Survey Design Checklist

Survey ChecklistZoomerang, and our market research parent company MarketTools, have years of experience in developing good surveys. With this experience, we offer professional guidance on how to write, send, and analyze surveys.

Zoomerang has created this checklist to help you design a survey that will provide actionable, clear information for your business decisions. You can also learn more about designing a successful survey with our Building A Smarter Survey Webinar.

Define Objectives

– Did you write down what decisions will be made based on the data?

– Do you have no more than 3 main objectives for the survey?

Outline the Survey

– Does your survey include an introduction explaining purpose of the study, duration, and incentive information?

– Does the survey begin with a closed-ended question?

– Do you have questions at the beginning of the survey to select appropriate survey respondents to continue with the survey?

– Do the questions go from general to specific?

– Are the demographic questions at the end?

– Are any sensitive questions toward the end of the survey?

– Do all questions relate to your objectives?

– Do you complete each topic before moving on to the next?

Draft Questions

– Do questions avoid use of jargon, acronyms, or terminology unfamiliar to respondents?

– Are the questions simple and concise?

– Do you ask questions before describing the rating scale?

– Are all possible answer options included, or did you include an “Other” option?

– Do you allow the respondent to select “Prefer not to answer” for sensitive questions, such as income?

– Do you list answer options vertically?

– Do you display the most positive answer options first?

– Do you include a midpoint answer on rating scales?

– Are you using unbalanced scales on questions for which you expect the majority of answers to be in a top 2 box?

– Are you using closed-ended questions whenever possible for data analysis?

– Are open-ended questions voluntary?

– If you are unsure how to write the questions, are you consulting a Zoomerang survey template?

Review and Pre-Test

– Have you sent the survey to colleagues or friends to review question wording and survey timing?

– Have you pre-tested the survey by first sending to a small group of actual survey respondents to ensure data is being collected as expected?

– Does the survey take 10 minutes or less to complete? 5 closed-ended questions take approximately one minute, and 2 open-ended questions take approximately one minute

– Will you be able to make the decisions you identified in your objectives based on the data?

You can find additional online survey tips and suggestions here on the Zoomerang blog and be sure to follow Zoomerang on Twitter for the Survey Tip of the Day.

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2 Responses to Survey Design Checklist

  1. Online Survey Sister says:

    GREAT tips, thanks! I am in the online survey software business myself, and these are all very true, however not even I had thought of all possible angles mentioned above.

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