Survey Platform - Survey Experience | Qualtrics

Survey Experience


You can use the Survey Experience settings to enhance your respondents’ survey experience. Located in the Survey Options, your Survey Experience settings include options such as adding back buttons to your survey, automatically saving respondents’ progress, and creating custom error messages.

To modify the Survey Experience settings, click Survey Options within the Survey module.


From here, you can see the following list of Survey Experience settings:


Adding a Back Button

With a back button, respondents can return to pages they have already visited in your survey and update their responses.

Warning: In some cases, a back button will not show on your page even if you have the setting selected in your Survey Options. This is caused by having elements between blocks in your Survey Flow. Any element (Branch Logic, Embedded Data, Randomizer, Web Service, etc.) will disable the back button on the first page of the block that follows it.

To add a back button

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the Back Button checkbox.


Allowing Respondents to Save Progress

With Save and Continue, respondents can leave your survey and then re-enter where they left off when they click on the survey link again.

This feature is turned on by default and works by placing a cookie on the respondent’s browser that keeps track of the survey progress. If you are distributing your survey using Individual Links, progress is tracked automatically and Save and Continue is not needed.

By default, respondents have one week to return to the survey and finish their response. After a week, their response will be recorded as-is. This time period can be changed using the Partial Completion setting of the Survey Options.

Qtip: Because Save and Continue uses cookies to save a respondent’s progress, it will only work as long as your respondent returns to the survey on the same internet browser on the same computer to finish the survey.

To turn on Save and Continue

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the Save and Continue checkbox.image19

Displaying Question Numbers

To the left of each question in the Survey module you will see the question number, which you can use to help identify questions when exporting your survey data and reference questions while working on a survey with others.


By default, these question numbers are not displayed to your respondents, but you can choose to enable their display in your Survey Options. Question numbers are often turned on in the testing stage of your survey so those reviewing it can give more specific feedback on which questions they would like to see tweaked.

Qtip: To change any Question Number, simply click on it in the survey editor and type a new number or name. You can also automatically renumber your questions using the steps described in the Auto-Number Questions page.

To turn on question numbers

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the Show Question Numbers checkbox.image17
Qtip: Consider using a Progress Bar rather than question numbers if you wish to give the participant a sense of how far they have come in the survey. The Progress Bar will show them what percentage of the survey they’ve completed, which is typically more meaningful than a question number.

Adding a Custom Error Message

When building your survey, you have the option of adding Force Response Validation to your questions. If a respondent does not answer the question, they are shown the error message, “Please answer this question.” In Survey Options, you can customize a new standard error message to display in this situation. For example, the image below shows a custom Validation message that is more friendly and personal.


Qtip: Custom Validation messages can also be created and edited in the Messages Library.

To create a new Validation message

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.
  2. Select the Use Custom Survey Validation Messages checkbox and click Load a Saved Message.
  3. Select the Library you would like the messages to be saved in and click New Message.
  4. Enter a Description for this set of customized messages and choose the Destination Folder.
  5. Click the blue Add Validation Button to create a message entry.
  6. Under Error, select which system error category you would like to customize.

    Qtip: To add a system error category to the defaults list, select Create Validation. This would be appropriate if you want to create a new error type to be used in Custom Validation.
  7. Under Message, type the text you would like to display to the respondent.
  8. Click Create Message.

    Qtip: Custom Validation messages can also be created and edited in the Message Library.

To select an existing Custom Validation message

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the Use Custom Survey Validation Messages checkbox and click Load a Saved Message.image07
  3. Select the library and the message collection within that library that you would like to use.image09

Changing the Default Survey Language

By default, surveys use the language specified in your Account Settings for any system messages that may appear to respondents as they are taking your survey. You can change the language used for these messages in the Survey Experience section.

Example: Some default messages include

  • “This survey has expired.”
  • “This survey can only be taken by invitation.”
  • “We thank you for your time spent taking this survey. Your response has been recorded.”

In addition, some languages like Arabic or Hebrew are read from right to left. Changing the Survey Language will change the way the survey editor displays the survey questions.

Qtip: All of the default messages will automatically be translated to any language you have added through the Translate Survey feature. You only need to change the default Survey Language if you are not adding multiple translations to your survey.

To change the default survey language

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select a new language from the Survey Language menu.image10

For more information on running a survey in multiple languages, visit our Translation page.

Changing the Survey Title and Meta Description

In the results of any web search you receive a list of related pages, each with a title and meta description. Similarly, when you post on a social media site such as Facebook, you will see a short header and a summary of the link in your post.

The survey title and description as it would appear in a post on Facebook. A similar title and description shows when your survey page is found by search engines. This is only possible if you have allowed indexing on your survey.

This survey title is also displayed as the browser tab title.

The survey title as displayed on the respondent’s browser window.

You can change the survey title and description in Survey Options.

Qtip: By default, your survey will not be indexed by search engines. However, you can disable this in the Survey Protection section of the Survey Options.

To change the survey title and description

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Type a new Survey Title and/or Meta Description.image14