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Step 4: Test your survey

It’s easy to take the test stage for granted but it is, in reality, one of the most important steps of the survey creation process.

Why is it important to test my survey?

After putting in the time and effort to create a survey, you want to make sure that it works and looks the way you intended—for your sake and for your respondents’.

Testing allows you to pick up on issues like broken logic, formatting flaws or navigation issues. When testing, the worst-case scenario is an error message, but the implications could be much worse if issues aren’t picked up before the survey is made live.

With this in mind, you should test each survey from start to finish before final release. Should there be an error or other issue in your survey that impacts the outcome of your results, the only solution would be redistributing the survey or accepting the less-than-ideal results.

As part of the testing process, we recommend sending a testlink to a few colleagues so that they can test the survey and give their approval before publication.

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 page you are currently working on. You will not be able to move forward or backward in the survey; you will only be able to see the design setup for that specific page. To access this mode, you will need to have selected one of your questions before clicking the paper and magnifying glass icon in the top, right-hand corner of the window.

Once you click this icon, a new window will open containing the page preview.

Preview survey: This option allows you to preview the entire survey that you are working on. You will enter at the introduction text and be able to freely move forward and backward through your survey questions. To access this mode, you need to have selected either All or Introduction before clicking the paper and magnifying glass icon in the top, right-hand corner of the window.

Once you click this icon, a new window will open containing a preview of the entire survey.

Testlink: This option is available on the Distribution page of the creation process. Up in the right-hand corner of the window you will have a Testlink button. 

When you press this button, you will see a small pop-up window containing a QR code. If you have access to a QR code reader, this allows you to test a mobile version of the survey. After scanning the QR code, you will see a link labelled Testlink. Once clicked, a new window will open displaying the entire survey in a test environment.

Using a test link will give you an authentic version of the survey with the possibility of testing logic and jumps, as well as translations (if you have any). Test links do not register as survey answers—they are simply a means to test the functionality and appearance of your survey. For this reason, you should never distribute a testlink to genuine respondents, as their answers will not be saved or accessible.

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 that there is a working link included in the message.

When you are inside an e-mail or SMS sendout, you can click on either of the following icons to send yourself a test version of your selected sendout: