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.

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