Garbage in, garbage out.  At Branded, our community members take our clients’ surveys every day and experience the good, the bad and the ugly of survey design. We know that well-designed surveys yield high-quality insights. Follow Branded’s top 10 best practices when designing surveys to ensure data quality and data integrity.

🗹 1.  My survey takes less than 10 min to complete

The optimal survey length is 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid respondent fatigue and high drop rates by limiting survey length.

🗹 2.  My survey is visually appealing and responsive across devices

Use a responsive design to provide a consistent, high-quality experience across devices. If respondents have a poor user experience, they are more likely to give poor quality answers or ditch the survey altogether.

🗹 3.  My survey asks simple, short and specific questions

Ensure all respondents are able to answer the questions as they are written.  Avoid unfamiliar abbreviations or jargon that can confuse respondents.

🗹 4.  My survey asks only one question at a time

Questions that ask respondents to evaluate more than one concept at a time are difficult to respond to and often lead to responses that are difficult to interpret.

🗹 5.  My closed-ended questions include an exhaustive list of response choices

Make sure to give enough answer options to cover all possible responses (limit to 8 options.)  Incomplete choice options may lead respondents to reply inaccurately or not reply at all.

🗹 6.  My question response scales are limited to 5 points

Limit question response scales to 5 points whenever possible to ensure proper display and avoid bias.

🗹 7.  My survey includes ‘trap questions’ to authenticate respondents

Place trap questions throughout the survey to ensure the respondent is answering questions consistently.

🗹  8.  My matrix questions are simple and infrequent

Keep matrix questions as simple as possible to avoid confusion.  Respondents often don’t answer complicated matrix questions accurately or completely.

🗹 9.  My survey limits open-ended questions

Include only 1-2 open-ended questions to ensure thoughtful answers and avoid burnout. Open-ended questions should only be used when common responses to a question are unknown.

🗹  10. Test, test, test! Then test again.

It is absolutely imperative to test your survey before launching.  This is especially important if you have question logic.  Ask at least 5 people to test your survey to catch and correct issues before distributing.