A survey provides crucial information in the form of meaningful data for your organization. You can use this data to make more efficient and informed decisions. Thus, surveys are important in many ways. There are multiple types of surveys however one type of survey doesn’t fit all scenarios; thus, it’s essential to choose the right kind for capturing the maximum insights.
But before jumping on to the questions, it is critical to understand what intentions you have behind creating the survey. Let’s look at the significant types of surveys.
Surveys can differ in terms of the type of questions you can ask, the deployment platform, frequency of deployment.
1. Surveys based on Types of Questions Asked
Not sure how to choose between Multiple Choice questions or Dropdown questions? Or what should be the type of your question! Different types of surveys demand a different set of questions. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right style for your survey.
Multiple Choice Questions
For MCQ questions, you can use a checkbox wherein the respondent has multiple options that apply to them. Typically 4-5 choices are ideal for MCQs. For example:
Where there are too many options that are available for the respondents, then that’s where we use the Dropdown menu. Thus using the Dropdown menu will eliminate the overwhelming effect of having multiple options. It is a convenient, scrollable question type with ideally 5-10 options.
Rating Scale Questions
For questions that require ranking or metric data, using the rating scale is very suitable—ideally, having a rating between 5-10 suits the survey best.
Likert Scale Questions
If you want to gauge the likeability of your product or service while not requiring a measured response, then the Likert scale is perfect for this type of question. Typically it’s better to have 5-7 choices for your Likert scale questions.
If a set of similar questions have a matching set of answers, then go for Matrix questions. This type of question is a collection of Likert or Rating scale questions. Ideally, using a 5×5 matrix is visually pleasing and convenient to the respondent.
Date and Time Questions
Questions that require a timestamp are Date and time questions. Questions like Date of Birth, Start of Employment, etc. demands a Date and time question.
When the respondent has to choose one option out of multiple options, they can do so with the help of the ratio button—demographic questions such as Age, Gender, Marital Status, Occupation, etc. Options are mutually exclusive and only one right choice; for this, using ratio buttons is suitable. The ideal size depends on the type of question. Keeping 2-5 is most appropriate.
When the surveyor wants the respondent to give an order to a particular set of options, then they can go for Ranking questions. Choose between 5-10 as an ideal size for ranking questions.
File Upload Question
If you expect the respondent to upload any file from their local system or cloud, they can go for File Upload questions. To improve the ease of access, it’s better to list the supported format, naming convention, and the size limit for the question.
2. Surveys based on the deployment platform
Although we live in a digital world, not all types of surveys are digital. Often the platforms differ for different kinds of surveys. Here’s what you need to know about the venues for survey deployment.
Questionnaire types of survey
These types of surveys can either be offline or online. Usually, the respondent receives a set of pre-fixed questions, answering all the items one by one. These surveys are not necessarily sequential so the respondent can start from any part of the survey.
The respondents receive a pen and paper-based physical survey form. Usually, the respondent fills the survey form in the presence of survey takers. Having 1 page with two sides for this type of survey is the usual standard.
Based on the email id provided by the respondent, these surveys are mailed to them to their email id. Targeting a broad set of audiences is comfortable with this type of survey. But the return rate or response rate for this type of survey is usually low. Having an in-mail survey or redirecting to a different-page study is how you conduct this type of survey.
These are the most commonly available surveys. The Survey link is provided to the respondent through any social media or digital platform. It’s a convenient means of taking a survey in this digital time. The ideal size of this type of survey is one to three pages.
Interviews types of surveys
This types of survey demand the interviewer to ask questions and expect a response from the respondent. It’s typically a verbal survey or a visual-based survey.
These types of surveys are conducted via telephone or mobile phones. The respondent may or maybe hold a copy of the survey. Questions are typically sequential, and the survey taker recites the question (in some cases also the answers) to the respondent—usually one-on-one with the survey taker and the respondent in the call.
Surveys of this type are usually conducted in a confined space. If your survey requires maintaining confidentiality, these surveys are ideal. Follow-up questions can be asked in a personal interview. These interviews may last anywhere between 1 minute to 1 hour. It’s a convenient type of survey to understand the pain points of the respondent.
3. Surveys based on deployment frequency
One time surveys
As the name suggests, the respondent takes these types of surveys only once. This type of survey provides data at a snapshot of time. Usually, the same respondents are never provided with the same survey form, thus making it a one-time survey. To state a few examples, end-of-event surveys, application usage surveys, surveys for research publications, etc. are one-time surveys.
Also known as trend surveys, respondents take these types of surveys regularly over different points in time. The respondents may or may not differ during the study. You can use this type of study for monitoring a particular event over different snapshots of time. Heatmaps and trend charts are usually based on periodic survey data; the census is a famous example of this type of survey.
In order to take a survey correctly, you must have your questions ready as per the requirements. Also, you must know your target audience and make your survey relevant. This will increase the open and response rates of your survey. Moreover, having excellent visual designs will improve the respondent’s experience.
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