Writing Surveys with Good Question Intent

Good Intent

Writing surveys with proper question intent will increase both the quantity and quality of the responses you receive.  What then are critical points to enable you to write surveys that have good question intent?  let us show you.

Is it understandable?

This fact is critical.  In order to ensure your survey questions will be understood you have to take yourself out of your own shoes and enter theirs.  They do not have your inside knowledge or expertise.  Provide explanations or background information if needed (but keep it brief).  If it takes too long or is too difficult to explain – then a survey is not the right place for your question.

Is it legible?

There are the basic parts of legible questions.  Is the font, color, display, etc, conducive to good readability.  Or it is not?  Don't use neon colors, etc or anything that will make it difficult to read.  If you do – respondents will focus more on the poor design then on the intent of the question you are trying to ask.

Is it relevant?

If your question is not relevant to the person being asked, they will loose intent in your survey.  They will ask themselves why that question is valid or why they were asked – rather then focusing on the real intent of the question.

Is it painful?

Questions that make the respondent feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or require a great amount of effort to respond to will present drop off.  The user spends more time debating whether they should or should not answer the question – rather then focusing on the intent of the question you are asking.

Finally – Did you review it?

Writing surveys with good question intent is really not that difficult.  it just requires a little extra thought on your part to evaluate your questions.  Put yourself in your respondents shoes and imagine how they would respond to your questions.  Do your questions make them feel uncomfratable? Are they properly worded, easy to read and applicable to the respondent?  Are they easily understood and adequately brief? If not… then you should review your questions and modify them appropriately.  Otherwise your question intent will be lost in your survey.

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