How Survey Design Software Can Help You Conduct a Successful Survey

Posted on : June 25, 2015 - by :

Good survey design software can help your research project succeed by giving you the tools you need to encourage survey participation and collect unbiased data. A majority of surveys today ask respondents to fill out their own answers on a Web page. Telephone surveys are probably the next most common. These two methods of data collection share many similarities.

In both cases good design means keeping surveys as short as possible, considering the data you need, and only asking people questions to which they can provide useful answers. The same design features help meet both these goals. For example, if you want people to rate auto insurance companies in several areas, you should first ask people how familiar they are with each of the target companies and only ask the rating questions about companies with which people are familiar. Doing so both keeps out poor quality answers and makes the survey shorter for most people. Good survey design software lets you skip whole questions and rows in grid or matrix questions as needed to accomplish these goals.

Randomization is another essential feature. Both the order in which questions are asked and the order in which answer choices to individual questions are presented can affect the answers people give to the questions. A good tool will help you randomize both when needed. You can also use randomization to accomplish the goal of keeping surveys short. For example you can ask each person a random five out of 10 questions. Doing so will still give you data on all 10 questions, while keeping the survey shorter for people than it would be if they had to answer all 10 questions.

Another useful design feature is the ability to combine answers you may have in advance about people with their answers to the current survey. Doing so can save time or let people confirm information you have about them.

While question appearance does not matter much in telephone surveys, it is very important in Web page surveys. A good tool will give you a wide variety of options to tailor the appearance of your survey pages to be clear and attractive and to engage the respondent. Using features like sliders and ranking by dragging sparingly can heighten engagement, though overuse of these features can be detrimental. The ability to use tooltips/pop-up help can help you provide needed guidance when some people taking a survey may not be familiar with some terms you use, while keeping pages as concise and attractive as possible.

The above are only some of the most important ways good survey software can help you conduct a successful survey