Sawtooth Software Conference 2019 | San Diego, CA, USA | September 23–27

Enable test mode on live surveys

A Better Testing Experience for Remote Stakeholders and Clients Who Don’t Have Lighthouse on Their Computer

We all know and love the Test Survey interface: toggling back and forth between mobile/desktop views, the question drop-down menu that allows you to skip to questions and navigate your survey more efficiently for testing, etc.

Image of Lighthouse Studio interface #1

The Drawback

Test mode only works locally from your machine where Lighthouse Studio is running. This means that clients and colleagues (that don’t have Lighthouse Studio on their computer) can only test your survey by taking it online via an access link and don’t have access to the test mode views or functionality.

This can be particularly tiresome when someone is testing elements of a survey located towards the end of an especially long study.

The Hack

Use this trick to enable Test Mode for people testing your survey online for easier navigation from section to section and the ability to toggle between mobile and desktop views.

  1. First launch Test Survey locally on your computer. Your survey will open on your default browser. (This version of your survey is hosted on your personal computer and is only accessible to you.)
    Image of Lighthouse Studio interface #2
  2. Once inside the test survey, highlight and copy (1) the ampersand, (2) the variable hid_test_mode, and (3) the variable value. It will look something like this: &hid_test_mode=D93FVW1U538ZY7PWVTJVU71QBQSKC4

    (The value of the hid_test_mode variable, the long alphanumeric string, is a code unique to your survey. It is a security feature that makes it much harder for a respondent familiar with Sawtooth Software surveys to turn on test-mode while taking your survey.)

    Image of Lighthouse Studio interface #3
  3. Next go to the “Get Links” menu in your Hosting Management (your survey should already be uploaded to the server and available online) and copy your one-click link.
    Image of Lighthouse Studio interface #4

  4. Now add on the ‘&hid_test_mode=######’ that you pulled from the local link (the version of your survey only accessible from your computer) to the end of the URL of your live survey. i.e.

  5. Now you have a link to an online version of your survey that is enabled with test mode and you can share this with anyone else that needs it for more efficient testing of your survey.
    Image of Lighthouse Studio interface #6
If you’d like to see this “hack” become a regular feature in Lighthouse Studio, let us know about it! We love to get feedback from our users: