What do you need survey design for?

Businesses use surveys to collect data in order to better understand their customers, their employees or the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Choosing the right questions, though, isn’t the only thing you need: a well crafted survey design will work wonders.

You need interviewed people to be actively engaged by the questionnaire and interviewers to easily take note of their answers. This is why your survey can’t be hastily created. Your company should think through every single aspect of it, from the questions’ order to the graphic design.

How to create a survey that interviewed people will love

First of all, write down your main goal. You can send a questionnaire out for several reasons, including:

  • analyzing your customers’ satisfaction;
  • catching problems or troubles among your staff;
  • gauging how effective a marketing campaign is;
  • assessing a potential new market;
  • evaluating a product you are selling.

Once your goal is clear, you can start to create a survey that will extract valuable information. How? Use a survey design software with an intuitive dashboard and charming graphic design. Remember the questionnaire should be easy to answer, but also actually useful to obtain your goal. Ask the important questions only, make the interviewed people at ease and create a flow of information and data between interviewers and data analysts.

Write your questions

Once your goal and methodology are set, your next step in survey design is actually writing down the questions. A group work will help brainstorming ideas and pinpointing the exact way to ask them. Keep in mind these important tips to help you have clear and easily discernible answers.

  • Avoid absolutes like “always” or “never”;
  • keep your questions brief and easy to read;
  • use the same tone of voice your target users would speak;
  • ask just one question at a time to avoid confusion;
  • don’t mix different question types.

What are people more likely to respond to?

In order to create a survey that people will actually answer to and engage with, you need to understand a simple yet crucial feature of the human brain: people are lazy. It’s a fact, human beings tend to waste as little energy as possible, especially if there’s nothing to earn from a task.

So your goal is to make the survey design as easy and quick as possible. With a variety of question types like rating and slider questions, true/false statements, multiple choices and such people will perceive the questionnaire as easier than open-ended questions. Timing is also important. Clearly state how much time they will need to spend on the survey. That way they will actually be ready to give you their attention.

Try to be as clear as possible about the survey methodology and answers’ collection. You want people to trust you enough with their private opinions: this way they will be more open and honest in their answers.

Survey design: the visual aspect

Whether yours is a web-based survey or a CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing), the visual aspect is more important than you may think. In a web-based questionnaire, a clear and simple design will help people individually fill the answers in. As opposed to that, a telephone survey should be easy to access for your own staff.

Team members and interviewers need to quickly jump from one question to the other and maintain a natural flow of dialogue, at the same time, write down the answers. Remember to make the job easier for your employees: this way you will minimize the chance for errors and collect truly valuable information.

Once everything has been settled, you can test your survey on a small portion of your intended quota. Use the first people’s answers and the real conversations with interviewers to understand if something is wrong. Is every answer clear and easy to understand? Are people confused by your questions? Are they afraid or wary of their privacy? Solve eventual problems, try again and start collecting information in order to better your business.