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XM Essentials 6: Skipping Around the Block

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The “Lemonade” & “Age” Problems

A couple of problems emerged in our little survey. Namely: 

  • The lemonade problem: There’s no logic in asking someone a follow up question about lemonade if they hate the drink to begin with.
  • The age problem: Younger kids (under the age of 10 or so) don’t generally have discretionary cash to call their own and tend to spend whatever money their parents give them. (Plus, this age group doesn’t have the patience for a long survey, so we need to shorten it up for them.)
Qtip: By way of a disclaimer, collecting data on underaged young people is fraught with ethical and even legal concerns. Visit your university’s research website for your institution’s ethical research rules and guidelines. In our example, the data was collected with an anonymous link, so no information is traced back to any individual person regardless of their age.

Luckily, we can solve both the “lemonade” and “age” problems with a combination of skip and display logic. Each deploys conditional statements that trigger alternative user experiences:

  • Skip Logic: Conditionally jumps over questions based on choice selection.
  • Display Logic: Only shows an answer choice (or question) if specific conditions are met.

Building Blocks

Blocks group related questions together. They are literally the building blocks of skip and display logic strategies. In Exercise Q, we’ll divide our questions into two blocks because:

  • You can only “skip” to an alternative question within the same block (or to the end of the survey).
  • There are a few lead-up questions we want everyone to answer regardless of how many skips they may have in their future. It is smart to block those questions together and to place them at the front of the survey.

Try it!

Exercise Q: Building and Moving Blocks

  1. Add a new block at the end of your survey by clicking Add Block.
    Add block button under the block
  2. Move your Heat Map question down into the new block.
    Dark gray moving arrows to left
  3. Now, move your graphic slider question down into the new block.
  4. Finally, move the first Descriptive Text question (Remember the one with the graphic?) to your new block.
  5. Move your new block (containing its three questions) to the top of the survey by clicking the Block Options dropdown and selecting Move Block Up.
    Dropdown upper-right of block, selecting Move block up

Renaming Blocks

The original block is called the “Default Question Block.” This default block is automatically generated whenever you start a new survey. When you create new blocks, they will be called Block 1, Block 2, Block 3, and so on.

While it is not necessary, renaming your blocks can help avoid confusion, so let’s try it.

Try it!

Exercise R: Renaming Your Blocks

  1. Scroll to the top of the block with the Descriptive Text and Graphic Slider, and click on the name. Rename it The Welcome Block.
    Clicking into the top-left of a block to rename it
  2. Scroll down and rename the block with the age question by clicking on its name and entering The Skip and Display Logic Block.
    Renaming block as described

Skipping Around the Block

Skip logic is now ready to solve the “age” issue. The goal is to skip anyone under age 10 to the end of the survey (well past all of the money talk).

First, we need to fix our age demographic question. The first category (18 and under) simply doesn’t fit with the neighborhood demographic of potential customers. (Many customers are under age 10!)

First we’ll update the question, then we’ll add our skip logic.

Exercise S: Fixing the Age Categories

  1. Select the How old are you? question.
    Question text at top, answers broken by line breaks below
  2. Change the demographic age scale to the following:
    • 10 and under
    • 11 – 14
    • 15 – 18
    • 19 – 24
    • 25 – 34
    • 35 – 44
    • 45 – 54
    • 55 – 64
    • 65 and up

Qtip: For new surveys that haven’t been activated, there’s an answer choice shortcut: click the Edit Multiple button to open a box where you can paste in the choices! Choices should be separated by line breaks.

In question editing pane, Edit Multiple option is towards top

Exercise T: Adding Skip Logic

  1. Re-select the How old are you? question.
    Gear dropdown to left of question; skip logic is third option down
  2. Click on the gear to the left and select Add Skip Logic (or pick Add Skip Logic from the editing pane).
  3. In the first dropdown menu, select the 10 and under answer choice.
    Choice selected highlighted in purple; dark grey along the bottom of question where you configure the skip logic
  4. In the second dropdown menu, make sure Is Selected appears.
    Qtip: “Is Selected” is likely the default, so you may not have to change this dropdown at all. This option is called a conditional operator and triggers skip logic.
  5. In the third dropdown menu, choose the End of Survey option so our 10 and under respondents will finish the survey right after they answer this question.
  6. Click Done when you have completed your conditional statement.
Qtip: Applying skip logic to a question will create an automatic page break. Don’t be alarmed — this is actually a good thing. If you’re sending someone out of the survey for answering a question a certain way, you probably don’t want them to see any of the questions that follow.

Solving the Lemonade Problem

Display logic is magical. It can make unwanted answer choices disappear for some participants and reappear for others! (It can also make entire questions vanish, but that’s for another day.)

In Exercise U, we’ll make sure that people who hate lemonade DO NOT see the word lemonade in this survey again!

Try it!

Exercise U: Adding Display Logic

  1. Select the What summertime drinks do you prefer? (Pick as many answers as you like.) question.
    Clicking into an answer choice; clicking blue dropdown arrow; choosing add display logic from the list
  2. First choose the Lemonade answer choice option. Then choose Add Display Logic from the dropdown menu.
  3. Review the phrase in the display logic window: Display this Choice only if the following condition is met.
    Display logic window with series of dropdowns containing answers described in steps
  4. To start your conditional statement, make sure Question is selected for the first dropdown menu.
  5. In the second dropdown menu, choose the question How much will you pay for lemonade on a warm, sunny day?
  6. For the third dropdown menu, select the choice I don’t like lemonade as your conditional operator.
  7. In the final dropdown menu, choose Is Not Selected.
    Save is in green on bottom-right of display logic window
  8. Click Save.

Your lemonade answer choice should now display a tiny arrow indicating that display logic is in operation.

The aforementioned arrow in purple to the left of the choice

Taking Stock of the Block

Let’s review what just happened:

Diagram of how the questions in the editor relate to one another with skip logic considered

  1. 10 and under respondents will: Trigger a skip logic condition and jump right out of the survey.
  2. Lemonade dislike-ers will: Never see lemonade as a choice option again.

Try it!

Exercise V: Preview to catch mistakes

  1. Preview your survey. Try the various choice options and see if you have solved both the “age” and “lemonade” problems.
    Age question
  2. Notice that the page ends here. Everyone will pick Next to move forward. What they see afterwards will vary based on their answers.
Qtip: Learn more about Skip Logic and Display Logic by visiting their support pages.

What’s Next?

  1. Read more about Moksh & Naman’s Lemonade Stand.
  2. Continue to XM Essentials 7: Collecting and Pausing Responses.