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HOW TO: Questionnaire Builder

  • Overview
  • What is a Questionnaire?
  • How do I Start a new Questionnaire?
  • How do I use the Questionnaire Builder?
  • How do I Build a Questionniare?
  • What are Questionniare Widgets?
  • What are Content Widgets?
  • What are Response Widgets?
  • What are Layout Widgets?
  • What is the Script Widget?
  • How do I Send my Questionnaire to Participants?
  • How do I use a Questionnaire as Part of an Experiment?
  • How do I Use Embedded Data?

Welcome to the Questionnaire 'How To' Guide

Here you can learn about the basic features of building Questionaires in Gorilla by exploring the list of questions on the left.

Not sure where to start? Try one of these quick-start shortcuts:

Looking for more information on a specific Questionnaire Widget? - Check out the Questionnaire Widget Tooling Reference Guide.

If you can't find an answer to your question here please get in touch with us via our contact form. We are always happy to help you, simply tell us a little about what you are trying to achieve and where you are getting stuck.

What is a Questionnaire?

Questionnaires allow you to gather information from your participants without reaction time data.

Questionnaires consist of blocks of Rich Text content (which can be a mixture of Markdown and/or HTML) and Response widgets, which offer a range of ways for participants to be asked questions.

Questionnaires can be used to collect demographic information or information about your participants that is specific to your study or the task itself.

Questionnaires can also just be used to display text, images and videos to participants, and so can be used to provide additional direction within an experiment.

For advanced users; information from a questionnaire can be used in conjunction with a 'Branch' Tree Node to change which path a participant takes through your Experiment Tree.


A question about a participants' first language could be used to give them a version of the task in their first language. Alternatively, you might exclude someone entirely if a particular language is not their first language.

How do I Start a New Questionnaire?

A new Gorilla Questionnaire can be created within a Project by pressing the 'Create' button and selecting 'Questionnaire' from the dropdown menu.

In the create menu that appears, enter a name for your new Questionnaire and then press 'OK'.

You will then be redirected to the Questionnaire Builder for your newly created Questionnaire.

You can learn more about the Questionnaire Builder interface here.

Create Dropdown Menu: Selecting Questionnaire from the create Menu Dropdown. Selection highlighted by the blue box in the image above.

Create menu: With the 'Create New' option selected; Enter a name for your new Questionnaire and press OK.

Pro Tip

When choosing a name for your Questionnaire, try to make it something unique and memorable - a name you would easily associate with the Questionnaire contents.

You will use this name to identify your Questionnaire in your project. It is also the name people will see if you collaborate or send your Questionnaire with someone, so its important that they would be able to recognise it easily too!

Add descriptions to your Questionnaire via the 'description' option in the Settings menu. This description will then be visible from the project overview screen. You can use this feature to add a short reminder of what your Questionnaire is about or leave a progress message to yourself or collaborators.

What is the Questionniare Builder and how do I Use it?

In Gorilla you create questionnaires using the Questionnaire Builder.

The Questionnaire Builder interface is divided into two major sections:

  1. Left-hand side: This is where you build your Questionnaire. Here you can;
    • Build your Questionnaire by adding new items called Questionnaire Widgets.
    • Edit any existing Questionnaire Widgets you have already added to your questionnaire.
    • Reorder current Questionnaire Widgets to create the questionnaire exactly as you want.
    • Delete exisiting Questionnaire Widgets when you no longer want them in your questionnaire.
  1. Right-hand side: Is a live preview of what your Questionnaire will look like. Here you can;
    • Preview what your questionnaire will look like to your participants.
    • Test functionality and layout of your questionnaire as you go.

To learn how to build a Questionnaire using the Questionnaire Builder click here.

The image below shows the positions of the Questionnaire Builder and Live Preview sections of the Interface:

How do I Build a Questionniare?

A Questionnaire is built in a similar way to creating a task with the task builder, though the interface is much simpler. If you need to review the questionnaire-builder interface click here.

When building a new questionnaire the first step is to add a Questionnaire Widget, here's how:

  1. Click the Edit button.
  2. Click the Add Widget Here button in the left-hand 'building' section.
  3. A New Questionnaire Widget menu will appear (see example image below).
  4. Select the type of Questionnaire Widget you wish to add into your questionnaire.
  5. Click 'Create'.

There are 20 different Questionnaire Widgets to choose from, allowing you to present and/or gather data from your participants in a variety of different ways.

Once you've added a Questionnaire Widgets to your Questionnaire, it will appear on the left-hand side. The Widget will appear with a title bar displaying the name of the widget type, and a list of options beneath it. Enter content for your Widget and you will see it displayed automatically on the right-hand side.

When you have added a few widgets modifying your questionnaire is straightforward:

On the title bar of a widget, there are two arrows, which can be used to reorder your questionnaire widget. There is also a cross, which allows you to delete the selected widget from your questionnaire entirely.

When you are happy with your questionnaire, or wish to save your progress, press the green 'Commit Version' button. You will then be able to use your Questionnaire in your experiments.

You can find out more about Questionnaire Widgets here. If you have a specific question about a particular Questionnaire Widget the best place to look is in the Questionnaire Widget Tooling Reference Guide.

What are Questionniare Widgets?

Questionnaire Widgets are the building blocks of questionnaire creation.

There are currently 20 different Questionnaire Widgets for you to choose from, allowing you to present and/or gather data from your participants in a variety of ways.

You can create any questionnaire you wish by simply combining Questionnaire Widgets in different orders. Learn how to add Questionnaire Widgets into your questionnaires here.

Broadly speaking the Questionnaire Widgets fall into three categories: Content Widgets (orange), Response Widgets (green) and Layout Widgets (blue).

There is also the Script Widget which is a stand-alone widget useful for all questionnaire related coding, and the Switch Widget.

The Switch Widget combines with a Switch Node in the Experiment Tree, and either a Task containing a Switch Zone, or another Questionnaire containing a Switch Widget, to allow participants to switch between two tasks.

Below are the Questionnaire Widgets you will find in Gorilla's Questionnaire Builder:

Rich Text Consent Box Dropbox Date Entry Email Entry
Image Text Entry Checklist Time Entry Slider
Page Break Comment Box Radio Buttons Height Entry Rating Scale/Likert
Script Switch Mixed Entry Weight Entry Ranking

You can find out more detailed information about each Questionnaire Widget in the Tooling Reference Guide.

What are Content Widgets?

Content Widgets allow you to add content to your questionnaire in the form of, text, images, links etc. For example, you may wish to add text content such as a title for your questionnaire or a set of instructions for your participant.

Here is an example of a content widget - the Rich Text Widget:

In the content box of the widget you add the text you wish to be displayed. In the example above you can see that the content has been modified using Markdown. All text content can be formatted and stylised using Markdown and/or HTML, this means you can easily make your questionnaire look exactly how you wish!

Learn more about text formatting using our Markdown and HTML guides.

What are Response Widgets?

Response Widgets allow you to ask questions and record the responses of your participants. You can always recognise response widgets because they are the only widgets which have a 'Key' configuration setting.

Here is an example of a response widget - the Dropdown Widget:

In the example above you can see that below the response widget title there is a list of configuration settings. While most settings may be self-explanatory, you can always find out more about each and every widget in the Questionnaire Widget Tooling Reference Guide.

Other than the 'Key' there are two other configuration settings, pictured in the example above, which the majority of response widgets share: 'Allow Missing' and 'Write to Embedded Data'.

  1. If Allow Missing is checked: A participant will not have to answer this question in order to move forward through your questionnaire. If the participant declines to answer the question it will appear blank in your 'Metrics Spreadsheet'.
  2. If Write to Embedded Data is checked: Gorilla will temporarily remember any information recorded as 'embedded data' so it can be recalled and used later in your experiment. Writing to Embedded data will not effect what is recorded in your 'Metrics Spreadsheet'. You can find out more about embedded data here.
Pro Tip

It is always a good idea to rename your keys from their default values, to something more relevant. You will see these keys as headings when viewing the downloaded data from the questionnaire. Thus they will be most useful to you if they are easily recognisable.

As space is a premium in Excel, It is a good idea to use 'camelCase' or 'PascalCase' to remove the white space from your key names:

This is what camelCase looks like: hereIsAnExample. This is what PascalCase looks like: HereIsAnotherExample.

What are Layout Widgets?

Layout Widgets allow you to customise how your questionnaire is presented to a participant.

Here is an example of a layout widget - the Page Break Widget:

Notice you can now move between pages in the Live Preview:

The Page Break Widget is used to separate out your questions across multiple pages.

Notice how in the above example there are no configuration settings or content inputs in this Layout Widget. That because all Layout Widgets are controlled in the Options menu found under Settings which is located next to the 'Preview Questionnaire' button on the top-right of the Questionnaire Builder.

Locating the Settings Menu:

What is the Script Widget?

The Script Widget allows you to add some customised code to your questionnaire in order to do post-processing of your questionnaire data.

Here is an example of the Script Widget:

The Script Widget can be useful if you wish to create your own scoring system for your questionnaire responses, or else alter the standard scoring of the Widgets. You may also wish to calculate overall scores for a participant which you later use to branch participants in your experiment. You can view a demonstration of this here.

The Script Widget will accept code written in either javascript or Typescript. The best place to learn about the Script Widget is the Scripting in the Questionnaire Walkthrough which gives a thorough step-by-step on how to use the Script Widget in the Questionnaire Builder.

Alternatively, if you already know how to code, you may prefer to learn about the Script Widget via this Classic Example: Big 5 Personality TIPI

When you are ready to start coding your own scripts be sure to also check out the Gorilla API.

If you don't know how to code but have an idea which you'd love to see coded-up ask Gorilla to code for you! Just drop us an email ( asking about our bespoke coding services.

How do I Send my Questionnaire to Participants?

To send a Questionnaire to participants, you need to add it to an Experiment.

The Experiment Tree forms a framework around your Questionnaire that allows participants to enter the Questionnaire. From the Experiment Builder Recruitment Tab, you can control entry of participants into your Experiment. From the Participant tab, you can manage your list of participants, and from the Data tab, you can download the responses to your Questionnaire.

Check out the next page for more information about Experiments, and how to add your Questionnaire to an Experiment!

How do I use a Questionnaire as Part of an Experiment?

The steps for putting your Questionnaires into an experiment are the same as when including your Tasks in your experiments:

  1. In your Project select the Experiment you wish to add your Questionnaire in to.
  2. Click the Edit button. (The red button on the top-right of the green info-bar).
  3. Click the red Add New Element button on the top-left hand side.
  4. A New Element menu will appear, select Questionnaire.
  5. Select the Questionnaire you wish to add to your experiment.
  6. In the Experiment Tree your Questionnaire will appear as an un-connected Green coloured 'Node'.
  7. Connect the Questionnaire Node into your Experiment Tree by linking the arrows to and from it.

If you would like more detailed infomation on adding Nodes to your Experiment Tree read here.

You can find out more about Building Experiments and using the Experiment Tree here.

As well as gathering data on your participants, a questionnaire can be used in conjunction with a Branch Node to influence the progression of other tasks or your experiment as a whole. For example, you could end an experiment early or make a following task harder or easier depending on a participants answers.

In order to do this you must check the 'write to embedded data' option in your response widgets. Find out more about Embedded Data and how to use it here.

How do I Use Embedded Data?

Embedded data is Gorilla's way of enabling you to reuse the data entered by a participant in a questionnaire elsewhere in your experiment.

Why would I use Embedded Data?

Here are some examples of when to use embedded data:

  • You may want participants to take different routes through your Experiment Tree depending upon what answers they give in your questionnaire.
  • You could end an experiment early if participants answers do not match criteria needed for your experiment.
  • You can make a following task easier or harder depending on participants' answers.

In order to implement any of the above examples there are two important steps:

  1. You must Check Write to Embedded Data in your response widgets:

This tells Gorilla to temporarily remember this data and allow access to this embedded data from your questionnaire in the rest of the experiment. The embedded data can be accessed by using the 'key' that was set for the response widget of interest.

Note: Writing to Embedded data will not effect what is recorded in your 'Metrics Spreadsheet'.

  1. You must use a Branch Node in your Experiment Tree:

The Branch Node is a control node in the Experiment Tree which tells Gorilla how to decide which path a participant should take through your experiment.

Inside your Branch Node you should configure the 'Property' to match the same name as the 'key' of your embedded data. This tells Gorilla where to find your embedded data. Then you need to set the rules for your Branching and enter the 'Value' for each of your branches. The values will correspond with the answers offered in the questionnaire configuration.

The best way to learn about using the Branch Node in conjunction with embedded data is to look at this Demo.

You can find out more about the Branch Node configuration settings in the Experiment Tree Tooling Reference Guide.

If you would like to learn more about Control Nodes and the Experiment Tree take a look in the How To: Experiment Guide.

To learn more about Embedded Data see our Walkthrough Guide.

Pro Tip

Remember: All names are case-sensitive

When choosing a name for your Key try to make it something unique and memorable - a name you would easily associate with the task contents.

A good way to make sure you are using the same word is to copy and paste the Key from your questionnnaire straight into your Branch Node.