What is branching logic?

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Most of the best online quiz tools offer branching logic functionality. But you might be wondering what that means exactly and whether it will be useful for you when you make a quiz. We know it can feel a little complicated to get started with branching logic, and we’re here to help.

In this article we’ll break down what branching logic means, why you should incorporate it into your online quiz and how.

Branching logic definition

Branching logic, is a conditional logic based on answers to questions that helps you provide your quiz leads with more personalized results. Put simply, it means only showing questions that are relevant to quiz taker, sort of like a ‘choose your own adventure book’.

When you inject branching logic into your online quiz, it transforms it from a linear quiz to a flexible and more effective interactive experience. Rather than show the same questions to every prospect or client, branching logic lets you to show different questions based on your quiz takers’ previous answers.

Why use branching logic

Branching logic is a powerful tool. Instead of creating a quiz that asks the same questions of every prospect or client, it enables you to make flexible interactive content that’s personalized to each person who takes your quiz.

For example, online quizzes are a great way to suggest suitable products or services to your audience. You can ask a few questions and help them find the right solution for their needs. Here’s how:

  • Ask broad questions first to narrow the range of outcomes. For example, a sportswear brand might ask ‘What type of sport do you do?’
  • Use branching logic to get more specific. The sportswear brand could ask questions like “What size are you?” or “Do you workout indoors or outdoors?”.
  • At the end of the quiz, the quiz taker would receive personalized recommendations based on their individual responses. Someone who answered ‘yoga’, ‘size 14’, and ‘indoors’ might see “You need our sweat wicking yoga pants – stylish, comfortable and practical to help you stay zen!”

Another great use case for branching logic is health assessments, which is one of the most common Specialised Marketing Assessments we create here at SMA Digital. When asking people about their health, the questions can be endless; “Are you depressed?”, “How healthy is your lifestyle?”, “What’s your ideal workout?” It can go on and on and if you’re not careful you can wind up with a long laborious quiz that people give up on before reaching the lead form.

By using branching logic, you can create custom assessments for each quiz taker based on their specific responses. For example:

  • Instead of “How healthy is your lifestyle?”, you could ask: “Do you smoke?”
  • If they answer “yes”, then you could ask some follow-up questions about how many years they have smoked and how many cigarettes a day
  • If they answer “no”, you can skip the smoking questions, and explore other areas

How does branching logic work?

The clue is in the name. Picture a tree:

  • Start at the trunk
    • The trunk represents the standard questions shown to each quiz taker. These trunk quiz questions come one after another in a straight line
  • Now, make your way along a branch
    • Depending on each quiz taker’s answer, they’re led along a branch with its own set of relevant quiz questions
  • Each branch splits into more branches
    • Each answer the quiz taker selects leads them down another branch or question path

Essentially, the quiz taker has a customized path that continues to branch out until they reach their final question.

Here’s a flow chart showing how branching logic works.

There are different types of conditional logic:

  • Linear
    • Linear logic doesn’t include branching logic. Each question is displayed in order
  • Answer
    • If you want to show different questions based on the specific answer a quiz taker selects, answer logic lets you create branches based on their answers
  • Score
    • If you assign points to each answer, you can use score logic. So, if your quiz taker scores a certain number of points in one topic or group of questions, that will define which topic or questions they are shown next
  • Custom score
    • Similar to score logic, custom score looks at the accumulated score at a certain point in the quiz. Custom score lets you show different questions based on the quiz taker’s score up to a point in the quiz that you choose

How to build a quiz with branching logic

Most DIY quiz maker apps have their own way for you to input your branching logic into their quiz creator forms. At SMA Digital we work with you to create your quiz content and make sure any type conditional logic you want works.

When it comes to formulating your questions and answers that you want to branch, it can help to write them out as a flow chart on paper or a white board.

You should write down all the questions, answers and possible results that you need for your branching logic quiz. In the above example the quiz taker will see a total of two questions, six responses and one result. But, behind the scenes, there are actually four questions, 12 responses and nine results.

Online quiz creators who offer branching logic will require you to input your content into their conditional logic mapping tools. At SMA Digital, we take care of that for you.

Building a branching logic quiz with SMA Digital

The benefits of using branching logic make it well worth getting your head around. Branching logic means you can provide:

  • Personalized quiz paths 
  • Reduced completion time, as quiz takers only answer relevant questions, which cuts down the number of questions they answer and decreases the number of quiz takers who drop out
  • Intuitive questioning, which makes quiz takers feel like their quiz is custom to them. It avoids asking irrelevant questions that makes them feel as though their time is being wasted.

You can use branching logic on any of SMA Digital’s pricing plans. The best bit is that we will help you write your questions and map out your branching logic. Or, if you choose, we will create the questions and logic for you from scratch. Plus, we take care of the technical side for you. With SMA Digital you can be sure that your branching logic quiz provides a seamless and tailored experience for your prospects and clients.

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