Multiple Selection Questions in Mobile Surveys (Updated)

Multiple response, multiple selection or multiple-choice questions allow the survey respondent to choose one or more answers from set of provided responses of at least three or more options.

They are popular in survey design because of their convenience to the survey designer, as they can capture the respondent’s views and attitudes to the pre-formatted answers and provide a relative frequency or popularity of answers among a set of choices.


What should you consider about multiple choice in a mobile survey?

When designing a mobile survey, you must consider that the respondents have limited screen space before they have to scroll. So don’t overload the participant with too many answer choices in a multiple-choice question.

Answers to multiple-choice questions can be “shuffled”, or randomized in the Pollfish platform, however, remember that participants are allowed to select multiple answers. There is also the ability to anchor the last answer, by selecting “Shuffle but keep the last one fixed”.

NOTE: There are times when you do not want to shuffle answers, such as when asking for a numerical response.

You also want to limit the number of questions you ask the participant. Users tend to lose interest, “speed through” the survey or drop off completely if a survey contains lots of questions.

If you already have a list of answers, batch answers can speed the design of your survey, and avoid the hassle of typing individual answers one at a time. If you have the list on separate lines in an excel sheet, word doc, or similar, you can select “Add batch answers” to copy and paste your choices from your source document.

Advanced tip: If you want to copy the answers from a previous question you created in the Pollfish platform, select “Add batch answers” there, and the pop-up window will have your choices available to copy and paste.

2022 Feature: The Exclusive Answer Option

On August 10th, we released a new feature to enhance our DIY survey platform: the Exclusive Answer. This answer option is available only in the Multiple Selection Question type and as its name suggests, creates exclusivity in the respondent’s answer.

exclusive answer

This means that if you’ve designated an answer as exclusive, it can be the only one chosen, despite the question being a Multiple Selection. As such, it cannot be selected with other answer options.

Exclusive answers do not have any special visual identifier in the mobile tool, they appear just like any other answer, in order not to make the user’s selection biased.

Through this new feature, you can mark answers as “exclusive” by clicking the new icon, which is situated next to the “Add Media” icon. As such, on mobile devices, when a respondent selects this kind of answer, all other answer selections will be unselected.

The “Add Other” option provides the option of exclusivity; just tick the icon next to the “Other” text box. In this way, the “other” option on the left panel works like the “none of the above” option when you click on its relevant box.

The “Limit Answers” option still works as it has worked on non-exclusive answers and thus, does not apply to the exclusive answers.

Carried forward answers cannot be exclusive.