What is a screener and how do I set it up correctly?
As an added way to ensure your testers fit the exact profile of your target demographic, our advanced test builder has the option of adding a screener to the beginning of your test. The screener is totally customizable, and allows you to ask participants a very specific question that will either include or exclude them from your test.
There are three different types of screener questions you can implement: Single Choice, Multiple Choice, and Rating. Below we’ll go over each type of screener question, and how to successfully implement them in your usability test.
Single Choice Screener Question
In a Single Choice screener question, participants may only select one correct answer. Depending on the answer they choose, they will either be Rejected from your test, Qualified for your test, or Advance to a subsequent screener question.
As an example of a Single Choice question that will either Qualify or Reject a potential test participant, suppose you ONLY want participants who rent their apartment or house to take your test, and do not want participants who own an apartment or home. You could ask the following Single Choice question: “Are you a homeowner?” Participants who answer yes will be rejected from your test, while those who answer no will qualify for your test.
As an example of a Single Choice question that Qualifies a participant, Rejects a participant, or allows them to advance to a subsequent screener question, let’s say you ONLY want test participants with a degree. You could ask the following Single Choice question: “Do you have a professional degree?” Participants who answer no will be rejected from your test, participants who answer yes will AUTOMATICALLY qualify for your test without answering additional screener questions, and those who say they have some other sort of certification will advance to another question that gathers more details about their education and qualifications.
Multiple Choice Screener Question
For a Multiple Choice screener question, participants may select more than one answer choice. When creating our screener, we must assign one of the following values to each answer choice we create: “Reject,” “Must select,” or “May select.” If a participant selects any answer choice with the “Reject” value, they will be rejected from the test. If a participant selects any answer choice given the “Must select ” value, they will qualify for the test, as long as they don’t also select an answer choice with the “Reject” value assigned to it. And if a participant selects any answer choice with the “May select” value, they may qualify for the test or be rejected, depending on what other answer choices they select.
In summary, in order for a participant to qualify for a test, they must select ALL answer choices with the “Must select” value assigned to them, and must not select any answer choices with the “Reject” value assigned to them. If a participant selects an answer choice with the “May select” value, they will only qualify for the test if they also select ALL answer choices with the “Must Select” value. If a participant selects an answer choice with the “Reject” value assigned to it, they will automatically be rejected from the test, regardless of any other answer choices they have selected.
As an example, let’s say our question is “What types of credit cards do you have?” Imagine that for our test, we want participants who own an American Express credit card, and do NOT want participants who own a Visa or Mastercard. It is not important to us whether participants own either a Discover Card or a Capital One card.
In order to qualify for this test, participants must select “American Express” as their answer choice, and must not select “Visa” or “Mastercard.” If “American Express” is selected alone or alongside either “Discover” or “Capital One,” the participant will qualify for the test. If either “Discover” or “Capital One” are selected alongside “Visa” or “Mastercard,” they will be rejected from the test. And if either “Discover” or “Capital One” are selected alone, they will be rejected from the test, as selecting “American Express” as an answer choice is required for this test.
Rating Screener Question
A Rating screener question either Rejects or Qualifies a participant for a study, or allows them to advance to an additional screener question based on the rating they provide for a specific question. As an example, let’s say our test requires participants to have very good English pronunciation. We could ask our participants the following question: “How would you rate your English pronunciation?” Participants who select “Excellent” or “Native” as their rating choice will qualify for the test. Participants who fall more in the middle and select “Good” as their rating choice will advance to another screener question that gathers more information about their English language skills. And lastly, participants who select either “Bad” or “Ok” will be rejected from this test, as they do not possess the needed skills to complete the test successfully.
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