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Hot Spot Question

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About Hot Spot Questions

You can use the Hot Spot question type to gather feedback on images. With this question type, the respondent is presented with an image that has predefined regions to select from.

An image with clickable regions

Example: You can use this question type in concept testing for print ads (“Which portions of this ad stand out to you?”) and in usability testing (“Which portions of this webpage are unclear?”).

Setting Up a Hot Spot Question

  1. Click Create a New Question.
    Creating a question and choosing the Hot Spot question type
  2. Click the Change Question Type dropdown.
  3. Select Hot Spot.
  4. Click the Choose Graphic option.
    Choose Graphic on the question editing pane
  5. Select a graphic you’ve already uploaded to your account or to upload a new one from your computer.
    Uploading a new graphic

    Qtip: Qualtrics accepts most image file types, though we recommend saving your image as a PNG rather than a JPG.
  6. Click Add Region to add clickable regions.
    Adding regions to the Hot Spot

    Warning: Your Hot Spot question will not collect data if you do not add regions! If you are looking to create a heat map of generally clicked areas instead, you should create a Heat Map question.
  7. Click and drag the corners of the region to resize or move it.
  8. Click the text box beneath the region to type a region name (this name will not display to respondents, but will be used in your survey results).
  9. Repeat steps 2–4 until all the necessary regions have been created.
    Modifying how respondents interact with the regions
  10. Choose the question’s Interactivity, Visibility, and Validation Type. Read more about these settings in the Hot Spot Options section below.

Custom Region Shapes

By default, all regions are rectangles. In certain scenarios, however, you may need custom region shapes. For example, on a map, you may need a free-form region shape to cover a specific city or country.

To customize a region shape

  1. Click anywhere on the region to select it.
    Renaming a region
  2. Click the dropdown arrow next to the region name to open the Region Options.
  3. Choose Edit Shapes.
  4. Click on any edge of the existing shape to add a new point to that edge.
    Dragging the side of a region to reshape it
  5. Move the newly added points to create any shape you need.
Qtip: You can also use the blue shape editing toolbar at the top of the question to Draw New Shape, Add Point, Remove Point, or Remove Shape.
The blue region editing toolbar

Hot Spot Options

In addition to allowing you to add regions, the Hot Spot question has three options for customization.


Interactivity settings determine how the respondents interact with the Hot Spot.

Interactivity settings in the question editing pane

On/Off allows the respondent to either select or deselect a region.

A hot spot with regions selected, highlighting green

Like/Dislike allows a respondent to mark a region positively, mark a region negatively, or deselect a region.

A hot spot where one region is green and the other is red


Visibility settings in the question editing pane

By default, regions do not display unless respondents hover over them. Alternatively, regions can be set to Always Visible.

Hot spot where regions are faintly outline

Validation Type

By default, respondents have no requirements for how they answer a Hot Spot question.

At Least allows you to define how many regions, minimum, have to be clicked.

Validation Type set to At Least with parameters set

Answers Range allows you to set a minimum and a maximum number of regions that must be selected.

Validation Type set to Answers Range with a range specified

See our Validation page to learn more about the other options.

Data Analysis

Once your responses have been collected, Qualtrics offers various ways you can analyze your response data. From the Reports tab, you can view aggregate data in pre-made reports as well as create your own reports from scratch. From the Data & Analysis tab, you can view and manage individual respondents’ data.


Hot Spots display data in reports by showing how many times each region was selected.

Qtip: Do you want to be able to display selections as a Heat Map? You shouldn’t be using the Hot Spot, but the Heat Map question instead.

In the Results section of the Reports tab, there are five visualization types available for Hot Spot questions: Simple Table, Bar Chart, Line Chart, Pie Chart, and Breakdown Bar. For more information on these visualizations please visit the linked visualization support pages.

In the Reports section of the Reports tab, the visualizations available for the Hot Spot are the Bar Chart, Line Chart, and Statistics Table. For more information on these visualizations please visit the linked visualization support pages.

Downloaded Data Format

In the exported data set, a column will be provided for each region.

If the Hot Spot question was set to Like / Dislike, a “1” indicates dislike, a “2” indicates neutral (the user did not select this region), and a “3” indicates like.

If the Hot Spot question was set to On / Off, an unselected region will be indicated by a “1”, and a selected region will be indicated by a “2”.


CSV of hot spot data