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


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