How to Create a Survey That Gets Results


Crafting A Survey That People Will Actually Take

The survey has gotten a bad rap. Who wants to answer a bunch of boring questions, right? Well, say goodbye to boring surveys and say hello to Typeform, a refreshingly intuitive survey software for both making and taking surveys. There's finally a way for you to “ask awesomely.” With a stunning user interface, it’s a cinch to create beautiful surveys that are so easy and fun to take that your audience (and you) will never think about surveys the same way again.

Some Things To Keep In Mind

1. Have a clear objective.
Know what you want to get out of the survey. Keep the overall goal of the survey in mind as you develop your questions.

2. Craft your questions.
You need real answers? You need to ask the right questions of the right people in the right way. Put in the time at the beginning of the process. Think through high-level categories of questions and then break each of those down into bite-size questions. You will thank yourself when you go to actually input questions into the survey.

3. Use a consistent narrative.
In general, it’s best to write survey questions in second-person. It helps to make the survey feel more conversational. Sometimes, it’s best to go with first-person. We say: go with your gut on this one. Just keep it consistent.

4. Use an unassuming tone.
Survey questions ought to be written with a friendly, nonthreatening tone. Be serious, but not too serious. Aim to make your survey takers laugh a little bit.

5. Don't flip flop between positive and negative.
In general, it’s best to approach questions in a positive manner, if possible, and to not flip flop between positive and negative when there is a series of questions.

6. Don't use 'never' and 'always'.
Never ever use 'never' and always avoid using 'always' in survey questions and/or response choices. This language won’t lead you to any meaningful responses. Given these options, most users will fall in the 'sometimes' category, which isn't very helpful.

7. Use the appropriate type of question.
Think about what question format is best suited to the information you are trying to glean from a particular question. Sometimes, you need to try out a few different options before you know which one to use. Here’s our favorites:

Binary: For those simple yes/no questions.
Free Form: For those follow-up questions. Provide space for thoughts and allow users to expand, where it is useful.
Multi-Option: For those “check all that apply” questions.
Scale: For those “how much” questions.

8. Use a beautiful online survey software.
Typeform is an online survey software that provides a beautiful, customizable, human-feeling survey experience. It recognizes that users process survey questions one at a time and makes your questions look and feel great.

9. Let users take the survey on their preferred device.
The survey should look beautiful and behave well across different devices (mobile, tablet, desktop), allowing your recipient to take the survey on their preferred device.

10. Set expectations early.
Be transparent about what the survey is about and how long it will take to complete. Share this information on the opening screen.

11. Include some fun questions.
Sprinkle some light, fun questions into longer surveys to avoid boredom. For example, "Have you had your coffee today?"

12. Group similar questions together.
Similar survey questions should be grouped together. There should be clear section breaks when a set of questions shifts gears. Hopefully, you thought through the question groupings back when you were crafting your questions.

13. Test the survey.
Take the survey yourself. Have a friend take the survey. Have a colleague take the survey. Get some feedback on the experience and then go back and make it even better.

Shannon Ruetsch is a user experience consultant based in New York City. She has an avid fondness for making lists and getting things done, but loves nothing more than getting lost in a good book. Say hello.