This section contains tips on how to write questionnaires.
- Before you start to write your questionnaire on this website, write a draft of the questionnaire.
Then either get someone else to proof read it for you, or else take a break and come back to it later for review. Even though
this website provides you with free market research, it is worth spending a little time on the questionnaire to maximise its use.
Look around the internet for some examples of questionnaires and the answers that go with them.
Broadly there are 5 types of questions that you will probably be using:
Scale questions ("How satisfied are you with…?")
Multiple choice questions ("Which of the following do you agree with?" or "Which of the following apply to you?")
Single choice questions ("Which of these best describes you? or "Which of these is your favourite?")
Quantity questions ("How often do you…?")
Frequency questions ("How much do you spend on…?")
When thinking about answer lists, try to think around the subject.
Consider what answer you would give to the question
Consider also what sort of answers that people you know might give
Try to think also about answers that represent extremes of behaviour
It's also worth checking if someone else already asked a similar question or been thinking about a similar issue - type in the subject of your question on a
search engine and see what comes up. Blogs, articles and forums can give you a rough idea of the sorts of answers that people are likely to give.
Make sure you include a “Don’t know”, or “None of these apply to me” answer, as otherwise it may influence the spread of responses.
- Think about whose opinion you are interested in. Is it only the user responding to your survey?
For example, instead of asking, "How many mobile phones do you own?" you could try "How many mobile phones are there in your household?".
- Try to avoid asking leading questions.
Instead of asking “Most people prefer to go on holiday to hot places, do you agree?”,
a more neutral version would be “Do you prefer to go on holiday in a hot or cold place?”.
Phrase questions as clearly as possible, and don’t assume that other people have the same level of knowledge
as you about a subject.
For example, if you’re asking people whether they’ve ever used a "pay per view" survey on their TV, don’t use the ‘PPV’ acronym instead of the full
- Please do not ask about personal information that may make the respondent feel uncomfortable responding to.
For example, do not ask users about criminal activity.
- Please do not include weblinks or email addresses in your questions or answers.
We do not currently allow you to ask any open ended questions.
Even though NumBuzz provides the tools for users to collect free market research,
it does not mean that the quality of the data should suffer. Too often an open ended question is a substitute for taking more time
to think around the subject and establish exactly what you are looking for. Effectively
the questionnaire writer is asking the respondent do all of the thinking for them. This can lead to
an unusable or missing response. If you have written an open ended question,
work through the bullet points on this page again to see if you come come up with a pre-coded list.
Is the meaning of your questions as clear as possible? Are your questions as short as they could be?
If you answered ‘No’ to either of the above, then try re-writing the question from scratch, asking it in a different way.
Don’t be afraid to split up a single complex question into two simpler questions –
gradually introducing new information helps people answer questions more accurately. For example, instead of asking
"Which of the following utilities do you have and think are good value for money?" ask first "Which of the following utilities do you have?"
and then "Which of the following utilities do you think are good value for money?".