Basic tips while taking a survey
An important goal as a survey author is to construct clear, direct questions using the language that survey participants will understand. While there are no set of rules on the wording of these questions, there are some basic principles that do work to improve the overall design. Most importantly, make sure your survey is relevant, accurate, and valid.
Be familiar with the questions + Know the objectives + Know the kinds of information needed = RELEVANCY
Considerations for Creating Effective Survey Questions:
The types of questions you use play a role in producing unbiased or relevant survey responses. As the author, consider what questions to use and when it is appropriate to use them.
- These range from open-ended (comments to essays) to closed-ended (yes/no, multiple choice, rating scale, etc).
- In the end, it is the question types that determine what kind of information is collected.
Be Brief, Objective, Simple and Specific
A good design should help to stimulate recall (if necessary); it should motivate the respondent to answer; and the sequence of questions should help to create a certain flow through the survey. It is good practice to avoid the unintentional violation of a survey’s objectivity, so avoid the following:
1. Leading Questions:
You don’t want to lead your respondents to answering questions a certain way based on the wording or structure of them.
We have recently upgraded XYZ’s features to become a first class tool. What are your thoughts on the first class site?
What are your thoughts on the upgrades to XYZ?
2. Loaded Questions:
Loaded questions work through emotionally charged items like words, stereotypes, etc. This too can push respondents towards a specific answer choice.
3. Built in assumptions:
Do not ask questions that assume the respondents are familiar with the specifics.
4. Use simple language – no jargon:
Use words that are direct and familiar to the respondents. Try not to use jargon or technical concepts. Avoid double negatives and double-barreled questions.
Double-Barreled questions split questions into more than one part, idea or meaning. The answer choice for each part might have separate meanings to the ideas presented within the one question.
How useful do you find XYZ’s Help Center Topics and the email support center?
Question 1: How useful do you find XYZ’s Help Center Topics?
Question 2: How useful do you find XYZ’s email support?