Top 5 Tips for Survey Beginners

You don’t need a college degree to create a survey that will produce the most accurate and unbiased results. Below are some tips to help you create a professional survey in minutes.

  1. Avoid Using “Yes or No” Questions: Get the most of your survey questionnaire by using a choice question that will give you more data than a simple “yes or no”.  Frequent survey takers know to answer yes or no based on the context of the question to keep them in the survey, producing inaccurate results. Providing answers in a choice question for the respondent is a more effective way to produce informative and detailed results.
  2. Use at Least 5 Answers in a Single/Multiple Choice Question: When providing less than 5 answers in a multiple-choice question, you run the risk of bias. Frequent survey takers are can take educated guesses to which is the “correct” answer to get them through the survey. To avoid these situations, provide many answers so that the respondent must take the time to think and answer the question accordingly.
  3. Use Randomization Whenever Possible: Randomization shuffles answers within questions for better data quality. A survey pro would use this whenever possible in multiple choice questions, matrices, rating, and ranking questions. This strategy helps avoid straight line responses and requires the respondent to pay attention. For a comprehensive lesson on randomization, see this detailed post.
  4. Avoid Using Open-Ended Questions: Yes, open-ended questions are easy to ask, but respondents aren’t usually willing to answer these in detail nor are their answers clear. If you need to use open-ended questions, only use 2 maximum, and direct the respondent to use 1-2 words in the response, or limit the answer character amount to 25.
  5. Use a Variety of Question Types: Avoid respondent fatigue, and keep them engaged by using a variety of question types. Try a rating scale, ranking, or a battle question. Admit it, multiple choice question after multiple choice question is hard to read after a while, and quite frankly, dull. Find creative ways to ask your question, and improve data quality. For a list of all question types and uses, see this post.


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