Best Practices of Questionnaire Design

Conducting research studies are one thing, but conducting a survey that actually generates insightful data is another. A well-written survey can provide the client with invaluable customer insights. While survey methodology may seem intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with market research, it doesn’t have to be. QuestionPro Audience has compiled a list of 5 best practices to ensure you collect the best data from your research study.

SPEAK YOUR RESPONDENT’S LANGUAGE Something that may seem clear to you may be confusing to your respondents. Use simple language and terminology that your respondents will understand, and avoid technical jargon and industry-specific language that might confuse or frustrate your respondents.
Replace: Which of these stores is closest in proximity to your residence?
With: Which of these stores is closest to your home?

AVOID ASKING MULTIPLE QUESTIONS IN ONE It may seem like common sense, but it’s an easy trap to fall into when compiling questions. If any of your questions contain the word “and”, take another look at it. This question likely has two parts, which can tamper your data quality.
Replace: Which of these brands has the best quality and taste?
With: Which of these brands is your favorite?

ASK EASILY MEASURABLE QUESTIONS The key is to ask closed-ended questions that generate data that is easy to analyze and spot trends; not to mention, closed-ended questions are easier for the survey taker. Open-ended questions take longer for the respondent to process and provide a quality response that is concise.
Replace: What do you like about our company?
With: What service(s) of ours do you use?
a) internet b) cell phone c) cable TV

AVOID YES OR NO QUESTIONS People have a tendency to say they like things or agree, even if they don’t actually feel that way. With yes/no questions, you’re not able to capture people who are on the fence or gather any further insight than whether they like something or not. Most yes/no questions can be reworked by including phrases such as how often, how much or how likely.
Replace: Do you like Chicago’s public transportation system?
With: How likely are you to recommend the Chicago public transportation system to a friend?
a) extremely likely b) very likely c) neither likely nor unlikely d) very unlikely e) extremely unlikely

SAVE PERSONAL QUESTIONS FOR LAST Sensitive questions may cause respondents to drop off before completing. If these questions are at the end, the respondent has had time to become more comfortable with the interview and are more likely to answer personal or demographic questions.

Are you ready for your next survey project? We can help! Contact us at

QuestionPro Audience is the leader in online and offline data collection with access to millions of pre-qualified respondents who participate in thousands of surveys daily. We provide our clients the necessary tools and expertise to conduct 360 degree survey solutions.

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