How to Make Conditional Questions in Google Forms
Google Forms’ conditional questions help you to create surveys and quizzes curated to the respondents’ needs and experiences. When the respondents encounter such questions, they’re more likely to engage with the survey thoughtfully. However, creating Google Forms conditional questions isn’t a straightforward process.
If you don’t know how to create Google Forms conditional questions, you’re in the right place. This article walks you through the process.
Making Conditional Questions
One-size-fits-all surveys where questions build on each other without a specific order result in generalized data that might not meet the intended purpose. However, using conditional questions, also called logic conditions, eliminates this problem. Instead of bombarding respondents with questions that don’t apply to their situation, you ask them questions based on their previous responses. This strategy eliminates bias while increasing survey completion rates because the questions are engaging and relevant.
Knowing how to make Google Forms conditional questions is an essential skill that can improve the quality of information you collect from your surveys. Here’s how you make conditional questions on the platform.
Creating the Form
For illustration purposes, we’ll consider a cosmetic shop that sells Neutrogena and Cetaphil sunscreen but wants to collect data about the best-selling Neutrogena sunscreen. Here are the questions we’re going to use:
- Do you use sunscreen products?
- Which brand’s sunscreen do you prefer?
- Which of the following Neutrogena sunscreen products do you use?
- Facial sunscreen
- Sunscreen lotions
- Mineral sunscreen
- Adult sunscreen
Here’s how you create a form:
- Open your Google Forms and tap the “Plus” icon to create a blank form.
- Go to the top left corner and name the form. In our example, we’ll name the form “Neutrogena sunscreen.” Also, tap at the top of the form to apply the title.
- Now you can start customizing your form. Type the first question, “Do you use a sunscreen product?” Go to the answer section and type “Yes” and “No.”
- If a respondent doesn’t use a sunscreen product, they don’t need to continue with the survey. To hide the follow-up questions, you need to split the form into sections.
Splitting the Form Into Sections
Creating sections makes it easy for the form to jump from one question to another, depending on the response. Here’s what you need to do:
- Navigate to the “Vertical or Horizontal toolbar” to the right or below the form.
- Tap the “Add section” option (the bottom one in the toolbar).
- Once you have a new section, tap on the title section and name it. In our example, we’ll name the second section “Brand of choice.”
- Go to the right of the form and tap the “Add” icon from the toolbar to add a new question. Type the second question, “Which brand’s sunscreen do you prefer?” Enter the choices “Neutrogena and Cetaphil.”
- Tap the “Add section” button from the toolbar to create the third section and type the title. In our example, “Neutrogena sunscreen survey.”
- Tap the “Add icon” from the toolbar to the right to create a new question. Type the third question, in our example, “Which of these Neutrogena products do you use?” Enter the choices: facial sunscreen, sunscreen lotions, mineral sunscreen, and adult sunscreen.
- If you have more questions, add new sections until you get to the final question.
- If the last question requires respondents to make multiple selections, you should change the answers from “Multiple choices” to “Checkboxes.” Select the question, go to the top left corner, and tap “Multiple choices.” From the drop-down menu that appears, select “Checkboxes.”
Configuring the Conditional Logic
After creating the sections, you need to return to the questions and set the conditions.
- Select the first question and tap the “More options” icon in the bottom right corner.
- Choose “Go to section based on answer.” A drop-down menu appears to the right of each choice.
- For the “Yes” option, tap the drop-down menu and choose “Go to section 2 (Brand of choice).”
- For the “No” choice, hit the drop-down menu and select “Submit form” because there are no more appropriate follow-up questions.
- Select question two and tap the “More option” in the bottom right corner.
- Choose “Go to section based on answer.”
- For the “Neutrogena” choice, tap the drop-down menu to the right and choose “Go to section 3 (Neutrogena sunscreen survey).
- For the “Cetaphil” option, hit the drop-down menu and select “Submit form.” because the next question doesn’t apply to Cetaphil sunscreen. You don’t have to set conditions for the last question.
Polish Your Form
Before sending your form, go to each question and ensure the “Required” toggle at the bottom right corner is enabled. Alternatively, make each question required by default using these steps:
- Tap “Settings” at the top of the form.
- Scroll to “Form defaults” and tap it.
- On the “Defaults page,” hit “Question defaults.”
- Enable the toggle for “Make questions required by default.”
Also, you can customize your form’s theme by tapping the “Cookie” icon at the top. Tap the “Eye” icon to preview when the form is ready. If satisfied, send the form as follows:
- Hit the “Send” button in the top right corner.
- If you want to send the form via email, tap the “To” section and enter the emails of the respondents.
- To share your form as a link, tap the “Link” icon. Check the box for “Shorten URL” and hit “Copy.”
Limitations of Google Forms Conditional Questions
Although Google Forms has a simple user interface that makes it suitable for creating simple conditional questions, it has the following limitations:
- It’s unsuitable for complex conditional logic: Google Forms offers basic conditional logic that allows you to show or hide questions based on previous responses. Its logic can’t create multiple conditions such as and/or and if/then where the next set of questions depends on multiple previous responses. This limitation can make it challenging to create more intricate survey flows.
- Adding too many conditional questions can be confusing: Google Forms conditional questions are ideal when you have a few questions. If you’re creating a long form with too many branching paths, however, this can cause you to make confusing and incorrect entries.
- Creating Google Forms conditional questions can be time-consuming: You have to break down your questions into sections and label them. Also, you manually input the destination of each answer. This will take time and increase the risk of errors, especially if the form is long.
- Lack of offline access and reliability: Google Forms primarily relies on an internet connection to create surveys and collect responses. This can be a limitation if you need to conduct surveys in areas with limited or no internet access. Any internet connection disruption during data collection might lead to data loss or incomplete responses.
How many conditions can I add to Google Forms questions?
You can add as many conditions as you want to your Google Forms questions. But it’s advisable to balance the conditions with the user experience. Too many conditional logics can decrease the completion rate.
Can I test my conditional questions before sending the form?
Yes, you can test your conditional questions by tapping the “Preview” button (eye) at the top of the form.
Streamline Your Google Form Questions
Google Forms conditional questions ensure respondents encounter questions in an order that makes sense based on their unique responses. This streamlines the survey to the participant’s situation, making it more engaging. You can refer to the above discussion to create conditional questions on Google Forms.
Have you encountered any challenges making Google Forms conditional questions? If so, what did you find most challenging? Tell us in the comments section below.