Web Survey Software Appearance Options
One of the key considerations when using web survey software is how your online questionnaire will look. You almost always want it to look both professional and engaging. You also want it to be easy to answer. The more sophisticated programs give you many choices as to how you reach those goals.
You convey professionalism by making your pages clean, attractive and easy to understand. Your program should let you choose fonts and colors. It should also let you determine the general layout of your questions. For example, it could let you show questions and answer choices with different background colors. Another useful option is to let you use CSS to make your buttons match current styles.
Another way to convey professionalism is by branding. You should be able to add a logo or to use a Web page template to make the survey pages look like your main website. Of course, different levels of branding can be appropriate in different cases. If you are a university surveying your alumni or association surveying your members, you probably want the pages to clearly convey who you are. On the other hand if you doing market research comparing products from different companies, you would want your pages to identify the research company, rather than the company sponsoring the research. In all cases, it’s best if your tool does not advertise itself on your pages. Some web survey software, especially, but not only low-end offerings does just that. You may want to avoid such packages.
Some options a program can offer to make a questionnaire more engaging include the ability to rank items by dragging and dropping them and using graphic buttons, instead of the standard radio buttons and check boxes built into browsers. Using images were appropriate can also make a questionnaire more engaging.
Your chosen tool should provide a number of ways to make your questionnaire easy to complete. Making it easy to read is the first requirement. The fonts and colors choices mentioned above are the first step in that direction. Another important way to make your questions easy to answer is allowing a highlight color to appear over answer choices when a mouse moves over them. Your tool should let you show questions and answer choices in grids, drop-down lists or multiple columns of answer choices when those layouts work well for a particular question or series of related questions. You should be able to choose how many questions appear on each page, for example two or more when they are very short, but only one for a long question no one with many answer choices. You should be able to provide tool tips that clarify terms of concepts with which some people might not be familiar.