Online Technology for Research & Insight

FAQs: Question management

Frequently asked questions. Click on any question to see the answer.

Types of questions available


TQA01 Can you describe all the types of questions that are available to use in a survey?

There are TEN question types currently available in Demographix:
1. Single-choice questions: These are questions where answers have radio buttons, and only one answer can be selected. Answers can be vertically or horizontally aligned, or shown as a drop-down list (recommended for very long lists). We also have single-choice questions where the answers are a set of images with captions.
2. Multiple-choice questions: These are questions where answers have tick boxes, and multiple answers can be selected. You can limit the number of answers that can be selected. Answers can be vertically or horizontally aligned lists or images.
3. Write-ins: Also known as "Verbatims" or "Open end" questions, write-in questions allow respondents to type in their own answers. These can be limited to a specified number of characters, or allowed to be unlimited.
4. Date picker questions: These allow users to select a date using an interactive pop-up calendar. Dates can be specified to be in the past, in the future, within a range, or any date.
5. Matrix questions: Effectively a set of single or multiple choice questions (with exactly the same answer sets) rolled up into a table-like display. The answers to each row can be a radio button or drop-down list, a multi-choice checkbox list, write-in text entry boxes, or write-in number-only boxes.
6. Sliders: Interactive questions where the respondent slides a cursor along a horizontal line to select an answer. We offer: numeric scales, value statements (Likert), percent split and mixing desk sliders.
7. Image Hotspots: This question type lets you define a grid over an image that has been uploaded into our system, with areas marked out and labelled. This can be used to control single-choice, multi-choice, ranking, and note-appending questions.
8. Randomiser questions: These allow you to specify a range of values that can be randomly shown in a question. For example: "Would you pay ££ for item Z?" where you can specify ££ can be randomly replaced with one of: £10, £20, £30, £40, etc. These help test specific propositions with a range of variables.
9. Card Sort questions/ranking: An interactive question that allows respondents to drag-and-drop items into Containers in order to sort or classify them. Items can be text or images and can be either sorted into different Containers or ranked within a single Container.
10. Star and smiley rating: Star rating questions can be single choice or matrix and you can choose to display between 2 and 10 stars. Smiley questions allow the users to choose the smiley most relevant to how they are feeling and can be displayed by increasing or decreasing happiness.

TQA02 What is the basic difference between single choice and multiple choice questions?

A single choice question is where the respondent can choose only one of the available options (eg age, salary, country). A multiple choice question allows respondents to choose more than one answer (eg films you saw in the past year, places you want to visit). Visually these questions are quite different: single choice questions have "radio buttons" to click on (only one can be chosen at a time) while multiple choice questions have "tick boxes" (so the respondent can tick multiple answers).

TQA03 What are Image Hotspot questions and how should I use them?

Image Hotspots allow you to use interactive images within Demographix surveys. And, unlike other systems which require complex programming, we have created a point-and-click interface for building Image Hotspot Grids (IHGs) with ease. The Designer interface for creating IHGs allows users to define areas of an image, name them, and fully edit them. A colour picker allows you to define the transparent fill within the image areas of an IHG, as well as (separately) the colour of the border. IHGs can be easily duplicated and individually edited for use in multiple questions.
There are four types of Image Hotspot questions available: single selection, multiple selection, ordered (ranked) selection, and Noting – the latter allows respondents to attach notes and comments to specific areas of an image.
Image Hotspot questions will deliver standard results in our Analysis interface and Excel downloads. Single choice, multiple choice and ordered image hotspot questions will show results in the same way as our existing single choice, multiple choice and ranking questions. Noting questions will display the notes assigned to given areas of a grid in the same way as an existing matrix write-in question.

TQA04 What is a Randomiser question and how do I use it? Can I use it to price test a new product?

A Randomiser question lets you specify a number of prices (or any other set of numbers or pieces of text) and randomly includes one of them in your question. Different respondents then get shown a version of the same question, and can respond more honestly to this. Randomizer questions are IDEAL for price testing. For instance, you want to find out how much people will pay for a new product, but if you showed them a range of prices then they would, naturally, be more inclined to choose the cheaper options. In this case, for example, you could enter the question as follows: "Would you be willing to pay $[] for a Wizzo Widget?" Then, in the answer options you could put: "5 10 15 20 25". Respondents will be asked questions like: "Would you be willing to pay $10 for a Wizzo Widget? Yes/No" or "Would you be willing to pay $25 for a Wizzo Widget? Yes/No", etc. When analysing the survey you will see how many people answered Yes or No to each price.

TQA05 What does the Date Picker question type allow me to do?

Date Picker allows the inclusion of easy-to-use calendar based questions in surveys. When a respondent clicks on the questions response box, an interactive calendar pops up, allowing them to select a date. There are four different options you can set:
1. Any date, which allows respondents to pick any date without limitations.
2. Date in the past, this allows only a date in the past to be selected and is useful for birthdays or any event that has already happened.
3. Date in the future which allows only a future date to be selected.
4. Dates within a range narrows down the available choices to a specific range.
The Demographix analysis toolset shows the data in the same way as write-ins, with dates in the format "12 Jul 2015", while the data downloads use the format "2015-07-12", allowing for easy sorting and grouping in Excel.

TQA06 How do I use the star and smiley rating questions?

Star rating questions allow respondents to rate something by selecting a number of stars. These can be set to be any number between 2 and 10. We recommend stating clearly in the question what the extremes mean (e.g. "1 star = very poor and 10 stars = excellent"). You can also change the colour of the stars to match your survey – the default colour is gold. Depending on the number of items there are to rate, select either one row or a matrix of rows.
Smiley rating questions show a series of 5 colourful smiley faces, which can be displayed in order of increasing or decreasing happiness. The respondent can then click on the most appropriate face which will be highlighted and underlined. If you want a variation on the smileys available, these can be set up as Image Hotspots.

Options within question properties


OQP01 How do I pre-check or pre-tick an answer in a single or multiple choice question?

To specify that an answer option should be pre-checked you should prefix it with an asterisk (*). The asterisk will not appear in the final survey, but the radio button or tick box next to this answer will be pre-selected. For example, the answer Yes can appear already pre-selected on a question asking about an interest in taking part in further surveys. ADVISORY: Use this facility with a light-touch, so as not to prejudice the results.

OQP02 Can I rotate the order of rows in a matrix question?

Yes, tick "Randomise order of rows" under Behaviour Options in the Question properties / Details tab. Another option will then appear underneath, allowing you to specify that the last row should always remain last (for example, if this is an "Other" row or similar at the end of a list).

OQP03 Can I rotate the answer options, so they are shown in different orders to different respondents?

There is a "Randomise order of answers" under Behaviour options on the Details tab of all single and multiple choice question types. If this is ticked, another option will then appear allowing you to always have the last answer at the end of the list (for example, if this is an "Other" or "None of the above" answer). Every time the survey is served, the answers will be displayed randomly – thus preventing bias to those at the top of the list. However, do not choose this option where a list is alphabetical.

OQP04 How do I limit the number of choices made by respondents to a multiple choice or card sort/ranking question?

In the Question properties / Details tab, there is a Behaviour option labelled "Limit number of answers to". Tick this, and a write-in box will appear where you can specify the maximum number of choices that can be made. Don't forget to alert respondents that there is a maximum limit to answers in the phrasing of the question. When editing the question the system will not allow you to choose 0 or more than the number of options for that question. When answering the question, if the respondent attempts to choose more than the limit, an alert will advise them that they have to unselect an option before choosing a new one.

OQP05 How do I use the "None of the Above" option in a multi-choice question?

In a multiple choice question, respondents can be offered a None of the Above option at the end of a list of answers. To enable this (in a Multiple Choice question only) tick the "Last item represents None of the above" choice on the question Properties (under the Details tab). When you preview the survey, you will see a radio button for the last option. When this is chosen by a respondent, all the other options are unticked.

OQP06 How do I feed answers selected in a previous question into the answer options of another question?

Use "Derive Answer options from Previous Question" in a question's properties to feed in the answers that were actively chosen before. For instance, you may have a multiple-choice question that asks respondents to select all the brands they recognise using. Then in the next question you want them to rate these brands individually or choose their favourite of them all, but this question should only show the brands they selected previously.
To do this, create your matrix or single-choice question after the multiple-choice question (it does not need to be immediately after, it could be later in the survey). It is also best to put the dynamic answer question on a separate page from the trigger question. In the Dynamic Linking section of the Question properties, tick the option "Derive Answer options from Previous Question". A dropdown menu will be displayed, allowing you to choose the question from which the answers are to be derived. Note that you can display either the answers selected OR the answers that weren't selected. Save the question, update and preview the survey, and check that the dynamic answers are working correctly.

OQP07 How do I insert the answer from one question into the text of a follow-on question?

This is called answer piping and can be used where the initial question is a single-choice question. For example, you ask them to select their favourite supermarket from a list and then pipe that answer into a follow on question (or text introduction to a page of questions) to find out why they chose that supermarket. You can do this by selecting the option "Pipe previous answer into ** in QUESTION TEXT above" within the question editor and selecting the relevant question to link to. You would then write a question where the answer is replaced with **, such as "What do you particularly like about shopping at **?" The ** would then be replaced with the selected answer from the linked question. Answer piping can also be used for page titles.

Question problem solver


QPS01 I have a list of answers in a question with "Other, please specify" at the end of the list of possible answers. How can I get the respondents to specify this?

Add a write-in question immediately after the question where the "Other, please specify" option is. Label this write-in: "Please specify" and save. Then click on the write-in's Validation/Conditions tab, click Add Conditions, and select the Control Question from the list shown. All the answer options to the question will be displayed. Tick the "Other, please specify" answer option. Now, save, then update and preview the survey.
NOTE: If there are a lot of questions on the page and the original question is at the top, you may need to add the write-in to the bottom of the page first and then move it up to position it. Do this by clicking the "Re-order Question on Page" option on the Page Actions menu on the Page title bar. Select the write-in question and move it up to its correct place. Then Save.

QPS02 When should a matrix question use radio buttons and when checkboxes?

In a matrix question, each row is effectively a separate sub-question. Use radio buttons (or a drop-down list) when the respondent should be able to select only ONE option (eg Agree or Disagree, Satisfaction levels, etc). Use checkboxes if you want to allow MORE THAN ONE answer to that row of the matrix.

QPS03 How can I create an opt-in or opt-out question with just one tick-box choice?

It's not obvious, but there's a simple answer to this. Select multiple-choice as the question type, and then add only one answer option. So, for example, the question would be: "Tick if you want to receive further mailings" – and the only answer option would be "Yes, I would like to receive further mailings". This way the survey will generate a check box, which people can tick or untick.

QPS04 How do I use Personal Identification Data (PID) settings to protect the data given by respondents?

If your survey collects personal information (such as names, telephone numbers, email addresses, etc) Demographix gives you the ability to protect this information from unauthorised access. To implement this, tick the "Personal Identification Data" box when creating a question asking for personal information – either a write-in, date picker or matrix write-ins. An alert will pop up when you first select one of these question types. Answers to questions marked like this can only be accessed by Account Holders, Full Users or Creators using the "View Individual Responses" tool or by downloading the raw data – Personal Identification Data is never accessible from the survey analysis reports.
NOTE: Colleague log-ins, by default, cannot view this data. However, Colleagues can optionally be given permission to see this information when they view individual responses. When giving a colleague access to a survey through the Permissions tool (accessed by clicking the Permissions icon ) you can choose whether this information is shown to them.

QPS05 How do I change a question when my survey is published and has started collecting data?

Once a survey is published and has responses, Account Holder, Full User and Creator log-ins can change some elements of a survey, but not Answer lists (though we might be able to help if you raise a Helpdesk ticket). Things you can change are:
1. The text of any question
2. The text in text items or replace image items (but not delete them)
3. The conditionality of a question
4. The validation control (e.g. whether questions are compulsory or not)
If you do change any of these things, don't forget to click the UPDATE PAGES or PREVIEW button at the top of the screen so the changes take effect in the published survey.
Remember, Helpdesk staff at Demographix can help with changing answer options, adding answers, or hiding questions. Raise a Helpdesk ticket if you have such a request.

QPS06 Is it advisable to ask for respondents’ date of birth as a Date Picker question?

It depends on how you plan to analyse the results. If you are simply looking to filter or crosstab on certain age ranges, or want to work out an average age, then you should ask respondents their age using standard age breaks in a single choice question (Under 18, 18-25, 26-35, etc). However, if you want to look at established demographic classifications such as "Baby Boomers", "Generation X" and "Millennials", then this can be achieved by asking date of birth as a Date Picker question and setting up Derived Variables for each group.

QPS07 Can I analyse the results by when responses were received?

Yes, this is possible by putting a Hidden analysis metadata question into your survey, found in the question category dropdowns. Select response date as the style and the question will appear in your survey. Note that the question is hidden from respondents so they will not see it in the survey, but the date of the response will be registered and available in the analysis. This data can then be used to group responses by any period you choose (e.g. weeks, quarters) using Derived Variables.

QPS08 Can I analyse results by the devices used to respond to my survey?

Yes, this is possible by putting a Hidden analysis metadata question into your survey, found in the question dropdowns. Select respondent device as the style and the question will appear in your survey. Note that the question is hidden from respondents so they will not see it in the survey but the device used will be registered and available in the analysis. If required the data can be further grouped using Derived Variables.

QPS09 Can I analyse results by which country the respondents are in?

Yes, this is possible by putting a Hidden analysis metadata question into your survey, found in the question category dropdowns. Select respondent country as the style and the question will appear in your survey. Note that the question is hidden from respondents so they will not see it in the survey but the country they're responding from will be registered and available in the analysis. If required the data can be further grouped using Derived Variables.

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