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Survey questionnaire design is a key factor for survey success. After all, the quality of the answers and subsequently the survey data are largely dependent on how questions were phrased. When it is all said and done, the outcome of a survey should enable the decision-makers to base decisions and act on the survey results. See more tips and a special offer in the Survey Designer Zone.
Start with defining what information is needed. For example: demographics, satisfaction; experience ratings for products and services; frequency of use; likelihood of return; likelihood or recommendation; company or product specific information you wish to explore;
Determine the type of interviewing method being used: interviewer-assisted or self-administered. While in an interviewer-assisted environment the respondent can interrupt and ask for explanations, in a self-administered situation the respondent is by himself.
Draft the individual questions. The successful completion of the survey is dependent on the respondent's immediate understanding of each question. Use ordinary words, avoid generalizations, avoid abbreviations, avoid dual statements; avoid assumptions; use only non-leading and non-biasing questions. Keep the questions simple and straight forward.
Adapt the questionnaire to a specific cultural environment
Arrange the questions in a logical order
Pretest the survey (and test again with different people)
Structured questions (closed-ended questions):
Unstructured questions (open-ended questions):