per row. With the Star choices you can then indicate the descriptions for the amount of stars, e.g. 1 star or bad, 2 stars or moderate, 3 stars or acceptable, 4 stars or good, 5 stars or excellent.

The descriptions of these star choices and the selection frequency of the number of stars per row (product or service) of all invited participants can be found in the online report. When upon downloading the raw data the Download raw data with question text and answer option labels option has been selected, the defined star choice descriptions will also be displayed in the columns of the Excel file.

Note: Click here for information on adjusting the length of a text field.

Here you enter the various rating criteria for all columns of the matrix question. These can be scores like 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, but also descriptions like I completely disagree, I disagree, I partially agree, I agree, I completely agree. In order to add an additional column, click the Add column button. In order to remove an unused column, you can click the cross (x) at the end of the corresponding line.

All columns have a unique variable value; this value is incremented by 1 for each column. The first column has the value 1, the second column the value 2, etc. If these values are not unique, this will undoubtedly result in an error message. In order to edit the variable value of a column, you must click the ellipsis sign (3 vertical dots) at the end of the corresponding line.

In order to allow a participant to enter a text in a column himself, you must place check marks at Add text entry and Force response (mandatory question). When filling out the survey, the participant can then, for example, assign a rating criterion to a particular product or service in a row (sub question). No maximum length has been defined for this text field, so the participant can enter a rather long rating criterion. The value None (= Text) must be selected under Response data type.

If you want to provide the participant with a smaller text field for rating a product or service, you can check the box next to Small text input field. In this case, too, the participant can enter a text of unlimited length in a slightly smaller text field. This field has been integrated into the software for visual reasons.

If you tick the Autocomplete box, a text box appears in which you can enter specific information, e.g. the various rating criteria for the 5 stars column. One autocomplete value per line can be defined (see image above). This allows the participant to choose a predefined rating criterion. A prerequisite is that the value Values listed in autocomplete is selected under Response data type.

When answering the relevant sub-question (with product or service), the participant can easily select the required criterion from the list which can be unfolded.

After you have clicked the Add column group button, a new column group incl. an x number of columns is added to the survey and positioned next to the existing column group. This is very similar to a multimatrix question. Each column group can be assigned a specific description and a different question type. You can, for example, use an extra column group, if you want the participant to rate the attributes of several suppliers/manufacturers at once.

If you want to provide a specific word in your survey with a comment or explanation, you can create a tooltip on the RTE window. For this, you must click in the corresponding text box and select the Rich text editor.

Semantic differential

Semantic differential questions use a rating scale to determine the associative, emotional or evaluative meaning of an object or concept. A semantic differential is similar to a matrix question, but is labelled on both sides of the row. These labels have to include opposite pairs of properties for an object or concept, such as: fast – slow, cheap – expensive (see image below). The survey participants can then judge the object or concept on the basis of these opposite properties. They can evaluate the object or concept for each opposite pair. The neutral value is 0 (the mid value).

Example: You want to assess product A and you would like to know what associations this product evokes in the participants. You may wonder whether they find the product fast, cheap, friendly, innovative and unique. You can easily capture this using a semantic differential.

Based on the data in the image above, you may conclude that the corresponding participant rated the product as somewhat slow, somewhat innovative and as very unique.

A participant is required to select one answer per row, when the box next to Force response (mandatory question) has been ticked. If you fail to select an answer per row (e.g. fast – slow), the message ‘Please answer this question before you continue’ will be presented on the screen.

Rank order

This question type can be used to have the respondent rank different items (e.g. colours) in a certain order. You can, for example, find out what the respondent’s favourite colour is, but also which colour has the highest average score.

For this question type, the number of ranks plays an important role. You can indicate the number of ranking options in a scroll bar on the right, see under Items. The maximum number of ranking options is determined by the number of items related to the question. The image above shows that the respondent can select up to three items from the question.

  • The item which is placed at the top (e.g. the colour Yellow) by the respondent when filling in the survey, will be awarded 3 points.
  • The item that occupies the second position (e.g. the colour Red), will be awarded 2 points.
  • Finally, the item in the third position (e.g. the colour Black) will receive 1 point.

If a respondent has selected 3 colours, but wants to change the hierarchy between them (for example the colour Black should be moved from the third position to the second), the respondent should hover the mouse cursor over the corresponding item (the colour Black) so that the cursor takes the shape of a hand (see the first image). This respondent can then drag the colour Black to the second position by holding down the left mouse button. Once this item has reached the desired position, the respondent can release the left mouse button.

Using the = icon (circled in red), the participant can remove a selected item from the ranking overview and add another item, if necessary.

If the Randomize items setting has been checked, then respondents will view the items in randomized order. If randomization is enabled, you can also exclude items from randomization.

If the Force response setting has been checked, then the respondent must select as many items as indicated on the slider under Number of ranks, when filling out the survey.

If, for example, 10 participants have filled in the survey, you can review the results in the online report. To do this, you can click the red circled icon in the created basic report, see under Analyze. Click here for a description of how to create a basic report.

After clicking on the corresponding rank order question in the online report, a chart appears on the left, displaying the total point score (of all survey participants) for each item.

From the above chart, you can deduce that the item (here: the colour Yellow) has gained the most points. The point score is calculated as follows:

  • Of the 10 participants, 5 have placed the colour Yellow at the first rank (position). In addition, there are 2 participants who have assigned the colour Yellow to the third rank. An item ranked first, second and third is awarded 3, 2 and 1 points respectively. The total number of points for the colour Yellow is therefore equal to 5x3 + 2x1 = 17.
  • Of the same 10 participants, 2 have assigned the colour Orange to the first rank (position). Subsequently, there are 4 participants who have ranked this colour second. Finally, there is 1 participant who has allocated the third position to this colour. This brings the point score for this colour to: 2x3 + 4x2 + 1x1 = 15.

The point score for the other items (the other colours) is calculated in the same way as described above. The calculation depends mainly on the number of ranks set for this question. Suppose that the number of ranking options is set to 2 by means of the scroll bar, then

  • the item placed at the first position by the respondent (upon completing the survey), will be awarded 2 points,
  • the item placed second by the respondent (upon completing the survey), will be awarded 1 point.

In the raw data, the ranking position of an item (colour) per participant is indicated per record (line). So the first participant in the example above ranks the colour Yellow (column q1_1) first (3 points); the colour Orange (column q1_4) second (2 points).

The tenth (last) participant in this overview ranks the colour Yellow (column q1_1) in third position (1 point) and the colour Orange (column q1_4) in second position (2 points).

Note: In the raw data, you will not find a point score as in the online report.

Implicit association

Click here for a description of this question element.

NPS

Click here for a description of this question element.

Other

Validation (professional user)

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 (professional user)

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 (professional user)

If you want to use a value assignment for a question in the survey (e.g. a matrix question), you can include this element behind the matrix question in the survey. Suppose you have included 4 services in the matrix question to be rated by the survey participants with a number between 1 (Very poor) and 5 (Excellent).

Note: In order to use a value assignment, at least one custom variable must have been created.

The values/numbers that can be set for each rating criterion can be defined in the columns of the question, e.g.

  • Very poor > Value 1
  • Poor > Value 2
  • Good > Value 3
  • Very good > Value 4
  • Excellent > Value 5

The lowest score a participant can assign to the 4 services of the survey question (here: q1) is: 4 x Very poor = 4 * 1 = 4. The highest score, on the other hand, is equal to 4 x Excellent = 4 * 5 = 20.

Define value assignment

In order to calculate the average service score of a participant, for example, proceed as follows:

After having clicked the Create Variable button, you have to create a custom variable (combination of a unique name and data type), e.g. Average (Real number) on a window. In the text box under Is equal to the following term: you can define the corresponding formula, e.g. (q1_1+q1_2+q1_3+q1_4)/4. The scores of the various services are first added up and its total is then divided by 4 (= number of services). The figure below shows how this formula is incorporated into the survey.

  • q1_1 = the specified service in the first row of question q1
  • q1_2 = the specified service in the second row of question q1
  • q1_3 = the specified service in the third row of question q1
  • q1_4 = the specified service in the fourth row of question q1
  • /4 = de division factor

When a participant now fills out the survey, his/her scores for the various services (here: 4) will be added together and subsequently be divided by 4. If you want to display the average service score to a participant, you can include another text block under the value assignment element in the survey. In this text block, you can enter the following information, among others:

  • Text: The average score is:
  • Placeholder: The placeholder – such as{{custom.Average}}– can be selected on the RTE window.

Note: Custom variables can also be used as placeholders and filter conditions in the survey. Moreover, you can also retrieve them in the raw data of the survey.

Click here for detailed information on the subject of Value assignments.

When creating a custom variable, you can choose from the following data types: String, Date, Integer number and Real number. Click here for more information on these data types.

These options (at the bottom right of the screen) indicate when the value assignment should be carried out.

  • Only the first time the participant passes this point
    Only the first time the respondent accesses this element, the calculation will be carried out. If the respondent clicks the Back button, followed by the Next button, the value - based on the value assignment - will not be re-determined.
  • Every time the participant passes this point (default)
    Each time the respondent accesses this element, the calculation will be carried out. If the respondent clicks the Back button, followed by the Next button, the value - based on the value assignment - will be re-determined.
  • Anytime (immediately after every change to an involved variable)
    As soon as the survey participant alters one of the values in one of the fields on a page in the survey, the value assignment calculation will also be updated accordingly.
  • On survey loading
    This refers only to data not derived from answers to questions, e.g. to store data of sample members or certain texts.

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.

N/A

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 January 21, 2022

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