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Using skip logic in a survey

What is skip logic?

Skip logic is a feature that changes which question or page a respondent sees next based on how they answer the current question. Also known as “conditional branching” or “branch logic”, skip logic creates a custom path through the survey that varies based on a respondent’s answers. This skip pattern will vary based on rules that you define for the respondent.

How skip logic can make your next survey even stronger

Are you worried that respondents will see questions that don’t apply to them? Do you want to ensure that your survey is tailored as closely to your respondents as possible? Whether you’re launching a new advertising campaign, assessing employee satisfaction or arranging a carpool, skip logic saves you and your respondents time, and makes sure you get the right answers without confusing anyone with unnecessary questions. How does it work? With skip logic, you can change which question or page a respondent sees next based on how they answer the current question. Whatever the use case, adding conditional branching makes the survey process quicker and smoother for your respondents – just one more way to easily extract insights.

Skip logic is useful for any type of project

  • New product launches. Do you want to know if your new laundry detergent or protein bar is going to be a big seller? If so, use skip logic or conditional questions to assess who would be most likely to buy your new product and THEN ask them what they think about your brand.
  • Employee satisfaction. Are you wondering whether that nutritionist you bought appointments with for your employees is worth the money? Use skip logic to find out who actually attended their appointment and then how it actually went.
  • Task assignment. Work out whether a parent volunteer would prefer to chaperone a class trip or run a charity cake sale to raise the cash. Once you know the answer here, use skip logic to find out their preferences in terms of dates and times, along with whether they’d rather go to the zoo or the museum – or whether they plan to bake banana bread or brownies.
  • Event planning.Are you trying to work out how many overhead projectors and giant pads of paper you’ll need for your next workshop? Ask presenters whether they’ll need them and THEN for how long or how many. Ask participants if they’re coming for lunch before you ask them about whether they’ll need a vegetarian meal.

Three reasons skip logic makes the survey experience better

  1. Tailor-made fit. If a question doesn’t apply to a respondent, he or she won’t know how to answer it. So if Joe doesn’t own a smartphone, asking him to rate the last five apps he’s downloaded on his smartphone is fairly irrelevant. Asking an irrelevant question like this will usually result either in the respondent giving a random answer or getting frustrated and closing the survey altogether. The bottom line is that respondents don’t want to see questions that don’t apply to them.
  2. Short and sweet. Everyone loves a shorter survey! Giving people fewer questions to complete means higher completion rates and more thoughtful responses. If you want to know about satisfaction with buses and trains, and Mary only takes buses and Sue only takes trains, then they are both more likely to finish the survey on public transport and give you the thoughtful feedback you’re looking for if they only have to answer questions about the kind of public transport that they actually use. Respect your respondents’ time and your data quality and volume will benefit.
  3. Goes with the flow. Unnecessary questions interrupt the conversation. Surveys are like conversations and non-applicable questions are distracting. If you were talking to a friend about wine tasting and she said that she didn’t drink, you’d probably change the subject to a different experience that would be more relevant to her. Persisting in discussing something that didn’t apply to her would be awkward in a conversation and it’s just as awkward in print.

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