A Complete Guideline to Creating Online Surveys

When investigating topics concerning a specific population of people, surveys can be beneficial. A survey is an inexpensive way to ask people in a population of interest to respond to questions about a particular topic. A survey can be used to conduct academic, market, and customer satisfaction research or to answer social questions, among other things. 

Here’s everything you need to know about online surveys, from how to make them to how you can use them.

Common usage

In the academic field, surveys are used to ask students their opinions on topics pertaining to their courses or to ask them to evaluate their professors. Surveys can be helpful in the workplace, serving as a means for employers and managers to evaluate employees, as well as allow employees to report workplace satisfaction.

In market research, consumer product feedback surveys can give insight into how consumers feel about the products they buy, what products are most in demand, what needs to be changed or remain the same about certain products, as well as insight into the demographics of consumers buying certain products and using certain services.

It is important to keep the population who’s being surveyed in mind before and during survey creation. It should already be decided who will have access to the survey and be asked to participate. Survey designers have to decide if the respondents will be identified or if the survey will remain anonymous. When dealing with large populations, a sampling method should be considered.

Survey components

To make a survey online, you should consider the type of questions included, survey length, and how the survey will be shared. A survey should be easy for respondents to use and navigate. Surveys should not feel like a daunting task, so they should not be too long. Surveys are most effective if there are under 20 questions, and each question is specific and targeted to the topic.

Avoid including leading questions in the survey. A leading question can prompt respondents to answer the question a certain way, because the phrasing of the question indicates that a particular answer is expected. And make sure that the answer to a question is not influenced by the answer to the question preceding it.

Acceptable questions to include in surveys are multiple choice questions and Likert scale-based questions that ask respondents to answer how much they agree or disagree with a statement. In general, answer choices on surveys are usually presented on a scale of “strongly like” to “strongly dislike”. Open-ended questions are also encouraged because they give respondents the opportunity to express their opinions in their own words and be as detailed as necessary.

Completing the survey design

When the survey itself has been built through a survey or form creation tool, and the design process is completed, the survey should be proofed to ensure that it is ready to be taken by respondents. It’s helpful to find some individuals who can serve as practice respondents.

Allowing others to take a practice survey gives them the opportunity to provide feedback before actual respondents take the survey. The practice respondents can report if the questions are easily understood and if the survey is designed well. This allows any necessary improvements to be made before the actual respondents participate.

Links to online surveys can be posted on websites or social media sites or sent through email or text messages. Online surveys are advantageous because they can reach many people, so make sure the surveys can be taken online on computers, smartphones, and any other type of electronic device.

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