What is a Survey Maker?

Survey maker definition: Survey maker helps to automate all the tasks related to the creation, designing, distribution, and analysis of a survey. Survey maker is a software/tool/utility that is used to create surveys utilizing numerous features and tools embedded in it. A digital survey that can be accessed online on any device makes survey respondents happy to participate. A survey maker not only reduces the time required to take the survey but also brings ease and flexibility in the entire process of creating, distributing, and analyzing a survey.

For example, a multinational company was interested to conduct a culture assessment within the organization spanning across multiple demographics. They decided to conduct a secure, digital, and internal online survey platform by assuring employees that individual responses will be kept confidential. To proceed with their plan, they analyzed different survey makers available in the market and finally settled for one meeting their expectations. Using the SaaS survey platform, they created a beautiful, interactive, and thought-provoking survey that reached every employee for feedback and garnered expected results.

Free Survey makers did not come into existence suddenly out of the blue, but they were available from long ago. Nevertheless, the real evolution of the survey technology started after the boom in the e-commerce industry. Today, businesses are aware of the hidden potential in collecting feedback. They want to understand the capabilities and functionalities of different tools so even they can opt for a suitable survey maker and conduct individual surveys. However, it is a jungle out there, all sorts of vendors exist in the market, which makes it hard to gauge which tool is good and which one will rip them off. 

300+ free survey templates: sample questions and questionnaires 

Features of a good survey maker

Modern survey makers are relenting to change. The intuitive easy to use interface empowers anyone including the citizen developers to create a professional survey within minutes. Plenty of features made available in a survey maker make it possible to create an interactive, productive, and personalized survey. But few features that are expected to be present in a good survey maker are mentioned here

1. It should be a futuristic survey builder:

A good survey maker will offer a drag-and-drop interface for designing a questionnaire, morphing questions, and preview. It has to be a no-code platform so that it can be used even by novices with equal ease. Usually, a survey maker creates just a front-end look and flow of the survey, but what you really need is the liberty to make the survey behave in exactly the same manner you wanted. It is possible if the survey maker offers a pre-requisite set of conditions and logic along with a variety of question types.

2. It must provide conditioning questions:

The survey maker must be flexible enough to set conditions on both, questions and answers. These conditions might be either a tool for formatting style, randomizing question sequence, generating multiple choices, Show/hide question, embedding multimedia for interactive sessions, etc. Apart from that, it should provide a versatile question library to save commonly used questions and surveys.

3. Must have conditioning answers:

Answer conditions like piping, looping, show/hide questions, randomization, scoring, etc. are must-have capabilities in a powerful survey maker. The ability to present answers with conditional triggers for personalizing surveys is an added benefit of a quality survey maker. A good online survey platform always comes with a custom scripting option so that creating an engaging and fully customized behavior of the survey won’t be a problem.

4. Surveys are incomplete without scoring logic:

Irrelevant to provided question or answer conditions, almost all the elite survey makers offer an illustrative scoring algorithm either as a rule-based or as a default. After automating scoring and tallying functions, the overall process of getting responses and deriving insights becomes speedier and easier.

5. Templates that make sense:

Offering a variety of survey templates to kickstart a survey is a common practice amongst online vendors. Your job is to ensure these templates come with a nice mixture of standard questions, which encompasses dichotomous or bipolar questions along with multi-select, single select, rating scale type, and net promoter questions. Also, analyze a few survey vendors offering forms and poll templates as well in a bid to be versatile and stay competitive in the market.

6. Ability to fine-tune questions and the flow:

A great survey has logical behavior, sensible flow, interactive design, and intelligently phrased questions. Providing support and training to design, create and fine-tune questions as well as the flow of the survey so that even a non-coder can create a great survey is a well-deserved capability. There are few survey software vendors offering such service as a chargeable feature, but it is worth the investment.

7. Flexibility to integrate multimedia:

For obvious reasons, embedding images, audio, and video clips in a survey has become a common trend. Therefore, an elegant survey maker must offer enough flexibility to upload and add images, videos, and audio clips in a survey. What you need to check is the limit of each file size that can be uploaded and total server space allocated to the user to upload and save multimedia files.

8. Effective distribution management:

The survey distribution can be done in many ways, a good survey if not all, must provide a few of the commonly used survey distribution methods. Like, allowing specific responses by applying quota logic, setting survey to active/inactive state, leading the respondent to a landing page or triggering and managing the response of a respondent is vital for a qualitative survey maker. With effective distribution management, you get the advantage of tracking respondents, making iterations, and gathering feedback in real-time.

9. Versatility in survey analytics:

Majority of vendors offer versatile survey analytics options under varied plans. Some might offer standard analytics under a normal plan, and advanced analytics, like cross-tabulation, filtering, weighting, and other types of statistical analysis under a premium plan. You need to understand what analytic features are offered under what plan and accordingly select the plan to derive maximum benefits.

10. The possibility of branding and customizing:

A quality survey builder understands the importance of branding a survey; therefore, offers great ease in customizing themes, and design. Learn and understand the ease provided by different tools to upload the logo, adjust background colors, redesign headers and footers so the survey looks appealing yet professional.

11. Multilingual support makes a difference:

People have a tendency to participate and respond to surveys available in their native language. Therefore, the survey maker has to comply with the demands and provide multilingual support so that surveys can be conducted on a global scale. A spell checker, auto detect or an opt-in feature increases the authenticity and reliability of the tool.

Advantages of using a  Free Survey Maker

There are ample advantages of using a survey maker most of which depend upon the features offered by the platform. However, here is a list of few advantages that every surveyor opting for an automated survey maker software might experience.

  • Added ease in creating surveys: A pro survey maker has an inbuilt predictive analysis feature that demonstrates the possibility of how a particular survey will flare in the future. Apart from that, many pro tools give survey designers access to the best industry practices and templates providing insight into the best possible ways of asking questions.
  • Empowering citizen developers: Due to a low-code platform, even non-coders are able to build surveys like a pro. The added ease in using and applying different metrics empower these citizen developers to find out the relevance between audience and survey questionnaire. Additionally, they are able to run a historical result for the survey.
  • Minimum investment, maximum result: An online survey saves a lot on labor and other material costs. A manual survey, on the other hand, requires a lot of human efforts, and working hours to print, distribute, and collect data. A comprehensive survey maker is more beneficial for larger organizations and enterprises for conducting repetitive consumer, workplace, and employee surveys.
  • Flexibility: As the questions can be saved in the library and brand specific templates are created, it takes away major hurdles in creating and distributing the surveys. Additionally, the ability to optimize and embed the survey helps in enhancing its reach.
  • Cloud-based data gathering: A SaaS survey maker makes data collection seamless as it stores all the collected data in one central repository. The entire process is highly agile, ensuring real-time data upload and minimal risk of data loss.
  • Readymade audience: The beauty of an elegant survey maker lies in the availability of audiences that can be categorized on different parameters such as demographics, language, age group, profession, etc. With a ready-made pool of audience, any surveyor can kick start his/her campaign in a matter of minutes.
  • In-built analytics: Having enhanced the reach of the survey and having all the data stored in one single repository it becomes easier to derive the insights using the conveniently embedded analytic solutions in the platform. It interprets data in varied ways including figures, shapes, graphs, tables, etc., and some tools offering real-time analytics to provide realistic feedback insights enhance the organizational capacity of taking insightful decisions.
  • Mobile Friendly: After creating a survey, surveyor does not have to take additional efforts to make it mobile compatible. The survey maker by default makes every survey (created within the platform) mobile friendly, irrespective of the kind of device used by the respondent to submit an answer or by the researcher to create the questionnaire.

The future of survey technology 

The user, as well as the respondent behavior, is changing with the evolving technology. First, it used to be paper surveys, then telephonic interviews became common, a few years back web-based surveys used to be a new norm. As of now, people are happy to access and respond to surveys that are easily made available on the mobile app. We don’t know what next is coming, but there are few trends that every survey maker promises to embed in their platform

Making surveys democratic:

Increasing mobile penetration leads to the emergence of numerous offline or mobile survey tools allowing freelancers and enterprises to conduct their own surveys. However, due to the proliferation of such surveys, the quality of the survey project started diminishing. A number of irrelevant surveys popping up on respondent’s mobile screen forced them to suffer from survey fatigue making it impossible to get accurate feedback. Majority of survey software vendors are spearheading the use of advanced technology to deal with survey fatigue and focus more on quality and not on the quantity of the survey.

Multi-channel responses:

Respondents are a crucial part of a survey project and each respondent has a different preference. Some like to take mobile surveys using their smartphones, some like it on the desktop, and some prefer to answer questions over a phone call. To cater to these varied preferences, survey maker has started integrating features which allow a respondent to select the response medium of their choice.

Artificial Intelligence:

The increasing domination of AI over all the spheres of technology and human life has compelled survey maker vendors to take notice of this emerging trend. Machine learning is now tested to formulate a questionnaire by adapting to a specific set of choice. Using AI in a survey platform will allow designers to make vibrant choices in questions, target more respondents and analyze the data in real-time.