Most important part of the survey process is to create questions that accurately measures opinions and behavior of respondents. Response rates will be wasted if the information gathered is based on biased questions. Gathering good feedback involves both, writing good questions and using a good survey design to organize those questions.
Survey design is a multistep process that requires attention to many details. Survey design may seem to be complicated because surveys can have questions about topics varying in details. However, a good survey design facilitates the respondents to respond to the survey.
There are chances that many of us don’t respond to the survey because it’s either lengthy or confusing. It is observed that in most cases the survey design pulls down the enthusiasm of survey respondent and they fail to answer it. Surveys need to be designed in such a manner that, the respondents can easily understand them and answer them with ease.
Steps involved in Survey Design
- Identify what you want to cover in a survey: Even before you finalize the survey design, it is important to think about what is the objective of deploying a survey. Identify what you want to cover in a survey and make sure the topic is clear at once. Once, there is clarity obtained on what the survey is going to be about, other steps will follow.
- Put questions that are necessary: When you are building a survey, to collect important insights, every question in a survey, should be there for a reason. It is a good idea to first plan your survey by identifying the data outcomes you need from it and then plan out what questions need to be in survey.
- Keep it short and simple: Respondents may get irritated and less likely to complete the survey if a topic is not clear and tend to bounce back and forth. Therefore, it is good to make sure that a logical order is followed n placing the questions and to stick to a certain topic. Also, if the survey is too lengthy respondents might not stay interested in filling out entire survey and survey results might get compromised. Hence, keep it short and simple.
- Ask one question at a time: Branching questions or asking more than one question at a time can confuse respondents and they might not be able to choose correct option/options from the list of answer options provided to them. Therefore, it is advisable to ask one question at a time, to give clarity to respondents.
- Avoid using jargons: For respondents to respond to survey, avoid using jargons and too many technical terms. Using a language that is easily understood by respondents will help them understand and respond to surveys in a better manner.
- Open-ended questions or closed-ended question?: This is always the tricky part, whether to ask open-ended questions or closed-ended questions? The trick here is, balance out both these options. Try and include descriptive and objective questions to balance survey. Again question types should be carefully sorted as it defines the tone and importance of asking a question in the first place.
- Spend time to design your survey: Now that there is clarity on what should be included in a survey, it is also important to spend some time to design survey and make it presentable. A survey needs to create a brand awareness with respondents. For this, survey creator can use the brand language (brand logo and brand color) so respondents can correlate with it.
- Analyze the responses after collecting: Once you’ve sent out the survey, collect all the responses and maintain a document or excel sheet for the collected responses. This excel sheet should have all the mentioned classifications of the survey so that you have all the data in place. You need to make sure you follow this step and categorize data into Behaviour, Psychographics and Demographics. For any researcher, it’s extremely important to have organized data so that analyzing, predicting outcome and writing reports become easy.
- Put a summary report together: After collecting responses and analyzing it, share your analysis with your customers. You should have all the data gathered from surveys in a particular format by this stage. The readers should get a clear picture of your goal, i.e. what were you trying to attain from the survey?Make sure you cover questions such as do users prefer/use a particular product or service? Which product do the users prefer? Any comment?
- Conclude your plan of action: Prepare your final action plan on the basis of your goal, responses put together and drawn a conclusion. Mend your final plan and start executing the changes.
A survey creator may direct a pre-testing of the survey to a focus group during the development process to get a better understanding of how respondent in that group may respond. Pre-testing is a good practice as a survey creator can comprehend in the initial stages if there are any changes required in survey.
Finally choosing the right tool is equally important. QuestionPro is an advanced yet simple survey software platform that surveyors can use to create a survey or choose from already existing 250+ survey templates.