Surveys are not just about WHAT you ask, but also HOW.
An intuitive survey structure not only helps participants to better understand the questions you’re asking but also keeps them motivated. It is essential to keep people interested to prevent the risk of a high dropout rate due to an overloaded questionnaire.
Understood. But what exactly is an ‘intuitive’ survey? Ideally, it’s a questionnaire that includes interactive elements (questions, which include the participant’s name or animated visual parts). Moreover, questions should be divided by topic and follow a logical order. For instance, don’t cram all of the content onto the same page - divide them into multiple sections and use different question formats. Below, we include 2 must-haves of an attractive survey.
1. Selecting a suitable survey software
Survey software is the technical tool with which you can create a survey. You should pay attention to the following criteria when selecting one for your own research: intuitive navigation, a wide array of question types and an attractive layout for participants. But be careful: many survey software providers (e.g. Surveymonkey) have a very limited free freemium model, preventing you from conducting a proper study without having to pay for it.
Tip: Check out the new survey creator on www.pollpool.com. It has a vast array of survey-creation features, is completely free of charge, and is fully integrated into our respondent pool for seamless data collection!
2. See it with their eyes
In the back of your head, you should always consider how participants will perceive your survey. Is the design annoying? Does it look messy and chaotic? Or maybe the formatting is odd, making it difficult to understand the question logic? Regardless of the mistake, every single hick-up in your questionnaire increases your drop-out rate and lessens your chances of getting enough participants.
Ideally, the questionnaire should feel like an engaging conversation -- the one that you wouldn’t like to stop.
Tip: Limit the number of questions per page. As a rule of thumb, the completion of one page should not take longer than 3 minutes (ca. 5-12 questions per page, depending on the questions). Completing pages keeps the motivation of participants high.
Also, keep in mind: Less is more - keep your questions short and precise and cut out irrelevant content. The more precisely your questions are worded, the less chance for ambiguous interpretation and therefore the better quality of your data.
Click for the next part of the guide --> How do I write a good introduction to a survey?