How to Design Your Questionnaire for Your Research

The objective of your questionnaire must be to get maximum information from your respondents with minimum questions. Your questionnaire will be an integral part of your research and it will eventually facilitate your analysis. Therefore, it is important to have a systematic and logical questionnaire design to get the best results in your study.

Tips to design an effective questionnaire:

Keep it short and interesting – Respondents generally prefer to answer short questionnaires. They tend to skip the long, monotonous or boring questions so you must ensure that the questions are crisp, to the point and interestingly framed.

Order of the questionnaire – The responses in your research can be impacted by the previous questions and therefore, the right order is extremely important.

  • Start with an introduction
  • Keep the initial questions simple and easy to answer
  • If you mention something in the questions in the former part, it may impact the answers in the latter part of the survey
  • Ask sensitive questions, including demographics and income related questions towards the end of the survey
  • If you have a series of questions that are similar in nature, randomize their order to get better results from respondents

Open-ended and close-ended questions – Open-ended questions give respondents the freedom to answer as per their choice while close-ended questions have a limited number of responses. Open ended questions take a lot of time to ask the questions and analyse the results. However, respondents might skip an open-ended question but have a better chance of answering a close-ended one.

Simplicity – When framing the questions, try and avoid jargons and technical words. Your respondents must be able to understand the questions clearly. Stay away from complex sentences and vague questions.

Define your objectives and respondent profile clearly before you begin writing your questionnaire. This will help you in creating the right questions and get insightful results.

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