Survey Platform - Hot Spot | Qualtrics

Hot Spot


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.


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 the Choose Graphic option to select a graphic you’ve already uploaded to your account or to upload a new one from your computer.image07
    Qtip: Qualtrics accepts most image file types, though we recommend saving your image as a PNG rather than a JPG.
  2. Click Add Region to add additional clickable regions.image02
  3. Click and drag the corners of the region to resize or move it.
  4. 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).
  5. Repeat steps 2–4 until all the necessary regions have been created.
  6. Choose the question’s Interactivity, Visibility, and Validation Type. Read more about these settings in the Hot Spot Options section below.image01

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.
  2. Click the dropdown arrow next to the region name to open the Region Options.image10
  3. Choose Edit Shapes.
  4. Click on any edge of the existing shape to add a new point to that edge.2015-10-22_14-20-19
  5. Move the newly added points to create any shape you need.2015-10-22_14-14-40
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.

Hot Spot Options

The Hot Spot question has three additional options for customization apart from adding selectable regions.

  • Interactivity: Regions can either be set to have two states (selected and unselected; called On/Off) or to have three states (liked, disliked, and unselected; called Like/Dislike).
  • Visibility: By default, regions do not display unless respondents hover over them. Alternatively, regions can be set to Always Visible.
  • Validation Type: By default, respondents have no requirements for how they answer a Hot Spot question. See our Validation page to learn more about the other options.

Data Analysis

Once your responses have been collected, Qualtrics offers various methods to create reports both in and out of the platform. From the Reports module, you can view aggregate data with pre-made reports as well as create your own. From the Data & Analysis module, you can view and manipulate your survey responses on an individual basis.


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.

Downloaded Data Format

In the downloaded 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”.