Surveys can always be previewed using the Preview functionality. However, please note that a survey in the preview mode is only visible to team members. This setting is therefore intended to be used only for checking the visual look of the survey, and not all question elements will work properly in it.
Testing your survey
Before you share the survey with respondents, we recommend that you test it, preferably with a representative test group. When the survey is ready to be tested, publish it and send the URL to your test respondents.
Things to check during testing:
- Test every feature: every question type, page jump, map feature, setting etc. It's also a good idea to test with different browsers and devices.
- Make sure that you're testing with people from various backgrounds. Surveys are usually created by experts in the topic, but you need your survey to also be understandable for people who aren't.
- Remember to check accessibility. Can people with different disabilities and/or language barriers respond to the survey with ease? Are there cultural differences that may affect the way the survey is perceived? Have you offered people alternatives to responding on map?
- Take a look at the test responses in the Analysis tool and in the Excel sheet. Are the responses recorded in a format that is useful for your project? Are the testers understanding the questions the way you intended? Or could you ask something differently to get better data? What do you want to do with the data once you have it and what questions you want it to answer determines what question types and other choices you should make.
- We also highly recommend going through the items in the Survey checklist before launching the survey. Remember, if you are even a little bit unsure about something, please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. We'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have!
Once you receive feedback, you can make the changes to your survey and activate them by re-publishing it.
Clearing all test data and draft versions from your survey
When you first publish the survey, it starts to immediately collect data. This means that test answers are recorded in the results. If you make any changes to the content of the survey and then re-publish it, the old question versions are still retained if there's been any test answers to the survey. However, there are different ways in which you can clear this data.
Option 1: Copy the survey and use it for data collection
This deletes both all old versions of questions (in case you made changes to the survey after the first time you published it) as well as the test responses – you get a completely clean slate. This won't affect the number of surveys in your license. Please note that if you're intending on creating shortlink(s) for the survey, you should complete this step before it as copying will change the survey URL.
1. Go to the Questionnaires main view. Create a copy of the survey by choosing Copy from the drop-down menu that opens from the three dots on the top right corner of the survey card.
2. A copy of the contents of the survey has now been generated and can be found under Drafts. Check that everything has been copied correctly and publish the survey when you are ready.
3. Archive the original version of the survey (survey card menu > Archive)
Option 2: Hide respondents from view
This option hides only the test data, but not any old versions of questions. Go to Results and choose the Manage respondents tab. Choose the dates by which you want to filter respondents. Then, choose the ones you want to hide from the list below by ticking the checkboxes. By using this option you can also hide test responses from graphs in the Analysis tool.
Option 3: Re-publish survey before data collection
In this third option you can hide test data by publishing the survey again just before you start data collection. Then when the survey has closed, you can choose to download the results to just that last publication version. Publication version = a new version of the published survey.
1. Go to Results and choose the Download data tab.
2. Choose the version of the questionnaire published after testing has been completed.
Option 4: Each tester deletes their response data under My responses
This option hides only the test data, but not any old versions of questions. There is also a fourth option, but it requires all testers to create their own Maptionnaire user accounts (they do not need to join your team) before they test the survey and that they remember to test while logged in. Once testing has concluded, they can delete their responses by going to the My responses section in their user account settings and clicking the trashcan symbols next to their answers.
Before publishing my questionnaire, I would like to show it to people who are not in my Maptionnaire team. Can I share a link to the preview version?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to share the preview of a questionnaire with anyone not in your Maptionnaire team. However, you can easily do this by publishing your questionnaire and sharing the link to that.
I'm testing my questionnaire in preview mode but any map points I place don't seem to be saved, instead the system seems to be stuck on loading the point forever. Is this a bug?
No, as currently the preview mode is meant only to test how the questionnaire looks like visually rather than to test the actual responding function. Once you have published your questionnaire, you can test responding to the questionnaire.
Can I make changes to the questionnaire once I have published it and am collecting data?
Yes you can, with two exceptions: the data names/option identifiers and the default language. If you make a lot of changes to the survey during the testing period (i.e. changing and deleting questions or moving their order), it may also be a good idea to erase the entire publication history before data collection. You can do this by creating a copy of the survey (questionnaires main view > three-dot menu of survey card > Copy), publishing it and archiving the original survey. This will clear all publication history and test data. Remember to always re-publish the survey when you have made any editing to it. Otherwise the changes won't be activated.
I've made some changes to my published questionnaire, but they don't appear on the questionnaire. What's wrong?
Most likely, you have not re-published the questionnaire. If the problem persists even after this, try troubleshooting according to the element-type that is having the issue.
If I re-publish the questionnaire, will the URL (web address, link) be affected? Will the data already collected be affected?
The answer to both questions is no, it won't be affected. Once you have published your questionnaire one time, the URL is stable and remains the same regardless of republishing. Any information collected will also be retained. The only thing that may affect the results is changing the data names or option identifiers after publication, which is why you should not alter these settings after the draft-stage.
Is re-publishing a separate function?
No, you re-publish the survey in exactly the same way you did in the beginning. There is no separate 're-publishing' button.
I'm trying to publish my survey but I get a warning saying Validation error?
This means that some of the data names in your survey are either missing or the same. Data names are used to track and order response data so that each response is linked to a specific question. You can fix this in the same warning 'box', simply write a new data name in the New data name box. A data name can be anything, such as a random string of numbers and letters. The system will always inform you if the one you have written is unsuitable, so don't stress about what you enter as the new data name.
What happens after the last publication date of my questionnaire (the one you set under the General tab in questionnaire settings) is past?
After the end date, no one can view the questionnaire or leave responses.
What if I don't set a start date for my questionnaire?
If you don't set a start date, then your questionnaire is accessible immediately after publication. Setting a start date is in other ways a means to control the visibility of your survey.
How do I close a questionnaire?
If you have set up start and end dates for the survey, you don't need to do anything to close a survey from the public. If you haven't set these dates and would like to still like to close your survey, you can always add the start and end dates at any point (the start date can be in the past) and activate this change by re-publishing.