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XM Essentials 5: Location, Location, Location

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Heat Mapping the Best Locations

Few things are more important than finding the right location for the new Lassi & Lemonade stands. Moksh and Naman’s first attempt was on a side street that saw little traffic. So, we captured an image map of the neighborhood and used it in a specialty Heat Map question.

Heat Maps allow participants to click on an image, thereby recording preferences across a group of survey takers.

Map of a street named Canyon road with a park at the end

Qtip: Use this image to practice creating Heat Maps. Right-click on the image and save it to your computer, then add it to your Qualtrics library as you did in XM Essentials 4, Exercise J: Creating a Static Question with a Graphic. (For more help with images, visit the supplemental resources in XM Essentials 12: Importing & Exporting Surveys, Response Data, & Images.)

Try it!

Exercise M: Throwing in a Heat Map

  1. Click Create a New Question.
    Create question button in green at bottom of the block
  2. Under Change Question Type, select Heat Map.
    Change question type
  3. Click Select a graphic to use for this question.
    Select a graphic link in blue on the heat map question
  4. Choose a graphic you’ve uploaded to your library.
    Upload image window

    Qtip: You can also click Upload a New Graphic to upload a new image to your Qualtrics Library.
  5. Enter the instructions: Click on the best location in our neighborhood for a summertime drink stand. (Choose up to 2 spots!)
    Heat map question with the map of canyon road described earlier loaded into it
  6. Set the number of clicks each respondent may make on the image to 2.
Qtip: If a neighbor clicks more than twice, their oldest click will be replaced with the newest one.
Qtip: Regions allow you to block out sections inside the image. While optional, regions can make reporting easier for large data sets. Read more on the Heat Map page.


“Before we get too far, we want to preview your survey and see if it is working properly,” I explained. I didn’t want the kids to get deep into their data collection and realize that we made mistakes early on. “Plus, it’s kind of fun taking your own survey to see if it all works the way you have planned.”

This is the essence of dogfooding: trying it yourself before you involve unsuspecting respondents.

Qtip: You can answer your own questions in preview mode! Preview data is stored separately from any other data you’ll collect later (e.g., after you publish and go live). It is easily deleted at any time. Visit the Preview Survey support page to learn more.

Try it!

Exercise N: Previewing Your Survey

  1. Click the Preview button.
    Blue preview button in upper-right
  2. Scroll through both the desktop and mobile versions of your survey.
    Preview window, with desktop to left and mobile to right
  3. If you need to, you can click Restart Survey to preview your survey again.
  4. When finished, click Close Preview.

Renumbering Questions

The question number (Q#) is auto-assigned for backend reference and data control integrity. (That’s a mouthful, we know.)

After deleting questions and moving them all around, it’s obvious that your Q- numbers are not in order. Most surveys don’t show question numbers, so most developers don’t usually bother renumbering their questions. It’s optional. But if you wish, you can renumber your questions in two ways:

  1. Manually: Click the Q# and type over the existing value. While changing numbers one-by-one can be annoying, especially in long surveys, this method does give you the option to create custom number formats (e.g., 1a, 1b, and 1c).
  2. Automatically: A faster way to re-number an entire survey is to use the Auto-Number Questions feature.

Try it!

Exercise O: Auto-Numbering Questions

  1. Click Tools.
    First option under Tools is the auto number option
  2. Select Auto-Number Questions.
  3. Choose one of the numbering styles in the Auto-Number Questions pop up (such as Sequential Numbering) and that’s it!
    Auto number window
  4. Optional: If you don’t want to see the Q prefix, eliminate it in the Prefix box before you select your numbering style.

Trashing Questions

Sometimes it’s necessary to delete a question. Surveys can get too long, or you realize that a chosen question type will not give you enough valuable information. “Don’t worry about deleting questions,” I explained. “You can rescue them if you were too hasty.”

A deleted question is stored in the Trash at the bottom of the survey.

Try it!

Exercise P: Deleting Questions

  1. Select the question How much do you like lemonade? (This was the very first question (Q1) from XM Essentials 1,  Exercise A: Creating a Project.)
    Delete button in editing pane to right
  2. Click the red minus sign ( ) that appears to the right of the question. It will be sent to the trash at the bottom of your survey.

Extra Credit: Restoring Deleted Questions

A deleted question is stored in the Trash at the bottom of the survey unless it is permanently deleted afterwards. If your survey has collected responses, deleting a question will remove all of its associated data from your reports. But, if the question is still in your trash and you restore it, the data will also return. (Which is good news!)

Read Testing and Editing an Active Survey and Saving and Restoring for further details.

To undelete a question:

  1. Scroll down to the bottom of your survey to see your trashed questions. Expand the Trash / Unused Questions by clicking the down arrow.
    Trash at the bottom of the survey
  2. Select the question you would like to undelete.
  3. Click Restore.

More Extra Credit: Permanently Deleting Questions

To delete a question permanently, click Permanently Delete while it’s selected in the trash. Alternatively, if you have multiple questions in your trash, you can choose Empty Trash to clear out ALL of the questions.

Remove question button in red bottom-right of a question in the trash

Warning: After a question has been permanently deleted, it is much harder to restore without reverting to an earlier version of the survey, and even then the data may be irretrievable. Learn more by exploring the Restoring Previous Versions support page.

What’s Next?

  1. Read more about Moksh & Naman’s Lemonade Stand.
  2. Continue to XM Essentials 6: Skipping Around the Block.