About the Survey Flow
The Survey Flow is where you customize the order in which respondents experience the elements of your survey. As the name suggests, it’s where you determine the “flow” of your survey. For a survey with one or a few blocks of questions, this just means making sure everything’s in the correct order. But your survey flow can also be more complex. Let’s say, for example, you need to send respondents down customized paths. Or maybe you need to randomize conditions. Once a survey-taker goes down a special path, maybe they need to be assigned a special value or end the survey early. With the Survey Flow section of the survey, you can do this and more.
Navigating the Survey Flow
Let’s start by learning where to find the survey flow.
To access the survey flow, make sure you are in the Survey tab of your project. Then click Survey Flow in the navigation bar at the top.
Here, you will see a list of the blocks (groups of questions) in your survey. In basic surveys, you may see just one block.
Respondents will start at the top of the flow and work their way through each element until they reach an end point and finish the survey.
In addition to blocks, the survey flow can be customized by adding new elements such as branches (used to show certain elements only to those who meet conditions you specify), randomizers (used to randomly choose which elements each respondent will see), and a variety of other elements, which we’ll go over in the next section.
Example: Let’s say we’re surveying customers who just made a purchase in our store, but are only interested in studying those who bought from us for the first time. In the screenshot below, we have a block of introduction questions, which includes a question about whether this is the survey taker’s first time buying from our store. We then have a branch that catches all the survey takers who have previously made purchases at our store, and sends them to an end of survey element, so the survey stops. Survey takers who don’t meet the branch’s condition will skip over the end of survey element and instead head to the “Main Study” block, where we will survey them on their first experience with us.
Elements of the Survey Flow
Elements are the building blocks of the survey flow. They let you do everything from creating personalized paths for respondents, to setting up new key variables, to randomizing blocks of questions.
The following is a list of the different survey flow elements available to you, in order of how commonly they are used. Click the corresponding link to learn more about each element.
- Question Blocks: Show a block of questions.
- Branches: Display blocks and other elements based on the conditions that survey respondents meet.
- Embedded Data: Add any extra information you want to include in the survey data beyond the question responses, such as contact data or other variables you assign by branching.
- Randomizer: Randomly present question blocks and other elements.
- End of Survey: Terminate respondents at various locations with custom experiences.
- Authenticator: Verify respondents’ identities before they take the survey.
- Groups: Group different survey flow elements together.
- Reference Surveys: Use the same sets of questions in multiple surveys.
- Table of Contents: Allow respondents to self-navigate question blocks.
- Text Sentiment – Topic: As respondents fill out open-ended feedback in your survey, assess the sentiment of the response, topics used in the response, and the sentiment of those particular topics. Then branch based on the text analysis results.
- Web Service: Integrate API calls and web services into your survey.
Making Edits in the Survey Flow
- Click Add a New Element Here.
Qtip: Or, if there’s a particular spot in the survey flow where you want your new element to appear, click Add Below.
- Choose the element you would like to add.
- Click and hold down Move on the element you would like to move.
- Drag the element to the correct place inside the survey flow.
- If you are moving the element under a branch, randomizer, group, or authenticator, make sure you are paying close attention to how elements are indented!
Example: Survey takers will need to meet the conditions of the branch to see the block labelled Condition 1 (Old Logo), but they will not need to pass the condition of the branch to see the block labelled Follow-Up Questions.
Click Duplicate on an element to copy it. If this element is a branch, randomizer, group, or authenticator, take note that everything indented underneath it will also be copied.
Click Delete on an element to remove it. If this element is a branch, randomizer, group, or authenticator, take note that everything indented underneath it will also be removed.
Saving the Flow
Examples of the Survey Flow in Action
You can do almost anything you want with the survey flow, which can be daunting if you don’t know what you want to do yet. To help you get started, we’ve written a collection of common survey builds that are popular with real Qualtrics users. The ones listed here all utilize the survey flow in some unique way:
- Building a consent form
- Allowing respondents to redo sections of the survey
- A/B Testing (or research on a treatment vs. a control group)
- Assigning randomized IDs to respondents (such as for MTurk)
- Panel company integration
- Screening out certain survey takers
- Creating an anonymized raffle
- Pulling data into one survey from another (such as for longitudinal research)
- Displaying different messages to respondents based on how they scored