Smart Loops will allow you to quickly replicate groups of questions. Whether you are working on a monadic or sequential monadic survey design or have elements in your survey that need to be repeated Smart Loops will greatly reduce your programming time and effort!
How to add Smart Loops to a survey
Smart Loops comes with it's own interface in the Survey Editor that can be activated in a few ways.
Option 1: In the Question Type Menu
Click on question type icon within your survey and then the Smart Loop button in the menu to convert that question into a Smart Loop.
You can also click to add a new question at the bottom or the Survey Editor to add an empty Smart Loop to your survey.
Option 2: In the Logic Guide
Click on the Logic Guide icon to open the aytm Logic Guide and grab the gray tab to the right of the banner labeled “Smart Loop Empty Example” into the Survey Editor to activate a new Smart Loop builder. Bonus: drag the “Smart Loop Image Example” into the survey to see and interact with a pre-built Smart Loop table.
Option 3: In the Question Library
To activate a Smart Loop builder from the Question Library navigate to the saved questions and populate a Smart Loop with your questions with one click.
Note: this option is available with paid memberships.
Now you know how to activate a Smart Loop, let’s build one!
How to build a Smart Loop
Start by filling out the table with the variables and their values that you’ll use to customize different runs through the loop (legs in your future group).
The columns in the Smart Loop above represent variables you can add to your survey. You can create three types of variables: text, video, or images.
The default when you add a new Smart Loop to your survey will be [variable_1], [variable_2], etc., see the image above. You can add up to 5 variables per Smart Loop and, by all means, you can give them unique names by typing over the defaults in the table’s header.
Add a new variable by clicking on the "+" icon to the right of the table as shown below. You can add up to 50 variables per table.
You can delete variable columns by hovering in the white space and clicking the “x”
Runs are expressed by each row in the table. Populate the Smart Loop table quickly by copying and pasting a list. Pasting multi-line text to a Smart Loop table will create several runs as per the number of lines and will populate their variable names with these lines accordingly.
Example of multi-line text and how it populates in the table:
Note: for PC, CTRL + C to copy and CTRL+V to paste. For Mac users, Command+C for copy and Command+V for paste.
Think of runs as monadic legs of your survey, if you have 4 concepts to test, you would have 4 runs in a Smart Loop. Each variable added across the top populates together. Meaning if you have a concept image, brand name, logo, or other variables that go together, they should be all in the same run. See below for an example.
- You have the option to add up to 100 runs for each Smart Loop.
- Select how many runs each respondent evaluates with the drop-down “Show 1 run/respondent.”
- You can set "All" runs to respondents, rather than a static number. This is helpful in case you add additional runs after selecting this setting.
Click on the gear icon at the top right to open up the advanced settings interface.
See how many respondents will fulfill each node. This is an approximation based on the following calculation:
[total N] * [# of runs/respondents] / [# runs]
Example: [N400] * [max 2] / [4 concepts] = ~200 respondents/run
Note: this is assuming there is no logic (e.g.: show/hide if) within the nodes. Conditional logic that restricts who can see questions or sets of questions could impact distribution.
You can toggle between Evenly and Randomly distributing respondents. The default Evenly works to provide the most even distribution of respondents between runs (groups of questions), while Randomly works to reduce order bias.
You can apply balance criteria in the text box so you don’t have to convert the questions to customize the Group logic.
You want to balance your question groups on gender.
[Group Q2-4 and Q5-7 and Q8-10 balance gender = “f”, gender = “m” max 1]
You want to ensure equal distribution of these answer selections (Q5a8, Q5a9, Q4a2) among these groups [Group Q6-9 and Q10-13 and Q14-17].
[Group Q6-9 and Q10-13 and Q14-17 balance Q5a8, Q5a9, Q4a2]
When adding balancing parameters to Group logic, you are specifying that the distribution of respondents matching that criteria are balanced evenly across nodes (e.g., ~33% of females will be assigned to each of Q2-4, Q5-7, and Q8-10). Any between respondent segment balancing needs to be specified at the survey level through the Target Market page for traits or custom quotas for question responses.
Please note all of these settings are based on the total number of respondents requested, runs per respondent and the number of runs. If you have an conditional logic (e.g.: show/hide if) within the question sets or nodes this will impact the distribution.
Programming your Question Set
Once all your variables are programmed we can turn our attention to the question set. Questions that are included in the loop are connected by the blue bar on the left. You can drag questions in and out of the loop from your survey at anytime.
If you added an empty Smart Loop builder you will need to program one set of questions to populate the loop.
If you populated a Smart Loop from the Question Library, the Smart Loop will automatically include that saved question set. You can customize your questions and add your variables.
Once everything is programmed you can preview, download a draft or launch your survey. It’s not necessary to convert the Smart Loop into regular questions unless you need to customize individual questions.
If you do need to customize, click the “convert into regular questions” link. This will replace the Smart Loop builder and populate the master question set with all runs listed sequentially, will add variable values and images in the corresponding fields and place the [Group] logic according to your preferences to assure proper pure or sequential monadic flow.