In designing surveys, the use of skip logic, also referred to as conditional branching or routing, is used when researchers change the course that respondents can take in an answer-based survey, in order to make the survey more relevant and quicker to complete. Wouldn’t you like to increase response rates to your surveys? Read on to find out how…
Nothing irritates a respondent more than having to provide an answer to a question that is not relevant to them! By adding conditional branching, you can tailor your surveys to be quick and easy to answer and provide actionable information that will help you meet your objectives.
What is Skip Logic?
Routing people down a custom made path is accomplished by means of creating skip rules. For example, when respondents are asked if they are male or female, and then on the basis of their response they are directed to certain pages. Male respondents are directed to one page, and female respondents are directed to another page. The pages that are not designed to be answered by respondents of one sex are hidden from them and only the pages that are relevant to the member of that sex remain visible.
This is a benefit of skip logic surveys because it helps to customise surveys on the basis of certain criteria with respect to specific groups of respondents. If there are groups of questions or individual questions that are only to be answered to some groups of respondents, then other respondents should not be presented with the questions. Respondents would be frustrated if they are asked to answer questions that are not related to them and their group. So the benefit of skip logic is that it can be used to filter out individual respondents or groups of respondents.
Skip logic can be applied to multiple choice and single row rating scale questions. In online surveys, it should enable respondents to move forward only. Question logic can be set up to make respondents’ jump to specific questions on another page of the survey they are doing. Accordingly, with page logic, respondents can jump to specific pages further in the survey they are doing. These features enable convenient customising of surveys to spare certain groups of respondents’ time by not showing them questions that are not related to them and their preferences and opinions.
The benefits of skip logic are deployed when it is applied to multiple choice questions, or to questions of the type of single row rating scale. If different logical paths are applied to each choice of answer, and if respondents are allowed to pick not one, but multiple answers, the survey will not go in the correct direction because logic rules state that one path only should be followed. And furthermore, if multiple answers are selected by respondents, the survey will not guide the respondents through the series of pages or questions.
How to use Advanced Skip Logic
If you are building a survey that is using multiple answer questions, then the rules for Skip Logic are now even more comprehensive. You can select multiple answer choices in one rule and can select the question on the page that you want the respondent to be taken to.
Let’s look at the example used in our help guide - A car sales company has built a survey asking their customers which car manufacturers they have used in the past. There are six pages in total:
Page 1: Car types
Page 2: Type a
Page 3: Type b
Page 4: Type c
Page 5: Type d
Page 6: Type e
Before the company sends out this survey, they will need to apply a set of skip logic rules to the first page. A rule will be set out for every answer on the first question (Car types). This is so the customer will only view the relevant pages based on their selections.
For example, if a customer decides to select three answers (Type a, Type c and Type e), then Skip Logic will make sure that they will skip page 2 (Type b) and page 3 (Type d).
1. Once all the pages have been created, Skip Logic is added. Click ‘Skip Logic’ on Question 1.
2. On the next page, click Add New Rule.
3. The first rule will be set for people who don't choose Type A, to Skip Over Page 2. (Type A). Click Save.
4. Click Add New Rule. Repeat the previous step but this time set it for people who don't choose Type B, to Skip Over Page 3. (Type B). Click Save.
5. Repeat this process until there is a rule for each answer.
When using Skip Logic on multiple answer questions, it is recommended that every page has a name. This will help organise the answers to their corresponding pages.
Benefits of Skip Logic
- Reduces the number of questions to be answered in your survey
- Eliminates questions that will add no value to your results
- Makes the survey quicker to answer for respondents
- Can help achieve higher completion rates
- Gathers relevant results for more accurate analysis
With an ever increasing need for surveys, which include multiple choice questions as well as single row rating scale questions, to assess respondents’ feedback in a more precise manner, the benefits that skip logic provides are clear.
Examples of uses for Skip Logic
- Event Planning – Find out how many attendees will be present, what their requirements are and even what they would like for lunch!
- Product Feedback – Ask your customers what products they like or dislike, what sizes and colours they require and which retail locations are selling most products
- Employee Satisfaction – Research employee attitude about social events, attendance and selection of food and drink
- Disqualifying Respondents – Disqualify a respondent who is not eligible to take the survey or allow them to opt out
Skip logic applied to such questions helps to guide respondents in the correct manner and thus achieve data which is reliable and can yield reliable conclusions. This type of logic, or conditional branching, is a staple tool for successful surveys.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.