Survey-Design-Tips

Tips for Survey Design

There are numerous benefits to driving research through surveys; from the ease with which they’re designed and distributed, to the accessibility of results once collected. However, due to their rising popularity, our inboxes have become over-saturated with survey requests.

I.e. it’s more important than ever for your survey to as much right as possible. So, we’ve put together a few tips for survey design:

Keep your audience in mind

The most common mistake in creating surveys is failing to consider the respondent’s point of view. Filling out surveys isn’t exactly an exciting venture, and as creators we should afford every effort to improving that experience.

  • Avoid creating over-long surveys. Participants only have so much time, and you want to make the most of that. We appreciate that you may have a lot of questions for respondents, but it’s up to you to refine those down to only the most prudent to your research aims. When using Kwiksurveys to create a survey, take advantage of our Question Logic (Branching) feature to filter respondents according to answer selections. This will ensure that respondents only see questions relevant to them and personalize the experience.
  • Use a conversational tone. This will go a long way in improving respondent engagement, and should be used consistently throughout your project. People will be much more receptive to answering questions (especially those that require personal or sensitive information) if the tone of the survey feels like a normal conversation, and not an interrogation.
  • No jargon. Complicated language is a sure-fire way to alienate a segment of your audience. Create surveys that are inclusive of all levels of education, and you’ll see a sharp rise in your completion rate.
  • Welcome and thank them. Unless you’re offering an incentive, most responses will be provided through good will. Treating respondents as people, and not as data sources, will go a long way in attracting a better set of results.

Open-ended vs close-ended questions

When it comes to writing survey questions, there are two types that you’ll be dealing with: open-ended questions and close-ended questions. The latter concerns those we answer with a short piece of information (‘yes’ or ‘no’), and would usually be accompanied by a predetermined set of answers for a respondent to choose from. These questions will provide you with less specific, but statistically significant, sets of data.

Open-ended questions require long-tail responses, and invite participants to use an interpretative or explanatory approach. So, the results gathered from these question types will be more insightful, but will take a longer time to analyse.

Design and content

We should also briefly address the design and content of your survey:

  • Visual design: Unsightly or dated surveys can affect your completion rate. Take advantage of our range of customizable themes and presentational items to create more visually pleasing surveys.
  • Question order: Save personal/ demographic questions until the end of your survey, and ensure your question order is logical. Out of place questions will feel irrelevant to respondents, and negatively impact your completion rates.
  • Question types: When building a survey, you’ll have access to a range of question types. It’s important to use the appropriate one for each question, and not to overuse any individual type.

Bonus Tip

  • Required questions: This is a useful feature for your most important questions. However, requiring too many questions can be mentally-taxing and decrease completion rates. Not sure what required questions are? Read a bit more about requiring question with Kwiksurveys.

These were just a few tips for survey design to aid you in collecting better responses, and raising your completion rate. We couldn’t cover everything in this article, but keep your eye out for more blog content coming soon.

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