Top 5 tips for survey design

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

At McCrindle we are well known for conducting relevant, world-class and cost effective research, and importantly, communicating the insights in innovative, useable ways.

Here are our top 5 tips for effective survey design:

  1. Clearly explain the purposes of the research
  2. Respondents will only answer questions if they think they are relevant or make sense to be asked. Explain the purpose of the research from the outset and respondents will be more comfortable answering because they will understand the context.

  3. Order questions intentionally
  4. Make sure the questions flow logically. Ease respondents into the survey but also ask the most important questions first as these are more likely to be answered. If it is a long survey or if there are lots of topics make visible headings and include a progress bar so respondents know how long they have to go.

  5. Be clear and explain
  6. Try to decipher the clearest and most simple way to ask each question. This may mean defining difficult words, laying out the timeframe the question refers to or giving instructions on how to fill in the question if it is unclear.

  7. Unweighted questions
  8. Try not to weight your questions to a particular side, e.g. avoid leading questions such as ‘Do you agree that Australia should become a republic?’

  9. Edit and then edit again!
  10. Make sure you proof your surveys, check the validation and logic. Do a survey preview several times to check everything works and then send it to a colleague to do the same.

For more information:

To find out more about our omnibus survey please download our McCrindle Omnibus Solutions Pack for more information:

The next omnibus is coming up, final questions are due on the 5th of June and the results will be sent to you on the 12th of June.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


baby boomers sydney event land of the middle class optus shopping centre collaborative sunburnt country crime travel economy learning Wagga Wagga year 12 cash royal influence social impact proactive shopping belief Aussies student friendship child care menai financial future apartments engage Australian Families Canberra participants investment infographic wall optimistic moderators guide challenge Australian Communities Trends apartment generational trends economic Scouts quote energy mining boom social change market research easter commute research services shbc housing long weekend school satisfaction sports society Territory wealth and income distribution PSI demography cloudy days hornsby Wellington Myth urban taskforce visualisation politics NT commuters responsive VET tableau Love acf15 Adelaide aged care social issues focus groups Research Director deloitte average aussie event education sector cultural diversity wealth and income university conferences clothing easy rider the hills kate middleton Queensland newspaper resource focus group Australian schools IT Specialists sydney hills EFF growth greatness population map Netflix education Engineering Manager leadership innovative environment millennials cartodb Christmas lunch low density Christmas presents sydney metro careers Vocational education growing population Sydney generation bondi millenials culture small business pharmacies Sydney Hills Business Chamber mother's day career baby name The ABC of XYZ father's day social enquiry shifts DESTEL meals data visualisation neutral bay graphs contiki local community Channel 7 media commentary australian social research Australian Population marriages hobart the changing face of Australian Trends unaffordable New Zeland consumer cica builders organisations engagement professional Kirsten Brewer meetings professional speaker tertiary education forecast plans World Water Day McCrindle Speakers dessert qualitative research group speaker video #censusfail infographic google schools charity Aussie global generations not-for-profit rain manly urban living professional services futurist trends ideas average sydneysider global Res Vis housing trends australian communities trends report emerging technologies screenage staff hopes train brisbane ultimo young people priorities ageing population renter of the future future proofing personal growth change trend tuesday infographics sydneysider Generation Y earn jobs potts point post rationalism government food grandparents crows nest 23 million Northern beaches Event house ethnography area data analyst insight census results safe teacher Duchess of Cambridge medicine education research SRE keynote speaker friends prince george interactive high density apartments domestic world generations population growth public speaking speakers healthy future workplace culture australia leadership workshop non profit Real Estate Institute of Victoria bus divorce rate resilience in depth interviews office households water financial Mark McCrindle holidays Social Trend insights Deaths millionth authenticity local communities publication Bathburst faith SMSF 40 million seasons litter Australians February 16 impact population milestone grave decision CPI brands forecasting norwest waverton mccrindle baby name trends state future Skilling sector wide Western Australia financial independence huffington post employment English Tuesday Trends social researchers VIC community princess charlotte toys criminal online Northern Territory results slideshare fresh hills list Hornsby Shire Council population unemployment housing market Australia Day 2017 sydney speaker twentyseventeen property price thrive city cost of living internet demographic 24,000,000 study church Australian Dream renting storytelling going out story 1980 optus my business awards communities offenders parents research pack home financial dreams trends of 2017 housing growth debate vegemite the average aussie Gen Y mythbusters environmental scanning rent ACF2017 teachers ABS spend emerging trends Geoff Brailey ACF product life income experience winter buildings 2012 annual income communication micro apartments facts the hills shire cancelling event trend house prices australians staying home more lifestyle social life trends of 2016 tips house price 1968 entrepreneurial SA royal baby nfp online shopping Australian communities society trends woolworths demographic transformations supply and demand coffee digital investor Australian Bureau of Statistics TED organisational culture global financial crisis sector wealth distribution Christchurch presentation social commentator ageing news NBRS Architecture micro the great screenage learning styles marriage award paying to work baby DIY cancel plans census analysis celebration goals weekly earnings ashley fell 2015 darwin learn finance 2014 work mates rental stress community engagement google for education new york times aged care puzzle thought leadership Australian Home VET sector public speaker panel survey rise of local urban living index chairty Kiwi sector wide study investing mccrindle in the media aussie culture click youth marrickville parenting gen alpha NEETs mobile research report education future report property market collaboration volunteers royal family world youth day royal school students presentations education future australian communities forum NBRS home ownership baby boom 2020 program Northern Beaches Real Estate Queensland: QLD New South Wales skills hills shire demographics typical australian future of shopping narcissism work-life customer South Australia leader Financial Planning Week innovation Gen X Education Future Forum networking Crime Rates Royals faux-cilising future of work business index owning a home socialites megatrends Research Executive sunny days tattoos children christianity professional development perth Christmas season NFP event mccrindle research wolloomooloo case study cars stay home baby name predictions Financial Planning Association of Australia internships snapshot socialising home owner property Hills Shire Council shopper's pick volunteer capital city dare to dream Generation X winter blues earning rich salary affordability etiquette follow GPO speakers pack stats trends analyst WA year 7 house price rise brand lalor park eliane research visualisation in the media retirement financial fears sydneycity debt report media activity alpha training TED talk 24 million Andrew Duffin mateship statistics transport national wealth capital cities future of education rising house prices showreel sentiments data young australians national private wealth demographer poker master entrepreneurs of today consumerism language omnibus gen z Word Up generation Z Australia Day holiday happiness university degree purpose social commentary research data future proof demographic trends keynote social analysis village wages January 26th 1994 outsourcing teach overcast staying in survey design future-proof tea 2016 census data motivate gender men summer census fail brand experience christian high school Tuesday Trend personalities educhat townhouses REIV Conference culturally diverse office space FOMO families repayments technology conference real women entrepreneur spirituality trades the australian dream community event jobs of the future professional presenters research work Macquarie University workplace mythbusting school TAS Sydney keynote speaker events bureau hello fresh travelling census 2016 Northern Beaches Christian School emerging generations entertainment australian local conference presentation baby names australia report high density living employers goal ipswich 2016 census results daily commute 10 years 1975 changing face of sydney Population Clock Tasmania sustainable The Daily Edition average Australian pharmacy affordable wealth household religion NSW social researcher Caregiver sydneysiders moreton bay workforce define baby names report teleworking conference speaker communicate victoria divorce ACF 2016 students relational visual mortgage ACT tuesday wage residents social shifts Australia street earnings 2017 researcher increasing densification housing affordability FPA ferry geomapping James Ward daily telegraph not for profit schools students mccrindle tea wedding identity social trends weather names breakfast living Australian Census high density SMART poor couple intern HSC rule keeper Do It Yourself learner Assistant Store Manager marketing christmas suburban living 2013 group session REIV National Conference 2016 census faux-ciliser national crime rates Merry Christmas mover and shaker curiosity Channel Seven Births baby names Australian community trends dreaming blaxland System's Architect generation alpha TDE cancelling plans ashley mckenzie new office Work place office opening communications youth unemployment forum JOMO media release pyrmont relevant "know the times" Wodonga wellbeing budget media urban recap selfie social research equip social lives faux-cilise internship New Zealand balance social media workshop tv cultural diveristy CBD gold coast suburb Australian demographics public holiday monarchy educated suburbs fears know the times logan Financial Planning Association business dream states ACF17 car cooking anzac social cost mentor Valentine’s Day eliane miles teaching vegetarian award winner family volunteering data TEDx ease of travel Charlotte sun business performance cold Melbourne middle class