Survey Questionnaire Design tips

Set yourself up
for a good start

Survey questionnaire design is a key factor for survey success.

After all, the quality of the answers and subsequently the survey data are largely dependent on how questions were phrased.

Poorly crafted survey questionnaires are not helpful to the end goal as the outcome of a survey should enable decision makers to gain insights and act on the survey results.

SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE OBJECTIVES

(1) Based on your information needs phrase questions respondents can easily understand and answer.

(2) Maintain the interest of the respondents throughout the survey to avoid early abandonment.

(3) Word the survey questions in a way that will prevent response errors as seen in biased and double-barreled questions.

SET YOUR SURVEYS UP FOR SUCCESS WITH WELL CRAFTED QUESTIONNAIRES

  • DEFINE THE
    INFORMATION NEED

    Start with defining want to know, e.g. Demographics, satisfaction, likelihood of recommendation, and business specific questions you want to explore

  • FACE-TO-FACE
    OR SELF-SERVICE?

    How questions are phrased becomes even more important in self-administered surveys because the respondent is by himself.

  • QUESTIONNAIRE
    DESIGN IS AN ART

    Draft each question carefully. Consider the education level of your target group. Keep it simple.

  •  

  • WHAT WHEN WHY
    WHERE HOW

    Use ordinary words, avoid generalizations, avoid abbreviations, avoid dual statements, avoid assumptions, use only non-leading and non-biasing questions.

  • QUESTION
    SEQUENCE

    Arrange the questions in a logical order. Make use of branching and skipping and ensure that each question offers an answer choice for each respondent's situation.

  • TEST AND
    TEST AGAIN

    Pre-testing survey questionnaires is important. Test with many different people outside of your own organization.

  •  

  • QUESTION
    TYPES

    A typical survey questionnaire contains structured questions (closed-ended questions) and a few unstructured, open-ended questions.

  • CLOSED-ENDED
    QUESTIONS

    Respondents prefer closed-ended questions because they are faster and easier to complete and require less efforts on their part.

  • OPEN-ENDED
    QUESTIONS

    Use open-ended questions sparingly for two main reasons: Respondents don't like them and survey reporting takes more time and effort.

  •  

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