Survey Configuration

In the expairiment overview, we learned about the three tools that together make an expairiment: survey configuration, check data and results.

Here's how to use the first: configuring a survey. (The example follows the favorite ice-cream flavors demo survey, which comes with each new account.)

Editing and Help

Pencil icons on this page indicate and editable field. Click on a pencil to edit a value. 

For help on a topics, click on its information icon.


Status shows the state of your survey. The orange warning icon indicates a required field that needs information from you. Once you fill in all required fields, options in Status will change. 

Once you fill in all required fields, you will be able to open your survey. A pairLab survey is closed by default, meaning it cannot be taken by participants. When your survey is open, it’s public. Be sure to close it when you are done collecting votes so someone can’t later find it and add additional data points to your results

When the survey is open, you will see links to your survey:

  • Click the Survey Link button to get a direct link to the survey, which you can send to participants
  • If you want to embed the survey in a web page, click Embed Code to get html code for an iframe.


A nickname is a short description of your expairiment. It’s also shown to survey participants on the first page of the survey, and when you link to your survey from social media.


This is what you are trying to answer with your expairiment. 

Write your question carefully and clearly. If you are familiar with the game, "Would you rather … ?" you know how to write a question. Like in the game, you use the question to create a dilemma between two choices. A clear question is one that survey participants remember easily so they can focus the pair choice in front of them.

Also, keep in mind that an expairiment answers only one question. You may need more than one expairiment to help you understand the problem you face. 

Active Ideas to Test

Now we get to Active Ideas to Test. You need three ideas to open a survey. Click the Add Ideas button to add ideas:

  • Put your ideas in the Idea field. You can add more than one by putting each idea on a new line
  • When “Approved” is chosen in the status field, these ideas are available to survey participants
    • You can also choose In Queue, which stashes it in the suggestion queue.
  • When you’re done, click Submit

Notice that the idea counter reflects how many ideas you have in the queue

You can add ideas anytime, even after your survey is open and getting votes. pairLab notices new ideas and favors them so they get a comparable number of votes compared to older ones. You can edit an idea’s text, change its status and delete it using the pencil and trash-can icons. Edit an idea’s text anytime, however, once an idea has votes, you cannot change its status or delete it.

Suggestions Waiting in Queue

Suggestions Waiting in Queue are crowdsourced ideas given to you by survey participants that you can feed back into the survey for evaluation. It also holds ideas you marked as In Queue.

When you receive a suggestion, you will get an email asking you to evaluate it, and you have to approve ideas for them to feed back into the survey for voting. 

To make a suggestion active:

  • Click its pencil button
  • Edit the idea text if you want
  • Under status, choose Approved
  • Click save

You can bulk approve or delete suggestions by clicking their check boxes and hitting the appropriate button.

Not all suggestions are ideas. People will tell you all sorts of things here, and while those data aren’t always good for voting, they can be valuable for other reasons (you will be surprised)

Also, not every idea looks like one. Some statements or comments are ideas in the rough and need editing to make them useful.

Finally, you may see suggestions that are already in the survey. Often people make suggestions before they see them. That happens quite a bit.


Segments allow you to see results for subsets of your participants, and to compare them. Segments can also be used as mini closed-ended survey questions. One segment is required and you can have up to three.

Each segment consists of a question field and a values field. Keep the question simple. Add one segment per line for the values.


The last configuration is Messaging. Here we specify text and images that survey participants see.

Hello and goodbye messages bookend the survey with helpful information for your participants. For the Hello message, be descriptive but not too long. Consider asking for help. Asking directly for help motivates many people to take the survey. For the Goodbye message, a simple thank-you is appropriate, but you can say more.

You can include a link to another site at the end of the survey by specifying a URI in the Goodbye Button Link field. This is optional. The Goodbye button will not appear when you embed the survey in a web page

If you want your survey participants to see a simple display of the results when they complete the survey, choose the Yes for Show Results to Participants.

Finally, you can upload an image that Facebook and Twitter can read when you link to your survey from social media posts. 

Posted by Christian
on June 8, 2022