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Survey Design Best Practices: Three Key Considerations

Posted by Laura Jasinski on Oct 15, 2015

As information becomes increasingly accessible, brands rely heavily on surveys for on-demand pulse measurement. Consumer feedback gathered from a properly designed survey can optimize and personalize product delivery. While technology makes surveys easier to create through DIY tools, improper survey design can result in limited or inaccurate data. By following the best practices of survey design you can increase the amount, accuracy, and relevance of data.

Click here for 6 tips on modern survey design 


The Participants: Who is your target audience?

Brands must carefully consider their target audience and how best to reach that audience. Survey design will influence the accuracy and relevance of your data. Remember, bigger isn’t better. Although it is tempting to aim for the most completes, capturing insights from a relevant demographic increases the accuracy of data.

The Survey: Setting Goals for Success

Think like a respondent. The survey introduction is a crucial and often-overlooked piece of survey design. It informs the participant of the survey’s importance: why the participant should spend time completing the survey, but keep it short. Consumers favor shorter surveys with a strong narrative structure.

The Questions: Gathering Insights, Not Data

When designing a survey, the question and the answer choices should encourage the respondents to provide honest, meaningful feedback. The format should suggest that the survey is ‘listening’ to the responses of participants, not just collecting data points. Questions should not steer participants toward a certain answer. 

Online surveys can be an incredibly useful tool for gathering and using information; however, improper survey design can limit data, render it useless, or provide inaccurate information. By following some best practices of survey design, researchers can easily obtain meaningful, useable data.


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