Step 4: Test your survey
This step is easy to take for granted and do it carelessly, or even skip it completely. In reality it is one of the most important steps of the survey creation process.
The only way for you to see how your survey looks and how it works is by testing it. You should do this on a regular basis to make sure each question looks and works the way that you intend it to.
Why is it important to test my survey?
When you are putting in time and efforts into a project of course you want it to work in a satisfying way, not only for your own sake but also for the respondents. In order to make sure that the questions, pages and any logic added is functioning properly it is very important to do thorough tests and controls of you questionnaire on a regular basis.
Maybe a question that you have created looks different than you imagined it to, a jump in the questionnaire sends you to the wrong target page or just the text looks strange by formatting or design. Worst case scenario you get an error message and can not continue the survey after a certain point. The only way to catch these issues is by testing the survey from start to finish. Should there be an error or other issue in the survey that affects the outcome of the result, there is no natural solution but to either leave it as incomplete or distribute it again in order to receive the feedback that you need.
We recommend you to lay down the extra time and effort it takes to test the survey thoroughly. Furthermore we recommend you to send the testlink to a couple of colleagues and your boss in order for them to test the survey to receive their approval as well, before you publish the survey.
How do I test my survey?
To test your survey there are a couple of possibilities, depending on where you are in the creation process and what you are interested in previewing.
Preview page: This option allows you to preview the current page that you are currently working on. You will not be able to move forward or backwards in the survey, only see the design and setup for that specific page. To access this you need to have selected one of your questions and up in the right corner you have an icon of a paper and a magnifying glass:
Press this icon to open a new window containing the preview of that specific page.
Preview survey: This option allows you to preview the entire survey that you are currently working on. You will enter at the introduction text and be able to freely move forwards and backwards through you survey questions. To access this you need to have selected either “All” or “Introduction” and up in the right corner you have an icon of a paper and a magnifying glass:
Press this icon to open a new window containing the preview of the entire survey.
Testlink: This option is available on the “Distribution“-page of the creation process. Up in the right corner of the window you will have a button saying “Testlink”:
When pressing this button you will get a small pop-up window containing a QR-code for those of you who have access to a QR-reader in order to test it in a mobile version, and a text saying “Testlink”. Press this text and a new window will be opened displaying the entire survey in a test environment. Using a test link will give you an authentic version of the survey with the possibility to test logic and jumps in the survey, as well as translations (if you have any). When the test link is used, there will never be any answers registered to your survey. It is only a version where you can test the functionality and look of your survey. You should never distribute a testlink to any respondents since you will never be able to read any answers given on a test link.
Test sendout (E-mail and SMS): When you are working with an E-mail or SMS sendout you can test the entire respondent experience by sending test sendouts. This can be useful to make sure that you are satisfied with the format of the e-mail or SMS that is sent, and of course that there is a working link included in the message.
When you are inside an e-mail or SMS sendout you will have a button on the page that you can click in order to send yourself a testversion of the sendout, containing a test link: