Deciding to survey people is easy, but creating a survey can seem hard. Here at SurveyMonkey, we help make it simple. After all, surveys are an art and a science – but they’re not rocket science!
The first and most important step when thinking about how to make a survey is to identify why, exactly, you want to create a survey in the first place. In other words, what’s its objective?
A concise and focused objective can help you make a survey that asks just the questions you need. Here’s some things to ask yourself as you brainstorm your survey’s objective:
Who else will be seeing and using the responses? What insights am I hoping to gain? What decisions am I ultimately looking to make?
Once you understand why you want to make a survey, you can move forward in building it. This page will show you how to create a survey that delivers invaluable insights through the following key tips:
Once you've mastered these tips, the question “How do you create a survey?” will be all the more easy to address.
There are a lot of choices to make when you’re writing a survey, but following some basic rules can help you make the right choices every time. Here are 10 great tips for creating a survey that provides you with the answers you need:
1. Use formatting. Group similar questions to keep your survey logical and focused. Page breaks, page titles and instructions help people understand what you’re asking and why.
2. Ask often. Using the same question in a series of surveys, or even using the same survey over time, is a good way to build a baseline and measure changes in respondents’ attitudes.
3. Be brief. Respondents really don’t like surveys that are too long. So when you’re thinking about how to make a survey, just remember to minimise the number of questions you ask.
4. Ease into it. Your first question is often your most important one. Asking personal or sensitive questions at the beginning can scare people away. Save those questions (if they’re absolutely necessary) for the end.
6. Clarify, clarify, clarify. Spell out everything that could be interpreted in more than one way. Want to know if someone is conservative in your political survey? If so, make sure you specify whether you’re talking about the way they dress, their politics, their preference in music or cuisine, or their approach to life (to list just a few examples).
7. Keep it relevant. Create a survey that keeps respondents focused by only showing them questions that directly apply to them. A great way to do this is by using skip logic to eliminate irrelevant questions.
8. Avoid yes/no questions. Yes/no questions don’t capture people who are on the fence or nuances of people’s opinions. In other words, when you reflect on how to make a survey, remember to leave out yes/no questions.
9. Avoid the matrix. If presented with a matrix, respondents will typically focus on filling out the grid rather than paying careful attention to each question, but that will damage your data quality.
10. Use words rather than numbers. When designing answer choices, use phrases such as “slightly likely” or “extremely likely” rather than numbers such as “2” or “4” to indicate degree of preference. Likert scale answer choices such as these are easier for people to understand.
So now you know how to make a survey that brings in the responses you need to make better decisions.
If you want to become a true survey expert, check out our steps on writing survey questions. And if you want to create a survey more easily, we’ve got a wealth of ready-to-use survey templates for you to choose from. From customer satisfaction to marketing to employee engagement templates, we have a variety of options to help you make a survey that shines. Finally, for even more tips and tricks on creating great surveys, check out the SurveyMonkey blog.
Take advantage of these great SurveyMonkey resources and you’ll create a survey in no time.
Are your SurveyMonkey surveys anonymous? Eliminate the guesswork. Follow these three steps if you want your audience’s responses to be kept confidential.