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Adding branching in surveys

12 comments

Branching is used to have respondents skip certain questions that are not relevant to them. This allows you to create different routes through your survey, guiding respondents based on their responses or profile.

For example, you may have a number of questions about the respondents children. If the first question is ‘How many children do you have?‘ and the respondent indicates ‘none‘, then there is no reason to show that respondent the other children related questions. Just skip them to the next section. The respondent sees fewer questions and thus has a greater chance of reaching the end of the survey.

How does it work?

Branching is page based. Meaning, after the respondent clicks on the ‘Next’ button at the bottom of the page, which page should the respondent see next?

You can branch to question pages in your survey, the thank-you page, the alternative thank-you page or a URL. The latter can be useful for branching to another survey, a website, etc.

Adding the branch

  1. Sign in to CheckMarket.
  2. Click on the tab Surveys.
  3. Open your survey.
  4. Click on Edit.

Under each page is a Branching button Branching button. Click on it to open the branching window.

Branch settings

A branch consists of one or more conditions. A condition is a set of criteria. If the criteria are met, then the condition is true. If the conditions of a branch are met then the branch is true and the respondent will be sent to the target page set in the branch.

Below is an overview of the different parameters which make up a branch and its conditions:

Branching window

When the branching window first opens, you see an option to add a branch to the page and the optional Else branch, which allows you to optionally select a page where you want to send the respondent if he doesn’t fulfil the conditions of any of the other branches (or when there aren’t any other branches).

To create a branch click on Add branch .

Target page

Select from the Go to dropdown(1) the target page where the respondents need to go when they met the condition(s) of the branch.

Type

The branching condition is based on two types:

  • Question – The answer on an earlier question.
  • Respondent field – Data from the respondent (Socio-demographic, address data, custom fields, …).

Select the type you want from the Type dropdown (2).

Question/field

Select from the Select question/field dropdown (3) the question or respondent field on which you want to base your condition.

Operator

Depending on the context you have the choice of different operators to set different criteria like: “is”, “is not”, “contains”, “does not contain”, “greater than”, “less than”, etc. Choose an operator from the Select operator dropdown (4) to further complete your condition.

Value

Choose an answer from the Select value dropdown (5) or fill in the text field that the condition needs to match.

Remove branch

Extra conditions and branches

By clicking on Add condition (9) you can add as many extra conditions you want. Using the AND/OR-operator (7) you can indicate if some or all the conditions need to be matched.

You can add extra branches by clicking on Add branch (10). Removing branches (6) or conditions can be done by clicking on the crosses.

Saving your branches can be done by clicking on the Save button below in the window.

Branching overview

After clicking on the save button and returning to the question edit page, below every page is an overview of the branches and condition(s). Click on the “Edit” link to edit your branch(es) and condition(s).

Attention! There are some important points you need to pay attention to when using branching:
  • First create all your questions and pages and only then add your branches.
  • Make questions on which branches are based required.
  • Branching is page based so questions that need to be skipped have to be on a separate page, not together with questions that don’t need to be skipped.
  • If you do need to add questions or pages after having set branches, then check these branches carefully.

Finally there are three important tips: test, test and test! Try all possible answer combinations until your are 100% sure that the branches are correct, before launching your survey.

12 comments

Join the conversation
  • JohnWT - February, 2020 reply

    Hi, May sound like a strange question but can I branch from Q4 back to Q1 depending upon the users response?
    THe assumption seems to be that I always want to branch forward to a question.

    Nadia De Vriendt - March, 2020 reply

    hi John. Thank you for reaching out. Yes, it is correct that you must always branch forward to a later page in the survey. You cannot let respondents go back to previous questions.

  • Karen Scott - April, 2019 reply

    If i have 2 questions on a page (say Q17 and Q18) and the branching is only conditional on Q18 – do I have to account for Q17 in my conditions to make the branching work? So do i have to say: Q17 any answer is okay AND Q18 with all its conditions? OR can i not mention Q17 at all and just put conditions on Q18? (the latter doesn’t seem to be working)

    Gert Van Dessel - April, 2019 reply

    Hi Karen,

    You will have to put Q18 on a different page, you can not have different conditions for questions on the same page.

  • Gloria - August, 2017 reply

    i am trying to delete the branching entirely as I know want to use the page logic but it’s not allowing me to. I can only delete the questions, not the “else go to” What am i missing?

    Thanks,

    Maarten Marijnissen - August, 2017 reply

    Hi Gloria,

    I forwarded your question to our support team.
    They’ll be happy to help you!

  • Søren - July, 2017 reply

    Hi. I’m trying to find a survey software that can handle multiple branching: Can I make multiple branching on a question – branching from a multiple answer question to more than one other question?

    Example: Which modes of transport did you use for your journey? Possible answers being e.g. walk, bike, bus, train and car. E.g. if the respondent used bike and train she should be redirected to a page related to the bike part of the trip and also to the one about the train.

    Also can I redirect based on a text field being empty or not? Or a check box being checked or not?

    Nadia De Vriendt - July, 2017 reply

    hi Søren

    Sure you can. You can combine multiple conditions for a branching, and link these conditions either via an “and” or “or” operator.

    Your example does sound like it would be easier to do via page display logic (https://www.checkmarket.com/kb/what-is-page-display-logic/), though. That way you can just set up the logic so that the page related to the bike part of the trip is only shown when “bike” was selected in the question, etc. So I’d recommend that instead of branching in this particular example.

    And you can indeed also set a condition on a question being empty or not.

  • Bryan - November, 2016 reply

    Is there anyway to Branch at a question level? Example – If a user selects “Disagree / Strongly Disagree” or 0-5 on a 0-10 scale, a question appears just for that negative response? For rather long surveys, it is tedious to create a page for each negative response and makes the survey longer for end users who have multiple page branches because of a large number of negative responses.

    Nadia De Vriendt - November, 2016 reply

    hi Bryan

    Yes, that’s possible. You can create just 1 page, with 1 open text question on why a respondent gave a negative score. You can then use page display logic to show that page when 1 of the previous rating scales had a low score.
    The conditions would be something like this:

    Show page if
    Q1 is lower than 6
    or
    Q2 is lower than Neutral
    or
    Q3 is lower than …

    If you need assistance setting this up for a particular survey, you can always reach out to our Support Team. They’ll be glad to put you on the right track.

  • Ellen - October, 2015 reply

    I have not understood this survey,its logic is tricky.

    Nadia De Vriendt - October, 2015 reply

    hi Ellen,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re not managing the logic. I just had a look at your account, but don’t see a survey “in development”. What type of logic do you want exactly?

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