Survey Best Practices


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Love this series of questions and considerations for survey-building. Among my favorites:

  • “After I write a question, I like to imagine that I instantly have the raw data in my hands, then I ask myself: “Ok, now what?  What can I do with this information?  Does this give me the information I need?”  This simple exercise will help you to construct questions that really matter and will yield actionable data; you will avoid filling your survey with a bunch of “nice to know,” but non-essential questions.”
  • “Nothing is more frustrating than a complex survey question.  Questions can be complex by being too long, having too many choices, by using confusing language, by forcing respondents to rank too many items, do arithmetic, or by trying to measure too much in one question.”
  • “use objective metrics like “once a week,” “more than once a week,” etc.”
  • If you are asking multiple choice questions like the one below, it is a good idea to randomize the choice options so that the same option isn’t always listed first.
  • “I recommend putting your demographic questions (age, gender, etc.) at the end of the survey.  Just like you ease a respondent into the questionnaire with easy questions, you want to ease them out as well.”

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