When to use the Other Answer Option

Although some questions will have a straightforward set of answers, e.g. ‘yes’ and ‘no’, there are often cases where they do not encompass the full range of possibilities.

The other answer option is an interactive text box that allows respondents to provide a personalised answer. It is useful for when the set list for a close ended question does not exhaust all the possible responses.

With Kwiksurveys’, you are able to employ other answer options with the following question types:

  • Multi-Choice (Single Select)
  • Multi-Choice (Multi-Select)
  • Drop Down List
  • Matrix (Common Scale)
  • Picture Choice (Single Select)
  • Picture Choice (Multi-Select)

Why Use an Other Answer Option?

  1. Save space when there are too many possible answers to include.
  2. Avoid creating bias in your survey by forcing respondents to select from your list of answer options. This may not be inclusive of their particular opinions or experiences.
  3. Highlights responses you may not have predicted, providing you with a further topic of discussion in your results.

Why Avoid an Other Answer Option?

  1. The answers collected by an other answer option will be formatted as text responses in your results. Therefore requiring a deeper level analysis.
  2. Too many respondents using the other answer option may affect your results. I.e. it may weaken the comparisons you’re able to draw between those who selected from your pre-determined set.
  3. Risk that respondents will abuse the other answer option, and give irrelevant answers.

Note: The answers you determine should not be any less exhaustive just because the ‘other’ answer option is available.

Whether you your question needs an ‘other’ answer depends on the list of answers you provide. To determine this, test your survey on a sample audience before you begin your distribution process.

If your test audience feels your set doesn’t reflect their answer, you may need to use the other answer option. However, employing too many ‘other’ answer options will increase the time it takes to analyse your results.

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