Questionnaire Design Tips

Refer to these tips to effectively design your Questionnaires.

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Good survey design leads to quality data. Poor survey design leads to poor quality data. Be clear and unbiased. Make sure your questions are informative, the answers accurate, and the insight you're aiming to gather leads to actionable results.


Define a clear research objective and audience

Only include questions relevant to your research objective and to the audience targeted.


Write clear and concise survey questions

  • A good survey starts with good questions.
    • Spend time writing and reviewing your questionnaire and study tasks with colleagues. 
    • This verifies if your questions, instructions, and/or answers make sense and aren't leading, ambiguous, or confusing.
  • Use language targeted to your survey audience.
    • Avoid things like jargon or slang unless this is plain-speak to your audience.
    • Keep your questions succinct and to the point.
    • Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, or industry-specific terms. These may seem common to you, but may not to your participants.


Order questions logically

  • Use a ‘funnel’ approach when writing your screener.
  • Start with broad, general questions and progress to specific and harder ones.
  • Don't screen participants out after the Welcome Page.
  • Instead, use the Screener section of the study to ask all questions where participants will be screened out so they meet the criteria required for the study.


Use long questions wisely

  • Multiple choice and grid questions are the hardest and most complex.
  • Single choice and free text are the easiest for respondents to answer.
  • Too many free text questions cause participants to get disengaged and provide repetitive open-ended feedback.
  • When you increase the length of your questions and your survey, you decrease the chances of a respondent completing the survey.
  • Avoid more than 5 screener questions and a total study length of 15 minutes.


Mobile Optimization

  • If you are building a survey to be taken on mobile devices, take the following into account:
    • Do not use large grid or matrix questions - these do not translate to mobile devices well.
    • Avoid long lists that require participants to scroll.
    • Make sure any photos or videos are able to be played on mobile devices.
    • Test how your survey looks on a mobile device before launching.
  • Bad mobile optimization will often lead to increased drop rates, longer field times, and a poor respondent experience.


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