10 Tips for Building Effective Surveys

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There are quite a lot of different reasons why someone would look to distribute online surveys. One of the best things about taking on such a task is that you do not need to have a lot of experience.

That is not to say that first-timers might find it a bit difficult. Considering the number of publications about creating surveys, it is easy to get lost among the sheer amount of information. Therefore, we have come up with a list of the best tips for getting the data you desire.

1. Simplicity and Brevity

The more we progress as a society, the harder it is to keep our attention on something. If you want to get honest responses, your questions need to be clear and brief. The more the survey is all over the place, the harder it will be to find those willing to finish it and give honest responses.

2. The Importance of Every Question

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Your goal here is to build a list of answers that helps you finding out whatever it is you are looking for. It is only natural that every single question plays a role and is as important as the previous one. Consider coming up with a list of the most critical pieces of information you want, and adjust your questions accordingly.

3. Avoid Asking More Than One Question at the Same Time

If you have a question ready and there is the “and” word in it, you would be better off rephrasing that. It might be a single question with two parts, but at a closer look, you end up with two questions. Take a look at this example: “Which of these smartphones has the best design and reliability?” It is more than likely that people will struggle to find a single option that applies to this question.

4. Make Sure You Are Impartial

Certain words and phrases can make your questions seem biased. If it is possible, try to get rid of adverbs and adjectives.

Moreover, try to find that perfect balance to your responses. There should be an obvious midpoint to answers. If a scale starts with “never” and ends with “always”, you should include “sometimes.”.

5. Connect With Your Respondents

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Terminology and jargon might be unavoidable if you are doing a technical or scientific survey. Nevertheless, if there is room to make everything simpler, you should not hesitate and try to make everything as clear as possible. Do look out for oversimplification, though. It can change the meaning of the question itself.

6. Directness

Vagueness can make all your work useless. Be direct and make sure that your respondents understand what you want to get out of them.

7. Avoid Binary Response Options

Those who want to get the most out of their survey should avoid putting in yes/no or true/false response options. Instead, choose a range of responses that start with something like “not at all” and end with “very.” Another rule of thumb is inquiring whether they agree or disagree with various statements. Quite a few individuals tend to agree with statements. It should be a no-brainer that these responses will only make results less reliable.

8. Rephrasing

If you find yourself in a situation where most of your questions are yes/no, then you need to rephrase them. Use phrases such as “How reliable,” “How difficult,” “How challenging,” “How displeased,” and so on. It will increase the room for getting much richer data from your respondents.

9. Try It Out

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Before you post the survey out there, make sure to get a few people to take it for a test run. Five individuals should be more than enough to determine whether the results make sense and you can proceed with the real thing.

Feel like you have enough information right now to start a survey of your own? If that is the case, we recommend checking out 123FormBuilder which is a Free Online Survey Maker – Online Survey with Likert Scales. You will be able to get the most efficient results with this tool.

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