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Survey Skip Logic

What is Skip Logic?

Skip logic provides the survey designer the ability to direct the survey responder to another section of the survey based on the answer provided to the current question. For example, you might have a question which simply asks if the survey responder is a cigarette smoker. If the person answers "Yes", then they are directed to the section of the survey which asks a series of questions related to cigarette smoking. Conversely, if the person answers "No", then the cigarette smoking section of the survey is skipped over. In other words, the non-smoker never sees this irrelevant set of survey questions.

Skip logic is also commonly referred to as conditional branching. When a question implements skip logic, the next path taken in a survey is conditioned upon the response provided.

Why use skip logic?

There are a couple of reasons why you will want to use survey skip logic. Please keep in mind this is an optional feature.

Your survey may contain questions that are relevant to only some of its targeted respondents. Skip logic provides the means to direct your respondents to the questions that are of relevance to them. As indicated in the earlier example, folks who answer a question indicating that they smoke, will then subsequently be asked questions concerning smoking, while those who do not smoke will not be asked questions about smoking. Without such skip logic rule use in this scenario, surely non-smokers will become frustrated answering the survey and may abandon it before completion.

Skip logic may also be used to filter-out certain respondents. For example, you may be conducting a survey for opera fans. The first question presented in the survey may be, "Do you love opera?". If the person answers, "No", then the skip logic rule will immediately direct the respondent to the end of the survey.

As you may infer from the two examples above, using skip logic may be beneficial to improving the response rate as well as the quality and accuracy of data collected.

Which survey design works with skip logic?

You may apply skip logic rules when using either the Express or the Pages survey design. The Express design displays one survey question at a time or all at once on the survey form. The Pages survey design displays groups of related questions for the respective survey pages, displaying one page at a time.

Express Design: For the Express survey design, a triggered skip logic rule will navigate the survey responder to the rule-assigned destination question. There is one caveat with using skip logic for the Express survey design - it only works when one question is displayed at a time. Using skip logic rules will not work, logically, for an Express design that displays all survey questions at once on a web page.

Page Design: For a survey design which groups questions using pages, a triggered skip logic rule will navigate the survey responder to the rule-assigned destination page. The one consideration for a survey page design is that the question containing the skip logic rule must be the last question presented on the survey page. Logically this makes sense.

Please keep in mind, the DCA Survey skip logic designer will mind such details for you while it guides you through the simple steps of creating a skip logic rule.

Workflow Advice

You will want to create all your survey questions and pages (if used), first, then proceed with developing your skip logic. If your survey contains more than one or two questions which contain skip logic, you will likely benefit from some up-front planning work. Do so by sketching out your survey's logical flow with a pencil and paper.

Once you created your survey questions (and pages) and have planned your survey to identify the skip logic origination and destination questions, you should then create the skip logic rules using the DCA Survey tool. The skip logic feature is accessible under the 'Advanced' menu link.

Be sure to use the DCA Survey tool's 'Preview' menu feature to be sure your skip logic works as planned and do so for each skip logic rule set.

Where is the Skip Logic feature found?

The skip logic section is accessible under the 'Advanced' menu link while you are in survey design/edit mode. To create a skip logic rule, you will be simply asked for the following:

  1. an origination question

  2. an answer selection which triggers the skip logic rule

  3. a destination question (for an Express survey design)
       or
    a destination page (for a survey which uses Pages)

Please keep in mind, the DCA Survey skip logic designer will mind such details for you while it guides you through the simple steps of creating a skip logic rule.


Last updated: 2012 March 03