Using Qualtrics EX Survey Flow to point users towards the right Browser

Using Qualtrics EX Survey Flow to point users towards the right Browser

Some Web Browsers may provide a poor Qualtrics survey experience

Depending on the graphics and code you use in a Qualtrics Employee Experience survey, some browsers may provide participants with a poor survey experience. Internet Explorer is a typical candidate for this problem. The obvious action you should take in this case is to point out in the Survey Invitation that participants should use a different browser.

In this Quick Tip we explain what you can do on top of this to make sure users get the best possible Qualtrics survey experience.

Recognising the Browser with the Qualtrics Meta Info Question

To record the browser type and version, you need to use the Meta Info Question in your survey. This question is automatically hidden from users during the survey but collects the information in the background. Please note that this only works, if there is another (visible) question on the same page as the Meta Info question.

With this in mind, we build a simple survey with 3 blocks.

  1. The first block holds the general introduction text and the Meta Info question. We call this block “Browser”:
  2. The second block hold only a Descriptive Text question. We’ll use this to inform the participant about the possible browser problem. The block is called “Sorry wrong browser”
  3. Finally, in the third block we start with the actual questions. Of course, you can add further questions to this block and / or add more blocks. We call this block “Questions start”.

Use the Qualtrics Survey Flow to raise a warning for users of the “wrong” browser

Then we want to make sure that only users of Microsoft Internet Explorer receive the warning we implemented in the second block. This can be done in the Qualtrics Survey Flow. The flow starts with the block holding the welcome message and the (hidden) Meta Info question.
This allows us to add a Branch after the first block with the condition that checks, whether the Browser from the Meta Info question is “MSIE” (Microsoft Internet Explorer). Under this branch, we add the block with the “Sorry, wrong Browser” message.

Note: In this case we decided that we would still allow the participant to proceed with Internet Explorer, if they wish so.  If they don’t stop the survey at this point, they proceed to the next block with the questions once they hit the “next” button. Alternatively, we could end the survey at that point. However, this would record the survey as completed and the participant couldn’t continue with a different browser, unless he receives a re-take link.

Test the Result in the real Qualtrics Survey

With this flow, a participant using Microsoft Internet Explorer will see this screen after proceeding from the welcome message:

With “save and continue” enabled, they could then use their survey link in a different browser, get to the same screen and can proceed. You might want to add a few extra words for instructions to the message above.

Participants using a different browser from the start would proceed to the next block with the actual survey questions immediately and never see this message.

Other Options to Manage Browser issue

Rather than leaving the decision to switch browser to the participant, the survey flow can also enforce an end of survey and tell participants to restart in a different browser. In this case, you need to allow survey retake in the survey options. If you can be sure the participants have access to a different browser or if you know the survey is impossible to complete in Internet Explorer (or any other browser), this is probably the best option.
The following image shows this option configured in the flow. We definitely recommend to use a custom end of survey message to give instructions for switching browser. Whether you want to record this response needs some consideration:

  • If you do, it will show as a completed survey in the statistics, even if the participant does not retake it in a different browser, but you can still report on it by looking at the browser metadata.
  • If you don’t, then you won’t be able to see how many people dropped out due to the browser issue without re-take

In any case, remember the retake will overwrite all answers and that includes the browser metadata.


Alternatively, you could use the same concept to provide a survey experience better suited to internet explorer (e.g. avoiding graphics elements that don’t agree with it) by having two parallel branches in the flow. Of course, this wouldn’t work, if the problem is already in the survey theme rather than in individual questions. The point is: the Meta Info question is not just useful to collect information, but can also be used in the survey flow to optimise the participants Survey Experience with Qualtrics.

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Adessa Group was founded in 2005 as a specialised, pan-European Human Resources service provider. The company was founded with the vision of supplying sustainable computer solutions through the development of an international network of subsidiaries, close to their customers and with the aim of growing organically. This vision was translated through the values that shaped Adessa’s corporate culture.   You can follow us on LinkedIn by clicking here.