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FocusVision Knowledge Base

Survey Programming

Basic survey programming training is offered via the video below. More topics on advanced programming can be found below. 

 

Kinesis Survey Beginner's Overview (Fullscreen @ 720p Recommended)

1:  Basic Programming

The majority of survey programming will take place within the survey editor, found under the Survey Functions menu. Before programming, it is highly recommended that you review the survey editor article and its functionality.

1.1:  Adding questions

The following question types are built-in and can be added with ease. Creating questions is a simple process and can be done by copying/pasting question text and answer options into the question creator. Once the question is created, you will be taken to the Question Properties page, where further editing is possible with options such as adding quotas, randomizing the option list, attaching other fields, etc. Available question types are:

  • Radio Questions: Single response question.
  • Checkbox Questions: Multiple choice question.
  • Pulldown: Single response question displayed via a pulldown menu.
  • Text Questions: A single text input, commonly used to collect demographic data, contact information, and smaller open ends.
  • Textareas: A configurable text input for open ended questions.
  • Number Questions: A text input to collect only numeric values. Configurable formatting, range, and required decimal places.
  • Phone Number: A text input formatted specifically for phone number entry.
  • Computational Fields: Used for making hidden and stored calculations behind the scenes. Can be used to compute least-filled quotas, calculate sums, means, or other information from previously stored questions.
  • Extra Text Displays: A display for inserting instructions or other verbiage and media. Does not collect data.
  • Date Inputs: An open end date field(s) with configurable settings and pop-up calendar.
  • Card Sort: A multi-bucket drag and drop question type.
  • Ranking Questions: A single-bucket drag and drop question type.
  • File Uploads: Allows respondents to send in media of any type to add a qualitative component.
  • Sliders: A single- or dual- sliding scale.
  • Captchas: Captcha image/audio file and text input, used to identify that respondent is not a bot. Requires a randomly generated text phrase from an image or audio clip be entered.
  • Template Questions: Insert a templated question into your survey. See the Template Manager entry for details.

For any question type that you do not see listed above, you will need to utilize a plugin or create your own question via custom javascript. This is possible via the use of custom HTML ranges.

1.2:  Conditional (skip) logic and validation

Questions, question groups, and option choices can be hidden from respondents by adding conditional logic. Answers provided by respondents can be validated by adding in validation error messages. Both tools utilize a drop down menu, allowing you to select the question, the operator, and the answer option, and will write out the logic for you. It is also possible to forgo the use of the drop down tools and write out your own logic within the editor.

1.3:  Adding Quotas

Kinesis Survey has three types of quotas that can be added into your survey:

  1. Standard Quota
    Standard quotas take only one option into consideration and can be added either in the Basic Question Properties when creating the question or via the Quota Manager
  2. Logical Quota
    Logical quotas take more than one option into consideration and must be added via the Quota Manager
  3. Nested Quota
    Nested quotas are created from two or more questions and create quotas out of all possible option combinations

To speed up the creation of logical and nested quotas, a quota download/upload tool has been created. This allows you to quickly create quotas, including corresponding logic, within an excel file. The file can then be uploaded into the Quota Manager.

Please note that respondents only count towards quota cells once they complete the survey. Any respondent who enters a survey and qualifies for an open quota will be able to finish the survey even if the quota cell fills between the time they start and the time they complete. This means that it is possible to overfill quota cells if there is a high number of respondents in the survey at one time. Whenever possible, please be sure to parse out survey invitations to prevent this.

2:  Advanced Programming

Kinesis includes a variety of features that allow for advanced programming, including complex randomizations, data prepopulation, and tools that allow you to create your own custom question type. Tools include:

  • HTML Ranges
    Custom HTML ranges are used to create custom question types and other customized displays. This tool allows you to overlay a customized display on top of existing datapoints. For an example, please see our text highlighter example.
  • Lists
    Lists are designed to be used with option lists that are used repeatedly throughout a survey, such as a brand or device list. Radios, pulldowns, checkboxes, and matrix tables can all be created using lists. If a list needs to be edited, the edit will apply automatically to all questions/matrices utilizing the list.
  • Looping
    Looping is used in conjunction with the List Manager. Question groups will loop through the list manager, asking each set of questions for every item included in the list.
  • PHP Functions
    PHP functions can be used within survey questions to populate data or within hidden computationals. Kinesis allows a wide range of PHP functions to be used within logic. Many functions can help reduce the amount of code needed to return data, allowing your survey to run at optimal speed.
  • Data prepopulation
    Data can be populated into a datapoint via URL, CSV file, or value/condition (utilizing simple if/then statements and PHP functions. Once data is stored, it can be used in conditional logic throughout the survey.
  • Random Sequencer
    This tool is used to create a randomization and apply that randomization across multiple option lists, question groups, table matrix rows, etc. When used in combination with computationals, randomization sequences can be specified and applied as well.
  • Rotational Groups
    This tool is used to randomize groups of questions. Additionally, you can specify how many groups to display to respondents.

3:  Launching Your Survey

Once your survey has been programmed and tested, you are ready to launch! The steps below outline the typical launch process:

  1. Delete survey test data
    Deleting survey test data will clear out all collected responses as well as reset all qouota counts back to 0.
  2. Provide the URL to your sample vendor or use the invitation tool to launch the survey
    The survey URL can be found on the survey landing page within the Project Information field (on the right). Click the link next to the globe icon; you will find a list of survey URLs for each access method you have enabled in addition to 10 test URLs. Grab the URL for the access method you need.
  3. Always perform a soft launch!
    You will want a max of 10% of your total sample for a soft launch. If the survey is simple and logic is easy to check, you can soft launch with fewer respondents. Check your data using the data export tools.
  4. Full launch
    Once the soft launch data has been verified, full launch! Please be mindful of the amount of traffic in your survey. The more traffic in the survey at one time, the higher the likelihood that you will overfill your quotas.

4:  Ways to increase programming speed

Kinesis includes several features that can help speed up the programming process. Tools include:

  • Template Manager
    This tool is used to create question libraries. Whenever possible, Kinesis recommends templating questions that are used repeatedly across multiple studies. Questions usually include screeners and demographic datapoints. Any associated translations will be templated as well, making it cheaper and faster to get translations completed.
  • Document Uploader
    The document uploader allows you to create a text document with all questions, answer options, associated formatting, and conditional logic. This is especially useful for long, complex surveys where it is easier to split up the programming amongst multiple programmers. The final documents can be compiled into one and uploaded, instantly creating the survey. As with programming via the UI, Kinesis always recommends testing the survey before launching.
  • Lists
    Lists are designed to be used with option lists that are used repeatedly throughout a survey, such as a brand or device list. Radios, pulldowns, checkboxes, and matrix tables can all be created using lists. If a list needs to be edited, the edit will apply automatically to all questions/matrices utilizing the list.
  • Looping
    Looping is used in conjunction with the List Manager. Question groups will loop through the list manager, asking each set of questions for every item included in the list.
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