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


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