Top 5 tips for survey design

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

At McCrindle we are well known for conducting relevant, world-class and cost effective research, and importantly, communicating the insights in innovative, useable ways.

Here are our top 5 tips for effective survey design:

  1. Clearly explain the purposes of the research
  2. Respondents will only answer questions if they think they are relevant or make sense to be asked. Explain the purpose of the research from the outset and respondents will be more comfortable answering because they will understand the context.

  3. Order questions intentionally
  4. Make sure the questions flow logically. Ease respondents into the survey but also ask the most important questions first as these are more likely to be answered. If it is a long survey or if there are lots of topics make visible headings and include a progress bar so respondents know how long they have to go.

  5. Be clear and explain
  6. Try to decipher the clearest and most simple way to ask each question. This may mean defining difficult words, laying out the timeframe the question refers to or giving instructions on how to fill in the question if it is unclear.

  7. Unweighted questions
  8. Try not to weight your questions to a particular side, e.g. avoid leading questions such as ‘Do you agree that Australia should become a republic?’

  9. Edit and then edit again!
  10. Make sure you proof your surveys, check the validation and logic. Do a survey preview several times to check everything works and then send it to a colleague to do the same.

For more information:

To find out more about our omnibus survey please download our McCrindle Omnibus Solutions Pack for more information:

The next omnibus is coming up, final questions are due on the 5th of June and the results will be sent to you on the 12th of June.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


emerging generations Word Up NSW household mccrindle research friends CPI deloitte online consumer Jura Coffee outsourcing financial dreams population growth land of the middle class 2016 water organisations Business analysis national wealth care support Research Executive marketing future ageing population infographic census fail Melbourne economic unemployment dreams group session new york times donate property price Australian Communities Trends vegetarian gig economy area Macquarie University baby name learning styles home US speajer Deaths long weekend Births typical australian teleworking Engineering Manager consumerism middle class equip dream mining boom Northern Beaches sydney speaker define Caregiver state Do It Yourself Assistant Store Manager social life baby boom tableau relevant car Social Trend education future school Generation Y collaboration grandparents PSI click future of work changing face of sydney rising house prices wage teach small business ipswich social issues households micro public transport TAS charities learning income demographic social change sunburnt country research visualisation poker master parents Christmas day weather social media clothing Hills Shire Council menai award winner ACF2017 English average Australian professional report urban development hornsby contiki real Territory darwin healthy future average aussie Bathburst events culturally diverse cancelling event Netflix socialising Mark McCrindle acf15 chairty Australians millionth Charlotte maiden Australian Trends Australian community trends winter home owner future of shopping summer royal baby sydney hills staff families capital city crows nest wealth goals tertiary education storytelling manly participants baby name trends Northern Territory fresh moreton bay #censusfail social research TEDx Speaker etiquette engage Christmas in Australia litter research on coffee speaker Wagga Wagga belief conference speaker office suburb optus my business awards data business performance pharmacy commute research report mother's day australian communities forum australian communities trends report presentations speakers pack salary wealth inequality mover and shaker supply and demand resilience housing affordability James Ward holidays Lower Hunter staying in shifts training geomapping 24 million Tuesday Trend the great screenage Australia Day 2017 high density living live the dream networking Sydney market research collaborative program professional development increasing densification Lower Hunter Region optimistic career wages church cartodb forecast NFP event office space internet media growing population home ownership environment hills sentiments economy sustainable urban living JOMO sydney market google Channel 7 alpha world population milestone medicine women global financial crisis generational trends future proofing social researchers purpose mccrinlde weather VET sector generation wedding couple curiosity tuesday demographic trends in the media NEETs happy holidays food bank Geoff Brailey ferry seasons greetings faux-cilise gender 24,000,000 australian real estate dessert SA Real Estate Institute of Victoria Scouts New South Wales employmer children money trends of 2016 Australian Census Wellington South Australia earnings 10 years Andrew Duffin sports snapshot property market housing mythbusters graphs hello fresh faux-cilising Kiwi year 12 ethnography Wodonga omnibus sector wide 1980 the australian dream skills volunteering Australian communities organisational culture unaffordable the average aussie mobile retirement Hornsby Shire Council food insecurity monarchy friendship Northern Beaches Christian School travel Education Future Forum bondi VET casual overcast demographics baby boomers engagement vegemite Crime Rates proactive holiday transport builders survey Christmas lunch Sydney Lifestyle Study weekly earnings maiden names Australian Families crime internship educated world youth day safe Research Director growth of sydney McCrindle Keynote Speakers visual Retail study list media activity capital cities learner Christmas data census royal family ashley mckenzie easter housing trends in depth interviews rent youth personalities case study futurist focus group Merry Christmas technology future-proof australian social research The ABC of XYZ change FPA research data Willowdale future of education Work place budget CBD high school family analysis Christchurch Northern beaches Event child care hunger Gen Z Expert Gen X high density apartments generation Z daily commute data visualisation trades national private wealth Real Estate Maxim Accounting parenting 2012 NBRS leadersip recap tea responsive gen alpha population map sydneysider daily telegraph cancel plans interactive business index work from home winter blues screenage census 2016 Christmas season Australian Home communications socialites buildings NBRS Architecture leader religion schools students young people Sydney’s south west leadership workshop Financial Planning Association of Australia property Sydney Hills Business Chamber residents brand experience census results workplace culture IT Specialists australians staying home more cold rule keeper house price financial product spirituality Queensland intern Black Friday kate middleton entertainment faith Sydney keynote speaker social enquiry demography balance entrepreneurial know the times princess charlotte researcher infographic wall tv finance office opening workshop World Water Day Aussie Australian Dream marrickville prince george shopper's pick criminal wealth and income panel Royals schools students logan education sector SMART cost of living Aussies publication global local communities TDE shopping centre resource sydney metro woolworths communicate apartments trends of 2017 post rationalism mateship paying to work christmas stay home HR dare to dream divorce Kirsten Brewer sun university degree wealth and income distribution McCrindle Speakers wealth distribution January 26th young australians impact ease of travel sunny days local community innovation media release Australian Bureau of Statistics christmas trees father's day house price rise financial future future proof ageing keynote speaker food choice workers renter of the future investor financial fears February 16 professional presenters entrepreneur house statistics SRE goal pharmacies social lives entrepreneurs of today faux-ciliser the lucky country year 7 online shopping Black Friday Sales train public speaking the hills sydney property market brand low density Myth cloudy days ACF Australian schools Financial Planning Association coffee research google for education Australia street australian community trends report Hunter Valley language Channel Seven Tasmania repayments moderators guide eliane cars TEDx politics gold coast HSC teachers social analyst energy victoria environmental scanning rental stress Skilling stats thrive aussie culture trend the hills shire village hopes employmee NT ideas population earning identity commuting baby names australia report media commentary WA social commentary annual income do people still change their surname after marriage? Christmas day public holiday 1968 aged care puzzle norwest research services narcissism 2015 house prices lalor park emerging technologies sydney event employers volunteering data surname TED talk jobs of the future DESTEL Australian demographics marriages Australia Day ACT Report 1994 ACF 2016 apartment seasons visualisation Res Vis mentor tattoos screenagers christmas 2017 poor education future report event renting video society innovative average sydneysider trends New Zeland Sydney population Jura Australia REIV National Conference story non profit student insight showreel professional services educhat debate shbc ACT Adelaide jobs communities cultural diversity social researcher coffee lovers potts point property development Love customer social trends surnames forecasting not-for-profit christian volunteers celebration bus culture education research Christmas presents Christmas Stats qualitative research mythbusting baby names happiness Elderslie-Harrington park cost work-life new office tips debt ashley fell living experience greatness millenials census data conferences social shifts lifestyle demographer rich facts millennials school students GPO marriage cooking cica nativity scene optus not for profit research research pack 2013 conference presentation urban taskforce forum school satisfaction conference TED australian demographic transformations McCridle 40 million award insights shopping VIC careers trend tuesday education affordable giving global generaion charity earn micro apartments government Duchess of Cambridge infographics high density investing community event christianity cancelling plans meals Black Friday in Australia owning a home perth hills shire authenticity mccrindle tea local aged care toys mortgage the changing face of social commentator fears Christmas research communication data analyst baby names report going out Queensland: QLD community 2016 census australia nfp plans dreaming wolloomooloo Tuesday Trends personal growth wellbeing urban follow hobart donation generation alpha townhouses younger generations waverton System's Architect suburbs newspaper commuters teacher mccrindle in the media financial independence cash workforce eliane miles breakfast Population Clock motivate Western Australia meetings Canberra youth unemployment work anzac rise of local DIY society trends EFF 2020 huffington post trends analyst not for profit sydneysiders Australian Population priorities business neutral bay states social sector travelling digital economy university domestic leadership ABS global retail learn survey design easy rider sector wide study ultimo FOMO 23 million city investment What is food insecurity? baby name predictions offenders housing market rain social analysis blaxland royal influence group baby quote sydneycity global generation housing growth financial planning brands presentation community engagement generations Performance Sentiment Index REIV Conference who is generation z names employment Vocational education social impact Mark McCrindle in the media Cobbitty-Leppington affordability selfie speakers cultural diveristy suburban living gen z news public speaker royal internships professional speaker 2016 census results life volunteer focus groups work mates slideshare national crime rates global generations pyrmont teaching Financial Planning Week brisbane grave decision thought leadership "know the times" growth urban living index Valentine’s Day digital The Daily Edition bureau Generation X Mount Annan-Currant Hill gig twentyseventeen relational 2014 SMSF results workplace 2017 McCrindle Speaker divorce rate 1975 ACF17 mccrindle emerging trends keynote Gen Y spend megatrends challenge New Zealand men