More Tips on Web Survey Design

More Tips on Web Survey Design

The very basics:

  1. Have a title.
  2. State who you are (you may not want to state your company if you think it will influence the answers).
  3. Introduce the purpose of the survey. A few sentences to let your sample know what you’re doing this for.
  4. There are three choices of survey types:
    1. multiple choice (for results you can easily quantify, use this type.)
      Where do you shop the most often for your prescriptions?
      1. Walgreens
      2. Rite Aid
      3. Shop-N-Save
      4. None of the above.
      5. Don’t know.
    2. open numeric – “How many employees do you have?” ______
    3. open text – “What is your occupation?” __________________
  5. Keep your survey short and sweet. (This is especially important if you are using the web.)

More Specifics:

  1. Use basic vocabulary unless you are positive that your respondents are well-educated. Do not use jargon or language that your sample might not understand.
  2. Begin with non-threatening questions. If you plan to use questions of a sensitive nature, save them for the end of the survey. Have a privacy statement if you intend to include sensitive questions.
  3. Ask questions that are one-dimensional. Don’t ask, “Do you like the color and the shape?” You could ask separately, “Do you like the color?” in another question, “Do you like the shape?”
  4. Answers should leave no room for ambiguity. For instance:
    Where do you live?
    1. apartment
    2. house
    3. country
    4. city this would be difficult to answer because people might live in both a house and the country.
  5. Make sure you have a “not applicable” for each question that may need it, this will eliminate frustration if respondents don’t like any of the choices. Use a “don’t know” option for factual questions.
  6. Consider the order of your questions. Transitions from one question to the next should be smooth. Keep questions that have the same topic or that use the same response format together.
  7. Try not to branch your questions. That is, try not to make your questions dependent from one to the next.
  8. If using a multiple-choice questionnaire, consider leaving space after each question for people to make comments. With an online survey, we recommend a text area for comments at the very end. Although perhaps this information is not quantifiable, you may gain valuable insight from these responses.
  9. Provide incentives for a properly completed questionnaire. For instance, offer them a free gift or a reduced price on your product. Make the incentive match the respondents. Also, perhaps try a deadline.
  10. Response Rate is a direct indicator of confidence level or the reliability of a study. Doing a survey on the web is going to be hard to measure your response rate. Check out Marketing Resources for more links to help you create surveys.