We recently had a client request a simple feature.  They were  using Rational Survey to embed a popup survey on their webpage and asked if there was a way to make the popup survey open only on the first visit.

So we obliged & added a new option, “Open First Visit” to the popup survey distribution tab/dialog  that when checked will modify the script to give webpage visitors a special cookie and prevent the popup from opening on subsequent return visits.

Note: The “Auto Open” option must be enabled to utilize this option.

Now when they visit the page with the popup script, the survey will open, but when they return to it again or refresh the page, the popup survey will not open.

Also, if you have any existing embedded popup surveys, you’ll have to update the embedded scripts to take advantage of this feature, which is definitely worth the minimal effort if you’re looking for a way of soliciting visitors to take your survey without pestering them each time they load the page.

And for those that may not be aware, since cookies are browser specific, this won’t prevent the survey from opening if the same page is visited from another browser on the same computer.

Rational Survey now has added support for alternate responses (also commonly known as “Other” answer choices) for multiple choice questions.

This great feature lets you simplify your surveys by allowing respondents to specify an alternate or “other” response in a free response format if they want to choose an answer that’s not in the available list of answer choices.

That way you don’t need to add any followup questions after your multiple choice asking your participants to respond to a free response question if they didn’t choose or select an answer in the previous question.

Here’s a quick step by step guide on how to take advantage of this great feature:

From the questionnaire builder page, edit an existing multiple choice question or create a new one.


Once  the question dialog opens, enter in your multiple choice question and answer choices.  Then set the “Alternate Response” option to “Y”.  This will open a small text field where you can enter in the label for your alternate response answer choice.  By default, the field is set to “Other: Please Specify”.

Once you’ve configured your survey question.  Click “Save” to add or update your question.

Now when participants access your survey, they will be presented with a list of answer choices along with an alternate response for your multiple choice question.  Also, if they click into the alternate response field, the “Alternate Response” answer choices will be automatically selected.

Now on your survey’s analytics totals page, your multiple choice question with the alternate response will have response data for all the answer choices, including the alternate response one.

Lastly, to view the individual alternate response stats, click “Show Alternate Responses” to bring up the alternate response dialog.  You’ll be able to interact with the response data the same way you would with any other free response question.

As you can see, having the ability to collect optional responses simplifies the survey and gives you a much more flexible way of collecting feedback from your survey participants.

About a month ago on the Rational Survey blog, we had  announced that we had added multi-language support to the surveys in order to provide a better overall experience for our clients & their international survey participants.

Since then, we’ve proudly verified the following survey interface translations.:

  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Greek
  • Dutch
  • Macedonian
  • Russian
  • Hebrew

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks and months as we will be continuing to add new languages and verifying existing translations.

There’s now an easy way to remind your survey participants with incomplete questionnaires to finish their surveys.

From the survey settings page, open the “Advanced” tab. Then set the “Email Complete Survey Reminders” option to yes and specify the interval of the reminders (daily or weekly). Once you’ve made your changes, click “save”.

Those responders with incomplete surveys will now automatically receive an email notification ( in the language of the survey) that reminds them to complete their survey by following a link included within the message.

Note: This feature will only work if your survey participants had logged in using their email address or had been added/uploaded with a matching email address record.

Also, you won’t need to worry about aggravating your participants with nagging email reminders since they always have the option of unsubscribing from these notifications by clicking a simple link within the message.