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Creating a User-friendly Survey that will get you accurate results

Pexels. User Survey Image. 10 February 2019. Web. https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-notebook-669615/.

How to Creating a User-friendly Survey
that will Get you Accurate Results

Writing your first user survey requires a lot of time and patience. Not following common user survey practices will leave you with results that will potentially hurt your future marketing, design, and business decisions. Once you understand the basics of user surveys you will be on your way to creating a user-friendly survey that collects useful results. This blog post will cover common user interview mistakes, so you can avoid them moving forward.

Relevancy and Accuracy

Relevancy, (the state of being closely connected) and accuracy (the state of being correct or precise) are two important factors to keep in mind when creating a user survey. A well-structured user survey that contains simply written questions will help you collect valid survey responses (Survey Monkey, 2019). Relevancy and accuracy drive the outcome of creating a reliable survey.

The following topics below are common mistakes found in user surveys. It is imperative to follow these topics to collect accurate and organized data.

Your Objective

Be sure to be well prepared with all the information you need before starting your user survey. This includes an overall objective of your survey and information you want to collect from your users. With your objective and information in place, you will be able to research objectives into a set of “information requirement”.

Word Choice

It is important to construct a clear user survey with direct questions and answers that use language that survey participants will understand. Although, you will want to be very precise with your questions word choice is key. Staying away from big words and phrases they may not understand will improve the overall clarity of your survey (Survey Monkey, 2019).

Also, be sure to not to lead your questions to suggestions. Overloading your questions with suggestive language will result in inaccurate results. For example, Mark Dixon uses this question “Now that you’ve seen how you can save time, would you buy our  product?”

to explain to his readers that this leading question will rely more on the participant’s emotions more than their facts (Dixon, M, 2019 Par. 4-6).

Grouping Topics

Grouping your survey questions into topics is a very important step that inexperienced survey authors often forget. To prevent yourself from shuffling questions around once you finish your survey you will want to create the structure before jumping in. This means grouping your questions by topic. For an example, the first five questions of your user survey can be on demographics, next five questions on your participant’s behavior, participates use with your application, website or product, and finally their knowledge of your survey subject. This will not only improve your participate’s experience with your user survey but also keep you organized when it comes to collecting your results.

Answer Types 

When it comes to creating the answers to your questions for your user survey it is extremely critical to utilize refined answer types. This includes but is not limited to, yes/no answers, likert scales, multiple choices, etc. These answer types will get you precise data that you can use to improve your application, website or product. Using a few open-ended can be done if absolutely necessary. However, open-ended answers are not recommended because they require a lot of extra time when it comes time collecting your results. Unless, your survey has ten or less participates stay away from open-ended answers as much as you can.

Here are a few Other Common Survey Mistakes:
  • Redundant questions
  • Questions that you do not need the answers for
  • No demographic questions
  • Questions without visuals
  • Sampling Error (Stanley, 2011 Par. 6-8)
  • Measurement Error (Stanley, 2011 Par 9)
Sources
Survey Monkey. 10 February 2019. Web. http://s3.amazonaws.com/SurveyMonkeyFiles/SmartSurvey.pdf.
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