Customizing Survey Error Messages

All Illume surveys include a set of default error messages. These are messages that participants will see when they fail to provide a valid response to a survey question.

NOTE: A custom error message can be created for any question in the survey. See “Setting a Question’s Response Guides”

A default error message appears only for questions that does not have a custom error message.

To customize your survey’s default error messages, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Survey \ Preferences… from the Survey Designer menu
  2. Click on the Error Messages tab.
  3. Choose the message to edit from the “Error message for” list. The items on this list are described below.
  4. The message appears in the main text area. Edit the message. Note that error messages may include some parameters enclosed in curly braces. These are described below.
  5. Click OK6.5 - DatStat Illume Survey Manager - Using the Survey Designer - Setting Survey Preferences and Styles - Customizing Survey Error Messages

Default Error Message Types

Illume surveys include the following default error message types:

  • General validation error This message appears when a participant supplies an invalid response and when no more specific error messages is applicable.
  • Missing required response This message appears when a participant has not responded to a required question.
  • Minimum number of responses not met This message appears when a participant has not checked the minimum number of checkboxes required. For example, if you ask participants to check their top three reasons for choosing product X, those who indicate less than three reasons will see this error message.
  • Maximum number of responses exceeded This message appears when a participant has checked too many of the checkboxes in a single question. For example, if you ask participants to check their top three reasons for choosing product X, those who indicate more than three reasons will see this error message.
  • Minimum length of response not met This message generally applies to text questions, appearing when participants have not typed enough text.
  • Maximum length of response exceeded This message generally applies to text questions, appearing when participants have typed too much text.
  • Response less than minimum allowable value This message appears when a participant enters a numeric value that is less than the allowed minimum.
  • Response <= minimum allowable value This message appears when a participant enters a numeric value that is less than the allowed minimum.
  • Response more than maximum allowable value This message appears when a participant enters a numeric value that is more than the allowed maximum.
  • Response = maximum allowable value This message appears when a participant enters a numeric value that is more than the allowed maximum.
  • Invalid date/time response This message appears when a question requires a date or time response, and the date or time that the participant provides is not valid.
  • Response is not a valid integer value This message appears when a question requires an integer response, and the participant’s response is not a whole number.
  • Response is not a valid positive integer value This message appears when a question requires a positive integer response, and the participant’s response is not a whole number greater than zero.
  • Response is not a valid currency value This message appears when a question requires a currency response, and the participant’s response is not a valid currency value.
  • Response is not a valid floating-point value This message appears when a question requires a decimal response, and the participant’s response is not a valid number. Note that both whole numbers and decimal numbers are valid floating-point numbers.
  • Response does not match specified format/meta-type This message appears when a participant’s response does not match the meta-type you have defined for your question. Meta-types include common pieces of data that must conform to a pattern, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and zip codes.
  • Survey participant login failure This message appears when a participant tries to log in with an incorrect name and/or password.
  • Submission already exists for this survey participant This message appears when a participant tries to log in after having submitted a survey.
  • Login failure due to duplicate participant credentials This message appears when a participant tries to log in and the participant contains more than one entry for the participant’s login id. For example, if your survey uses the CUSTOMID field from the participant list to uniquely identify participants, and the list contains two entries with the CUSTOMID ‘jason555′, anyone attempting log in with this id will see the duplicate credentials message. This happens because Illume has no way of knowing which jason555 is currently trying to log in.
  • Session from authenticated survey has timed out This message appears when a participant submits a survey page after an extended period of inactivity. The participant must log in again to continue to survey. Illume retains all of the participant’s responses, even those submitted after the session expired. (The default session timeout for Illume surveys is generally set to 30 minutes. If you are running your own Illume server, you can change the session timeout by setting the SessionCacheTimeout variable in the Web.Config file for the Illume Collector application.)
  • The email address entered on the Save page is invalid This message appears if the participant enters an invalid email address. Illume will not try to send an email if the address is invalid. Notice that the message above uses the special tag {SavePageEmailAddress}. In the actual error message, this will be replaced with the email address that the participant entered.
  • There was a problem sending an email to the participant from the Save page This message appears after the participant clicks the Send Email button if Illume was not able to send the email.
  • An email was sent successfully to the participant from the Save page Illume displays this message to confirm that the email was sent.
  • A mutually exclusive check box is checked when other check boxes are checked
  • JavaScript is not enabled on survey participant’s browser
  • Loop question contains less than the minimum required number of items
  • Loop question contains more than the maximum allowed number of items

Special Parameters for Default Error Messages

Default error messages include special parameters to make them meaningful for participants. Each of these parameters is replaced by a relevant value while the survey is running.

For example,this default error message:

The value, {Response}, specified in question #{QNum} is greater than the maximum allowed value of {MaxValue}.

When a participant provides an invalid response, Illume replaces these three parameters with 1) the participant’s response, 2) the number of question to which the participant was responding, and 3) the maximum allowed value for the particular question.

As a result, the actual error message that a participant sees will look like this:

“The value, 150, specified in question #12 is greater than the maximum allowed value of 100.”

Default error messages can use the following parameters:

  • {QNum} The number of the current question.
  • {MinRequired} The minimum number of required responses, as specified in a question’s Response Guides. This primarily applies to checkboxes, where a participant can select several answers to a single question.
  • {MaxRequired} The maximum number of allowed responses, as specified in a question’s Response Guides. This too primarily applies to checkboxes, where a participant can select several answers to a single question.
  • {MinLength} The minimum number of typed characters required for a response to the current question, as defined in the question’s Response Guides. This generally applies to text questions.
  • {MaxLength} The maximum number of typed characters allowed for a response to the current question, as defined in the question’s Response Guides. This generally applies to text questions.
  • {MinValue} The minimum value required for a response to the current question, as defined in the question’s Response Guides. This applies to questions requiring numeric responses.
  • {MaxValue} The maximum value allowed for a response to the current question, as defined in the question’s Response Guides. This applies to questions requiring numeric responses.
  • {Response} The actual response that the participant supplied to the current question.
  • {SavePageEmailAddress} This is used on the Save page only, for the error message that appears if the participant enters an invalid email address.