4 ways to create a world class online survey

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There are dozens of different ways to put together a survey in order to investigate a potential market, but they have all one thing in common – the ultimate purpose.

In this blog post I delve into the world of online surveys and share a few tips that we keep in mind when creating surveys for our own brand, and our clients.

Identify your purpose

Before you start with your online survey, make sure you understand why you are doing it. Firstly, ask yourself, what am I trying to discover? And secondly, what actions do I want to take as a result of the survey? These are extremely important to know beforehand as they will ultimately define the effectiveness of your survey.

Engage with your audience

Keep questions as straightforward as possible. This sounds simple, but writing questions with the right wording is one of the most difficult parts of creating surveys. Asking a question doesn’t sound that complicated, but remember that collecting information online removes the ability to explain your meaning or offer additional information.

If your questions are not clear enough, or perhaps you’ve used highly technical words, your respondents may not be willing (or able) to provide answers. This defeats the purpose. It’s also vital to avoid asking two questions at once for example, “Please rate your experience of the food AND drink”. It just won’t work. Trying to provide clear instructions without nudging people toward one answer or another is a delicate balancing act.

Know when to ask what

Each survey question should follow a logical flow. Jumping around from topic to topic may confuse your respondents and cause them to skip questions or abandon the survey altogether.

Survey questions have three distinct parts, and each must work in harmony with the others to capture high quality data. For example, for the question “What is your age?”, additional instructions would be “Select one answer”, and response options would be “Under 18, 19-24, 25+”. The wrong combination can leave respondents confused about how to answer a question. Confused respondents lead to confusing survey results.

Visuals that matter

The verbal part of your survey is crucial, but if you’re using survey design elements in an inconsistent way, this can increase the burden on your respondents and prevent them from fully understanding your survey’s meaning.

For example, using different font sizes, colours, and strengths across questions forces the respondent to relearn their meaning each time they’re used. Also, presenting scale questions with different directions (positive to negative on one question, then negative to positive on the next) within the same survey, dramatically increases measurement error.

Respondents may assume that all rating questions are consistent even if individual question instructions explain the meaning of the scale’s end points.

To sum up, if you take each of these aspects of survey design into consideration, you’ll be well on your way to creating useful online surveys. They will have the potential to produce valid data to allow you to make tactical and strategic business decisions with confidence. Luckily, we do all of this for you at Yellow Door, so why not contact us today to help you make the right decision for your business.

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