Developing Surveys? Follow Best Survey Best Practices and Design Guidelines

20 survey writing best practices. Follow our survey development best practices for your campaign.

Written by Niel Patel · 5 min read >

You don’t need to be a specialist to design a survey. However, by adhering to a few guiding principles, you can ensure that you’re gathering the most accurate information.

Designing a survey is a time-consuming process – from determining your goals to offering incentives to responders.

However, if you cannot spend hours learning how to create surveys, a fast primer on the basics is a wonderful place to start.

survey development best practices
survey development best practices

5 Smart survey development best practices to gain insightful

In this post, we’ll show you how to design a survey that is simple for survey takers to complete, answer the research topics you’re looking for, and share data that’s straightforward to deal with during the analysis phase.

Let’s dive right in! 

  1. Describe the survey’s goal and use the right software
survey writing best practices
survey writing best practices

You must establish the aim of your questionnaire survey when you first consider writing them. The aim of this survey must be obvious, doable, and pertinent. You could choose to know why customer involvement is decreasing amid the selling process, for instance.

Then, your objective can be maybe:

“I would like to determine the critical causes, both in external and internal components, that lead to a decline in the engagement during the sales cycle.”

Or perhaps you wish to comprehend post-sale consumer happiness. If so, the survey’s objective can be: 

“I would like to learn how customer support and service post-sale, both through digital and offline channels, is impacted by user satisfaction.”

The purpose is to develop a clear, quantifiable, and pertinent survey goal. In doing so, you can make sure that your topics are relevant to your objectives and that the information you collect can be referenced to them.

If you are doing a global survey, you can think about purchasing business-level survey software. They are simple, end-to-end solutions made to handle customer and employee engagement surveys. They also include pre-built templates, questionnaire design software, and question formats to make the process of creating useful surveys simpler.

For instance, SurveyMonkey is the first brand that comes to mind when thinking of business survey software. Although the platform is well-known and has been there for a while, is it the ideal choice for your company?

In reality, more recent companies entering the market frequently do so with more advanced technology, aggressive pricing, innovative ideas, and a greater desire to satisfy customers.

Why not read more on alternatives here before creating an account with SurveyMonkey? 

For example, Attest is a fierce rival to companies like SurveyMonkey and offers insights to experts about new opportunities as well as exposure to a vast global market whilst still being incredibly simple to use.

  1. Make each inquiry matter

Each question on your poll questionnaire must directly contribute to achieving your goal of gathering crucial information. Verify that every question asked creates value and encourages replies that are pertinent to your study objectives. 

Ask, for instance, if your user’s particular gender or state of residence affects your findings. If not, spare time for you and the respondents by omitting it.

The ideal way to conceptualize your survey is to first decide what information you have to gather, then write your questionnaires.

Additionally, you can use multiple-choice questions for eliciting responses more nuanced than a simple yes/no. It isn’t always clear-cut. As there are just two possible responses to yes/no questions, they give less information than response scales and multiple-choice questions.

By adding words like “How often,” “How many,” or “How probable,” most yes/no queries can be improved. Whenever feasible, modify this and add a rating scale for more comprehensive data. Your survey findings will be much more complete and indicative of how your participants feel if you reword your queries in this manner.

  1. Take the help of UsabilityTools

A web portal called UsabilityTools combines several of the most incredible features that can assist site owners in gathering graphical conversion data and evaluating them to boost conversions on useful user insights. 

This gateway assists you in understanding “what” on your site is drawing the most visitors and “how” you may enhance the portions which aren’t as enticing by collecting user movements like mouse lingers and hits on particular icons, content, or other sections on the website.

An overview of this tool’s functionality is provided below:

  • Usability tools help you identify the differences between the users’ actions that convert the least and the most allowing you to record mouse movement.
  • You can identify which people click the most frequently using the unique interaction metrics tool, which can help you identify conversion roadblocks and usability problems.
  • It supports the fluid replay of user records in any format on computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
  • With both dynamic and static websites, it functions equally effectively. It’s not an issue if your site features drop-down menus and carousel displays.
  1. Be succinct, direct, and clear
  2. Have a succinct approach

Even if you might have a strong commitment to your poll, it’s likely that your participants don’t. One of your main responsibilities as a survey developer is to maintain respondents’ interest and attention throughout the whole survey.

Lengthy surveys or questionnaires that jump about arbitrarily from topic to issue are less prone to get responses. A logical flow and adequate completion time should be features of your poll.

Respondents don’t have to be fully informed about your study research, but it can be beneficial to explain the purpose of a particular question. They are much more willing to keep the comments focused and limited in scope if they have a basic understanding of your identity and research topic.

  1. Pose direct inquiries

Respondents are confused by imprecisely phrased survey questions, which reduces the value of your collected data. 

Keep your questionnaires as clear and comprehensive as you can to make them simple to respond to. Be as precise as you can. Instead of referring to a general trend, it may be beneficial to emphasize a particular circumstance or behavior. 

Never prompt the responder to think about abstract views or concepts. You might do this by focusing on the circumstances of their lives.

A range of concise responses to various inquiry kinds will also assist to elicit deeper thoughts. A great survey’s design should encourage participants to think creatively in addition to gaining the data you need.

  1. Steer clear of direct and slanted inquiries

Despite your best intentions, certain terms and phrases may infuse prejudice into your inquiries or lead the respondent toward a particular response.

Generally speaking, it’s better to simply include the phrasing that is necessary for a responder to deliver an informed response when conducting a survey. 

Do not include anything else in your query language that can be interpreted as your own viewpoint; instead, keep the query centered on the responder and their thoughts.

Examine the adverbs and adjectives in your question in depth. Remove them if they are not required.

5. Use plugins and response matrices

survey tips and techniques
survey tips and techniques
  1. Plugins

For the creation of the best services, it is essential to pay attention to consumer feedback – and this can be achieved with the help of WordPress plugins. 

Your revenues and profits will rise when you provide the goods and services your clients demand. This feedback may be useful as it reveals the features buyers prefer in items.

This also enables you to spot any obstacles users might be running into during their shopping process. 

As a consequence, you can get rid of these impediments and streamline the buying procedure. In addition to this, WordPress survey plugins have a wide range of other benefits. Below are a few of them.

  1. Response matrices

Response scales provide comprehensive data by capturing the attitude’s magnitude and direction. 

Contrarily, categorical and binary response choices, such as true/false and yes/no answers, typically result in less illuminating data.

A response scale is a preferable option if you have to choose one.

However, stay away from employing scales, which ask your intended audience if they disagree or agree with something. Some individuals have a predisposition toward supporting claims, which can lead to inaccurate and untrustworthy data.

  1. Steer clear of employing grids or matrices for responses

When compared to a scale and multiple-choice questions, grids and matrices for responses need a lot of consideration from the responder. 

They must comprehend and evaluate several factors in one go, and frequently they don’t complete grids truthfully or by following their genuine feelings.

Grid question kinds are an additional problem to be mindful of because they aren’t mobile-friendly. It is preferable to divide questionnaires with grid answers into different questions with various structures, like response scales.

  1. Carefully use imbalanced scales

Respondents may be misled by imbalanced response scales or badly worded questions.

For instance, people could lean toward the “outstanding” side of the scale as there are more favorable options available when you request them to review a thing or product on a spectrum that comprises “bad,” “acceptable,” “good,” and “outstanding.”

Ensure your response scales contain a clear, neutral center and they encompass all potential replies (target for odd numbers of response options).

survey tips and techniques
survey tips and techniques

Most Important Survey Design Tips & Best Practices

  1. Keeping Surveys Short and Simple
  2. Concise – easy to understand and answer
  3. Communicative
  4. Using a combination of the Right Type of Questions
  5. Pay attention to your vocabulary and phrasing.
  6. Motivating the Respondents to Complete the Survey
  7. Avoid irrelevant questions


Your poll’s design may occasionally involve considerable trial and error. You can find out what your consumers prefer and dislike when you start running surveys. 

And you can modify your design to present a format that will appeal to them. That will guarantee that you continue to enhance your facts so that the analytical conclusions are precise and clear.

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