It’s almost considered “standard practice” to have a “Progress Bar” — indicator that tells the respondents where they are in a branched or multi-page survey. However, if you think about this for a minute there are a few other strategies that you can use to keep your users engaged :
- Single Page Survey — In some cases if you can fit the entire survey into one single scrolling page. The argument here is that users know _exactly_ how long the survey is. The browser scroll bar (Vertical Scroll Bar) on the right gives a visual indicator on how long the survey is and how much of it has been completed. Usually there is not much sense in having a “Progress Bar” in such a model (cause there is really only one submit button for the entire survey.)
- Creative Progress Bar Schemes — Another creative way would be to make the progress bar “engaging” — what do I mean by this — Lets say we are doing a automobile/car dealership survey — the progress bar can be a tachometer or a fuel gauge. These kinds of progress bars obviously require customized programming since it’ll probably only make sense in a particular industry vertical.
- Using text to engage respondents — When designing the survey questions you can make the wordings more informal — “Finally we would like to ask …..” or have some to the effect “Almost there – 4 more questions…” etc.
It’s important to note that, having a “Progress Bar” is not the only way to give relevant contextual information to your respondents. We can think of other creative ways like the ones mentioned above to give users a sense of where they are in the survey process.