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10 Things to Consider when Designing a Survey

survey designing

Surveys are powerful tools for gathering data, insights, and feedback from a target audience. Whether you're conducting market research, customer satisfaction surveys, or employee feedback surveys, designing an effective survey is crucial for obtaining meaningful results. In this article, we will explore ten important factors to consider when designing a survey that maximizes response rates, ensures data accuracy, and provides valuable insights.

Surveys are valuable for data collection, enabling us to collect valuable data quickly and efficiently. By understanding the purpose and process of surveys, we can gather accurate and meaningful data that can inform our decisions and lead to successful outcomes.


1. Define your survey objectives:

Begin by clearly defining the purpose and objectives of your survey. What specific information do you want to gather? Do you want to understand what customers think of your latest product or your brand overall, such as CSAT and NPS metrics? Are you looking at what benefits your employees want, or if your employees are engaged at work through employee engagement surveys? Having a clear understanding of your goals will help you structure your questions and design the survey accordingly. Without establishing a research question and the metrics you want to measure, a survey will only provide basic information, not the insights you need to make changes to your processes, product, or services.

2. Target audience:

Identify your target audience and tailor your survey to their needs and preferences. Consider the respondent's demographics, knowledge level, and language proficiency. This will help you create questions that are relevant, relatable, and easily understandable by your respondents. To run a good survey, you must identify this information and understand the best way to reach them (social media, email, your website, etc).

Pro Tip: Take into consideration when choosing your target audience, that your customers will not be an unbiased population for all types of research. If you’re launching a product for a new segment, your existing market may not be representative of potential buyers so any data gathered from them won’t be beneficial.

3. Keep it concise:

Respect your respondents' time by keeping the survey as concise as possible. Long surveys with numerous questions may lead to respondent fatigue and abandonment. Focus on gathering the most important and actionable data by asking only relevant questions.

4. Use clear and unbiased language:

Ensure that your survey questions are phrased in clear and concise language. Avoid jargon, technical terms, or ambiguous words that could lead to misinterpretation. Additionally, strive for neutrality and avoid biased or leading questions that may influence respondents' answers.

5. Question types:

Select the appropriate question types based on the information you want to collect. Close-ended questions like multiple-choice questions are useful for categorical responses, while open-ended questions provide valuable qualitative data. Consider using a mix of question formats to capture a comprehensive view of respondents' opinions. Check out our other Surveyor blog post, Asking the Right Questions to learn more about best survey question practices.

6. Logical flow:

Design the survey with a logical flow, starting with general or demographic questions before delving into more specific topics. This helps respondents to ease into the survey and encourages them to provide thoughtful responses. Group related questions together to maintain coherence and consistency. If the logic is flawed, respondents will not be able to continue further or the desired way. Logic must be applied and tested to ensure that only the next logical question appears when selecting an option.

7. Response options:

Provide clear and comprehensive response options for multiple-choice questions. Avoid overlapping or ambiguous choices that may confuse respondents. Include an "other" option or a write-in response option for questions where predefined options may not cover all possibilities.

8. Skip logic and branching:

Utilize skip logic or branching to customize the survey experience based on respondents' previous answers. This ensures that participants only encounter relevant questions, reducing survey fatigue and improving data accuracy.

9. Survey testing and piloting:

Before launching your survey, thoroughly test it for functionality, clarity, and accuracy. Careful survey design and pre-testing can help bring clarity and reduce the chance that respondents may interpret the meaning of the survey questions differently. Piloting the survey with a small sample of respondents helps identify any issues, ambiguities, or improvements that need to be addressed before distributing it to a larger audience.

10. Data privacy and anonymity:

Respect respondent privacy and assure them of the confidentiality and anonymity of their responses. Clearly communicate how the data will be used and assure respondents that their personal information will not be shared without their consent. Adhering to data protection regulations instills trust and encourages honest responses. Survey data security has never been better with the help of Surveyor automatically saving each respondent's personal info and their response analysis on Salesforce platforms.

Designing a survey requires thoughtful planning and consideration. By keeping these ten factors in mind, you can create a well-structured survey that generates high response rates, delivers accurate data, and provides valuable insights for informed decision-making. Remember, a well-designed survey is the foundation of reliable research and effective data analysis. Use Surveyor surveys for optimal results and data analysis.


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