Online surveys can be created using numerous methodologies. There are however some very important things that must be considered if you want to create a high quality online survey. Below are 10 things that must be considered when creating online surveys.
1. Method of data collection: This is the first consideration that has to be made when creating online surveys. Data in online surveys can be collected in numerous ways i.e. online questionnaires, online interviews e.t.c. You must find an appropriate data collection method that suits your survey first to be able to create an effective online survey.
2. Survey question wording: You must also consider the wording of the questions if you want your survey to reflect the area/issue of interest accurately. You should avoid complex, vague, inaccurate, unfamiliar and technical words at all costs because they confuse respondents. Online respondents are not as patient as traditional respondents. If questions are complex or wordy, respondents will lose interest quickly.
3. Respondent effort: You must also consider the effort your online respondents make to answer your questions. As mentioned above, online respondents are less patient. Questions that burden online respondents i.e. force them to memorise or remember things result in higher non-response rates.
4. Sequence of questions: This is also an important consideration when creating online surveys. The best online survey questions are those that have logical flow. Inconsistencies in the order tend to confuse respondents, leading to biased results.
5. Format of questions: There are two main types of online survey questions; open-ended and closed-ended. Open ended survey questions, such as a single line input, require respondents to answer questions in their own words. Closed-ended survey questions have multiple choice answers. Each question type has its own limitations and research objectives. You must consider the types of answers and type of survey first before you choose a format for your online survey questions.
6. Accuracy of information: This is another important consideration. To guarantee that you collect accurate information through your online survey, you must word your opinion questions and attitudes in a manner that best reflects the thinking of respondents on certain issues.
7. Automating for efficiency: The most important thing about creating online surveys is the ability to automate them for efficiency in collecting data and analysing results. There is absolutely no point of conducting an online survey if you won’t automate it to make your work easier and more efficient. Automating for efficiency is therefore a very important consideration.
8. Survey layout: This is also a very important consideration when creating online surveys. One of the advantages of online surveys is that there are very many survey design templates that can be used to enhance the visual layout of your survey. This is very important in terms of capturing the attention of respondents and making it easy for them to answer questions.
9. Structure of the questions: It is important to note that questions have different sections which have to work in harmony for purposes of capturing high quality data. The wrong combination of question sections can confuse respondents. The structure of the question is therefore a very important consideration.
10. Information analysis: This is another important consideration when creating online surveys. The type of survey questions dictate the type of analysis that one will be able to carry out at the end of a survey. If your initial goal is tracking certain metrics, you should consider information analysis before creating your online survey otherwise you might encounter challenges analysing information using certain online survey tools.