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Improve Usability of Your Qualtrics Survey

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By in Accessibility on .

Ah, that satisfying feeling. That moment when you finish constructing a Qualtrics survey and send it off to collect feedback feels great. But wait, did you unintentionally make the survey more difficult for some users to complete? Did you know that some Qualtrics question types can’t be read with assistive technology used by people with disabilities?

Thankfully, Qualtrics makes it easy to check and improve the accessibility of your survey. Their Check Survey Accessibility page shows how to use their built-in checker. When in Edit Survey, select Advanced Options. From the drop down menu, select Check Survey Accessibility. (See Figure 1.)


If potential problems are found within the survey, the checker will notify you with suggested improvements. By clicking on a suggestion, the checker takes you to the location where changes can be made. Implementing the suggested changes will make the survey more accessible to individuals with disabilities.

In addition to survey questions, the checker will make suggestions for other areas, too. One common example is a suggestion to change the text of the Next and Previous buttons. The default text is >> and <<, which isn’t helpful to a blind user; she would hear “greater than greater than” or “less than less than” read aloud by assistive technology.

And that satisfying feeling? Chances are you will feel it even more strongly knowing that your survey can be used by ALL of your readers.


Writer: Dean Brusnighan, ITaP Assistive Technology Specialist

Qualtrics Offers New Features for Mobile Compatibility Checker, Multi-Click Heat Maps, Goals Lines for Graphs and More…

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By in Content Development, Course Redesign, Mobile, Software, Tools, Uncategorized on .

Qualtrics recently added a series of features that you will see listed as you log into Qualtrics, along with links to instructions and tutorials. To review a few of those features, let’s start with the Mobile Compatibility Checker.  This checker allows you to optimize your survey to be viewed and taken on mobile devices.  Mobile Compatibility Checker is a feature that you turn on; then as you scroll through your survey Qualtrics, it will present the mobile checker icon in the left column of a survey question if tips are detected that will help your survey display better on a mobile device.  To turn this feature on:

  1. Log into Qualtrics and go to Edit Survey
  2. Open the Advanced Options drop-down menu located in the upper right of the screen.
  3. Select “Toggle Mobile Compatibility Check”.picture of orange icon box with small mobile device inside of it
  4. Scroll through your survey and look for the mobile checker icon displayed in the left margin of your questions.
  5. When you see the orange icon with a small mobile screen inside of it; click the icon to view suggestions.

If you use questions with heat maps, Qualtrics has added a new option, the Multi-Click Heat Map, to let you determine how many clicks to allow on the map.  To explain further, heat map questions let you load an image as part of your question.  Survey participants then click on the image to indicate their answer to your question.  You could use this for a variety of purposes; identifying points on the human body, picking the most useful areas on a web page for usability studies, locating areas on a geographical map or perhaps identifying creative components in a painting. To use the new feature for the Multi-Click Heat Map question format, follow these steps:

  1. Log into Qualtrics and go to Edit Survey.sample image of hot map question with geographical map
  2. Use the Create a New Item link to add a question.
  3. Select Insert a new Heat Map item.
  4. Select and upload a graphic to use for your question.
  5. In the right tool bar, select the number of clicks you would like to allow on that image by increasing the number of clicks in that option.

If you have ever wanted to add the comparison of goals to your actual data results, Qualtrics has now added Goal Lines for Graphs. This feature lets you edit the survey results graphs to show your goal values in the Y-Axis against the actual survey results values. For example, you might want to show how many students accessed certain campus services in the past year against how many they indicated accessing this year in your current survey.  For research purposes, you could show the expected use of milk in a calcium study or the expected use of safety procedures against what is actually reported.  These graphs may be easily downloaded into reports for MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint.  To include Goal Lines for Graphs:

  1. Log into Qualtrics and along the top bar; go to the tab called Reporting Beta.
  2. Create a new report or open an existing report.
  3. Add a bar, line or control graph to the question you want to graph.
  4. Click Graph Options in the top menu, then click on Goal Line.
  5. Set a value for the goal line based on your Y-Axis values.

To read about other new Qualtrics features such as adding multiple data sources to a word cloud, scheduling future downloads of data or grouping page items; click here.