No survey can achieve success without a well-designed questionnaire. Unfortunately, questionnaire design has no theoretical base to guide the researcher in developing a flawless questionnaire. All the researcher has to guide him or her is a lengthy list of do’s and don’ts born out of the experience of other researchers past and present. Hence, questionnaire design is more of an art than a science.
What is survey research?
A Survey is defined as a research method used for collecting data from a pre-defined group of respondents to gain information and insights on various topics of interest. Surveys have a variety of purposes and can be carried out in many ways depending on the methodology chosen and the objectives to be achieved.
The data is usually obtained through the use of standardized procedures whose purpose is to ensure that each respondent is able to answer the questions at a level playing field to avoid biased opinions that could influence the outcome of the research or study. A survey involves asking people for information through a questionnaire, which can be distributed on paper, although with the arrival of new technologies it is more common to distribute them using digital media such as social networks, email, QR codes or URLs.
If you are finding it hard to think of good questions to ask, this may be just the thing you need! It provides for you five basic steps to consider when trying to develop thoughtful questions for your survey.
The first step is named “Focus”. This step asks you to consider what it is you really want to know and the depth of the question.
The second step, the purpose, is to consider why you are asking the question and whether you need facts or opinions.
The third step, intent, asks you to ponder what you will do with the information you receive.
The fourth step is to analyze the frame of the question by making sure you are using easily understandable terms.
The fifth and last step is to follow-up.
These five steps will make it much easier for you to develop questions for your survey. They will also make sure to eliminate what is not necessary and get straight to the point. This will allow users to understand the survey better, which will encourage them to respond!