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negative logic flows iconBe careful when using “negative” logic conditions

Think twice, especially when using “negative” logic conditions such as “is not”, “does not contain”, or “is not equal to”. They’re pretty tricky and can cause problems.

Negative logic conditions such as “is not”, “does not contain”, or “is not equal to” can save you time, because usually they can accomplish the same result as positive conditions, but with fewer clicks and less complicated flows.

However, it is important that you remember, the negative logic conditions get triggered, only if the question is actually answered by the participant. If the question is skipped, our system does not care about the negative conditions.

To make this easier to understand, let’s look at this NPS example:

How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend?
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Not at all likely
Extremely likely
The example above shows a Net Promoter Score® (NPS) question.

Some respondents are hopefully “promoters” (those who choose 9 or 10) and some are “detractors” (those who choose 0 to 6).

But you specifically want to ask the “passive” group (those who choose 7 or 8), this a series of follow-up questions and evaluate what could become better in your company, for them to choose 9 or 10? So you include those questions which are directed to the passive group, in page 2 of your survey, and then formulate the following logic flow:

Logic Flow #1
IF
survey logic, if answer to the following questionanswer to the following question
How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend?
logic rule icon for choice based questionsis not
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Not at all likely
Extremely likely
THEN
skip to
page
Page #3
end of logic flow


So far so good. You are basically telling our system: if answer to this question is not 9 or 10, then simply skip to page 3 (because page 2 is not relevant to participants in that case).

But here comes a potential problem! If the respondents do not answer your NPS question, all the follow-up questions (page 2 of your survey) will be shown to them!

The reason is that they did not interact with the NPS question at all.

So our system will have to follow the natural flow of your survey. Therefore, it will go to page 2, when respondents click on the next page button.

Note:

Please note that this types of problems are NOT always limited to negative logic conditions. They may also happen, even if you set up the logic flow, using positive logic conditions. For example, you would face the same issue even if you made your logic flow like this:

if answer to this NPS question is 0 or 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 9 or 10, then skip to page 3.


How to avoid these problems:

1- Test, and test again!

Generally, working with survey logics in an advanced level is quite tricky and there is always a risk for doing mistakes. To avoid any problems, the best practice is to test and retest your survey flows with our live preview mode. Clicking on the next Previewing surveys Preview button will allow you to test the survey as if you are a respondent, but no data will be saved in this mode.

2- Make such questions compulsory

You can easily require respondents to answer questions. If the above example was a “required” or compulsory question, respondents wouldn’t be able to leave it unanswered. So your logic flow would absolutely work fine because they had to choose something first to proceed to next pages.

3- Use positive logic conditions

It’s easier for our brains to plan the logic flows, when we use positive logic conditions; and also, it’s easier for our system to “know” what you mean and behave more correctly. For example in this case, you could make the logic flow like this:

If answer to this NPS question is 7 or 8, then show page 3.

Wasn’t it easier? This would also mean for our system, that you want to hide page two at all time, except when respondents choose 7 or 8. No matter if the question is compulsory or not, you just want to show page 2 under certain circumstances.