Skip This: Survey Logic Best Practices

Online survey platforms, such as Cvent, offer the user a wide variety of tools designed to maximize the user experience. After all isn’t that what we are looking for…an engaged respondent that provides truthful and enlightened responses? With that said it amazes me how many surveys go out that do not incorporate good design and effective use of these tools.

For example, survey skip logic is a powerful method for directing respondents to questions that are relevant to their experience. It goes like this…they respond to a question, and based upon their response choice(s), are directed to follow up questions that are connected to the gateway question. This process can be used to redirect respondents to other surveys if necessary as well. The example below is an example of a gateway question.


My response to this question clearly indicates that I am not a decision-maker or influencer in areas concerning IT or telecommunications. Logically, after this response I would expect to receive questions about topics more closely aligned with my area of influence or decision-making capacity.

Wrong! The survey directed me to a decision matrix regarding search methods for IT and telecom products. This type of matrix question is effective, but only if I had any authority or influence in these areas.

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Judicious use of skip logic and branching when designing your questionnaire. If created properly, with forethought, you can direct respondents to questions that are meaningful to them. This will ensure a higher quality data set designed to answer the study’s primary questions. Sending respondents to questions that are not meaningful will:

  1. Cause them to provide biased or unfounded responses
  2. Lead them to terminate the survey before completion
  3. All of the above
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