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What are some best practices for using skip logic?

Skip logic best practices & good-to-knows!

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Last updated:
April 8, 2020

Skip Logic is a great tool to use to create a customized screener experience for study candidates. You can use it to change what questions a candidate sees, dependent on their responses to a previous question. You can also use it to prevent leading candidates from seeing certain answers and make sure you’re getting the most honest responses from them. If you're new to this feature, take a look at "How does Skip Logic work" to learn the basics. 

Once you have the basics down, here are some tips and best practices that will help make your screener even stronger.

“Reject” vs. “Finish”

An important thing to keep in mind—and one of the most common misunderstandings—is how reject and finish criteria function. Answers that are marked “reject” do not send a candidates to the end of the screener. It does, however, capture that this person will no qualify for the study and places them in the Unqualified bucket.

If you want to send a candidate to the end of a screener, you need to add skip logic, like this: 

Keep in mind that people sent to "Finish" may still qualify for your study if none of their responses were rejected. They will only have the questions that they completed listed on their profile.

Pages are your friend

Although it can be tempting to try and keep a screener as compact as possible, we find that more pages = more clarity when Skip Logic is involved. Having just one question per page (and, more importantly, one question that uses Skip Logic per page) often helps keeps things streamlined and ensures there aren’t any errors with your logic. It also helps to prevent candidates from potentially missing out on important questions. 

Something to keep in mind: a candidate will always be able to answer all questions on a screener page before being directed somewhere new via Skip Logic. If a page of your screener has, for example, 6 questions and the Skip Logic acts on question 3, a candidate will have to answer all 6 questions before being directed to a new page. This is another reason why more pages is better. You may not want the candidate to see questions 4, 5, and 6 prior to knowing how they will answer question 3. 

Here is a quick example of splitting questions up between multiple pages. Say you’re conducting a study about cookie preferences and you’re mostly interested in hearing about chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies. To make sure you’re hearing from candidates about both, we’d recommend splitting up your pages like this:

And we’d recommend using this Skip Logic:

Keep it simple

When in doubt, just remember that the fewer logic clauses you add to a page, the better. We don’t currently have a clear way of outlining Skip Logic’s path through a screener and things can get complicated when you combine “and” clauses with “or” clauses, or when you try to add multiple steps of logic to the same page. Another reason why we recommend spreading your screener onto multiple pages rather than keeping things condensed! 

To send to finish, or to not send to finish. That is the question

One of the most frequently used features of Skip Logic is the ability to send a candidate to the end of a screener as soon as they answer a question “incorrectly.” You should use this option when you’re 100% sure you don’t want to speak with any candidate who gives a particular answer.

As an FYI, when you put this rule in place, a candidate will only be able to see and answer questions through the end of the page that has this logic clause in place.

While “Send to finish” can be an extremely useful, you may want to consider not using it. You'll always have access to disqualified candidates, but their responses will be limited if they did not get to finish the screener. Keep that in mind, in case there's potential for flex on your criteria.

Moving pages and questions around

Some good news: if you launch your study without Skip Logic, but realize you need it later (either on your own or by our suggestion), you can easily do this using our “Edit Screener” feature! You’ll sometimes receive an email from your Project Coordinator suggesting this, or you may decide you need it yourself after sorting through candidate responses.

Some not-so-good news: moving pages and questions around within a screener is a slightly clunky process. We’re working on a fix and hope to have a better solution soon. In the meantime, you'll only be able to move questions within the same page.

To move a question up or down on the same page, click on the question you would like to use and use the “up” and “down” arrows that appear at the top left of the box to move the question in the direction you want.

To move a question to a new page, you'll need to do a little more work. Create a new questions on the page you want to transfer the question to. On that page, click the blue “Add Question” button. Copy/paste the question and answer options, making sure to also edit the question type and which answer options are “Accept” or “Reject.”  We recommend opening up your screener on two side-by-side browser windows to make the copying/pasting more seamless! 

If you need to add a page, click the black hamburger button. Clicking "Add Page" will add a new page to the bottom of the screener.

Have some more questions about Skip Logic? Additional features you’d like to see? Be sure to check out our roadmap to see what our team is thinking about and provide feedback on what’s important to you.

If you have other questions about an existing project that you can't find the answers to, email our project coordinator team.

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