Flow and best practices in writing survey questionsFlow and best practices

Among survey participants, there are always some people called “Satisficers”. They quickly go through surveys and carelessly pick those choices that look good enough; which are not necessarily their real opinions. They might be tired, careless or less responsible, but you can control them or considerably minimize their behaviour when you create a smartly designed survey and apply best online survey practices.

Require answers to all or critical survey questions

What makes online surveys amazing is actually having these smart possibilities. You can make any of your questions compulsory to answer; and demand respondents to choose an option or type an answer to be able to go on to the next page or to submit the survey. In this way, you can make sure that you will not miss any important data.

Set input formats

It is possible to apply stricter requirements on some of those survey fields that users type their answers in. For example, you can choose to have characters, words, or numbers as your input format. By doing so, you will let SurveyLegend automatically verify the answers and if they are as you expect them to be, it will let the participants pass.

Read more about these great features here.

Set min and max input values

If you can predict approximate answers, or expect your participants’ answers to be within a specific range, you can easily limit them to that range. SurveyLegend’s input fields are smart and will not let them go past the question without providing the right answers.

Let’s say you know that the participant’s answer for one of your survey questions should be a number between 10 and 100. You can use a number box and limit the minimum acceptable value to 10 and the maximum acceptable value to 100.

You can use the same strategy with words or characters as well.

Read more about these great features here.

Randomize choices

When it is possible and relevant, you can randomize the order of choices or options. The reason is that some respondents tend to disappointingly choose the first or last choices from a list, because those are very easy to spot. This creates a problem known as “order bias”.

Although you cannot and should not randomize the order of scaled questions, randomizing the order of other choices is a good strategy  for reducing order bias.

Read more about randomizing order of choices and options here.

Create a question flow that feels natural

Try to start your survey in a nice and welcoming way. Put easier questions first and group  related questions together. You can use section breaks or page breaks to separate groups. Moreover, make sure to put those questions that determine your survey topic in the beginning of your survey.

Save your demographic questions, or less important ones for the end of the survey. In this way, you will not risk missing the most important data in case the respondent gets tired and leaves your online survey unfinished.

Less is more

Don’t make long questions and answers. Make them short and to the point. ALL online survey participants have a shortage of time and NOBODY wants to spend time reading long texts. So, give them more time to think about their true answers and opinions, by making concise questions. Also, as mentioned earlier, try not to ask for information that you don’t really need to know.

And again, it all depends on you, your survey topic, and target group of participants. In some cases, the survey has to be long to cover many aspects of the topic. But if you get a chance to make the questions shorter, you are actually doing yourself a favor.

Titles help, if you can include them

In most cases, putting a title on your survey pages will help the respondents to organize their minds and focus on the topic. But be careful not to include a title that has the power to create bias. Just like questions, titles can be loaded with words that evoke emotions. So, try to avoid such titles when you use page breaks, section breaks, or include a beautiful header using our branding field.

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