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The Hidden Dangers of Easy Survey Questions

Posted: Aug 21, 2015

Customer SurveyWhat exactly are hidden dangers of easy survey questions.    Let's explore these.

What Value do Easy Questions Provide

First is to ask yourself what value is your question providing.  Keep in mind that your survey space is valuable and limited.  You cannot ask your users every question in the sun - they will loose interest.  Instead you need to choose your questions carefully and only pick those that provide the most value. In the above example, the question offers no value at all.  Sure the example is from a Game Show but often there are many questions in our surveys that provide little value yet we feel inclined to include them.  This most often occurs with demographic information.  Make sure that you pick and collect the demographic information that you need -- other details should be ignored so that you can keep your survey as short as possible.

Easy Questions can be Misleading

Look at the example above.  Do you know the answer?  Did you say "A"?  If you did - then you are actually wrong.  The correct answer choice is actually "C".  The "C" answer choice properly states the first letter in the English alphabet which is the letter "A" (not the answer choice "A"). Do you see how easy it was answer that question incorrectly?  Easy questions can often mislead your users to accidentally answer a question incorrectly.  Since the question is too easy, the user does not think about the question, they just answer it.  By not properly thinking about the question they easily misinterpret the actual meaning.  Take care when writing your questions to not have them be so easy that a user may accidentally answer without really thinking about the answer choices.

Easy Questions can be Insulting

As a user, do you truly feel like your answer to the above question really matters?  I know I don't.  If I was asked to answer the above question I would almost feel insulted.  I would feel like my time was being wasted collecting data that does not matter. Your users will only participate in your surveys if they feel like the opinions are valued and needed.  If you have them answer meaningless questions, then they will not agree to continue the survey or participate in one in the future.

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