Follow these guidelines to write effective surveys
for the World Wide Web.
Have a good reason to do an online survey. Such
surveys take time and resources from the Information Technology team. If you do a survey,
plan on reading the results!
Keep your questions to one written word processing
page! Except in rare circumstances where you really know your audience, short and
sweet is the rule. This single page should translate into a Web page of about three
screensno more. Users don't want to scroll down forever.
Never ask more than 10 to 15 questions. You want
to make it as quick and easy as you can. Keep lots of "white" space in the
survey so that it looks easy to read on the screen.
Never have more than two or three write-in-the-answer
questions or fields in your Web survey. Keep the respondents' writing to fewer than 25
words per response. These types of questions take time to answerand some people
are self-conscious about their writing skills. These also take time to read. Sometimes,
fill-in questions are necessary and important, but use them sparingly and word them
Write questions so that they can be answered by
checking a box. These kinds of questions are very easy to answer on the Web.
Write questions so that they can be answered in a
"yes/no" format or the "agree/disagree"
format. This means you have to word your questions carefully so that they will be
interpreted in the way you intend. A misread or misunderstood question will yield the
wrong data and may frustrate the survey taker.
Thank the respondents in advance for their help.
These people are doing you a favor by taking time to answer your questions. Your comments
should have a tone of thankfulness and appreciation.
Make sure the instructions are clearly worded and easy
Provide an email name using a mail-to tag so that a
customer can communicate any additional feelings or ideas to you.
Put a picture or logo in your survey if it seems
appropriate for the audience. Graphics can help make the survey more attractive.