How to create a pairwise ranking survey

Published April 25, 2023

Preview of a pairwise ranking survey and settings.

Create a survey: step-by-step

  1. Go to your Rankings view in Prioneer.
  2. Click on "Start a new Ranking"
  3. You can now pick from several Ranking templates. Select "Pairwise Ranking" as your template.
  4. In the next step, you can preconfigure the most important settings. You can adjust the settings or leave them as they are. You can change all settings later.
  5. Your new Ranking will be opened. Follow the instructions on your screen, such as setting the Ranking name.
  6. You are now in your Ranking. Inside the "Create" tab, you can set the Ranking question and add your choice options.
  7. Set your Ranking question.

    Set the Ranking question as expressive as possible. The golden rule is that the better your question is, the better your results will be because participants will consider the question as guiding for their decision. A good Ranking question should be related to a specific goal. Good examples are: "Which one is better to raise our number of signups?" "Which one is better to increase brand awareness?". Think of what you want to achieve.

  8. Add your choice options.

    Each choice option can have a name, a description, and image attachments. The name is the primary information a participant will view when answering your ranking survey, so make sure to write the choice option name as expressive as possible. Images will be displayed as an attachment on a choice option card during the pairwise comparison of the choice options (unless you change your Ranking to be an image ranking survey. In that case, the image will be shown "fullcard"-size as primary information).

  9. Your Ranking survey is now ready to be shared with participants through a link (or other sharing options). You can either stay with the default settings (viable to be used immediately) or adjust some settings. However, you do not have to adjust any settings. To share your survey with participants, click on the Share button on the top right corner of the screen and select your preferred sharing method.

Editing advanced settings, permissions, and design

To adjust settings, go to the "Configure" section inside of your Ranking. You can see a preview of your pairwise ranking survey and adjust settings for your ranking.

How many pairs must a participant answer in a pairwise comparison survey?

The number of pairs that will be in the head-to-head comparison will depend on the number of choice options you have. In theory, you (or a participant) need to compare each choice option with each other to select a preference. However, this can make the process of answering very long. When you create a ranking survey in Prioneer, you don't have to worry about the number of choice options: Prioneer uses a smart algorithm that selects only relevant pairs when a participant starts answering. With each pair that a participant answers, Prioneer will calculate on-the-fly the next most relevant pair to compare so that Prioneer can determine the unique preferences of the participant. Because of that, a particpant does not have to answer all pairs (the Ranking survey will show the participant that he is finished). This algorithm, which we also call speed mode, is unique to Prioneer.

Frequent use cases

Add images to a pairwise ranking survey

To attach an image to a choice option, follow these steps: go to the "Create" section of your Ranking. Click on the choice option that you want to attach an image to. Next to the list of choice options, a details view will be shown in which you can edit fields related to your choice option. Click on the attachment icon. You can now select an image from your file system that you want to upload.

Bulk create options

You can create options in bulk by clicking the "Add multiple options" button beneath the list of options. A textarea will appear on the screen in which you can add multiple options at once by adding them into the textarea, each item on its own row.

Create a pairwise ranking survey from a CSV file or excel spreadsheet

To create a survey based on options you have saved inside a spreadsheet, go to your spreadsheet. Select the column with the names, and copy the names into your OS clipboard. In Prioneer, go to the "Create" section inside a Ranking (your Ranking must have been created before) and click the "Add multiple options" button beneath the list of options. You can now paste all names that you copied before from your spreadsheet into the textarea that is shown on the screen. Usually, each row from your sheet will have its own row inside the textarea, thus each row will be recognized as a separate choice option and generated accordingly as soon as you confirm the action.

Bulk upload images to a Ranking survey

You can upload multiple images at once. When you use the image bulk upload, our system will generate one choice option per image and attach the image to each choice option. If you want to attach an image to an existing option instead, please click on the choice option and attach an image via the details dialog that is shown next to your list of choice options. All images that you attach through the details dialog will be added to the particular choice option.

To perform bulk uploading images, click the "Add multiple options" button beneath the list of options. You will see multiple possible actions. Click on the button "Images". You will be able to select images for upload now.