Skip to content

When designing your surveys, you can opt to make a question ‘required’.  If you choose to make a question ‘required’, the respondent will not be able to progress through the survey without responding to the question.

Generally speaking, we recommend keeping as many questions as possible optional, as we find that the overall response rate and validity of responses can be better if respondents have the option to skip when desired.  However, there are certain occasions where it might be appropriate to require a question’s completion before the respondent can progress with the survey.

This blogpost considers certain conditions where it might be appropriate to make a question ‘required’.


Why should I make a question required?

Having the ability to make a question required is incredibly useful if a response to a question is necessary in order for you to analyse the data most effectively.  For instance, if you are a touring company and have decided to run one survey across multiple locations, you might ask a question such as: Where did you experience this Circus? with a dropdown for the respondents to choose from:

Location A

Location B

Location C

I’m not sure/can’t remember


By making a question such as this required you will be able to use responses to this later on and draw comparisons between how the work was received in the different locations. You can see here how to generate graphs in Excel that compare results in accordance with one factor you choose (e.g. the response to the location question).


When should I make a question required?

A question should only be made required if you can answer ‘yes’ to all three of these questions:

  • Is the response to this question going to aid your analysis and/or understanding of the collected data?
    • Before asking more of your survey respondents, it is important to know the reason.  If a question is required in order to progress with a survey, it’s important that you know what the rationale is behind this.
  • Does this question not require a respondent to provide personal or sensitive information?
    • Making a question requesting personal or sensitive information ‘required’ can be off-putting and so we wouldn’t recommend it as it’s likely there would be a higher drop-off rate.
  • Are you able to add an option such as ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure’ to the potential answers?
    • It’s important to ensure that there is a space for those that may not know the answer to the question for whatever reason; this will avoid excluding potential respondents from completing your survey.  Naturally, this will omit questions such as dimension questions, free text questions and email questions from being suitable ‘required question’ candidates.


Where should I make a question required?

We would recommend placing a required question towards the end of your question schedule.  The reason for this is that if a respondent doesn’t want to/can’t respond to the question for any reason, you won’t have missed out on gathering other useful data.  If a required question is at the beginning of your survey and someone doesn’t want to/can’t respond to it, you will have missed out on gathering other useful or interesting data from that person, as they simply won’t be able to proceed with the survey.


How do I make a question required?

If you click on the question you wish to require, you will be presented with the ‘Question Content’ box.  Having scrolled to the bottom of this box, you will be able to see the ‘required question’ toggle.  Simply switch it on if you wish to use the required question feature.

The required questions feature can be very useful when used appropriately and can help to generate very interesting insight, but it does need to be treated with care.  If you have any questions at all about this new feature, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  We will gladly support you through your survey-design process, ensuring that the question schedule is both appropriate and insightful.

A screenshot of Culture Counts, indicating the 'required' toggle