When conducting quantitative research, market researchers and programmers need to be mindful of survey fatigue. This is a problem that occurs when individuals get tired or bored while taking a survey, which often leads to the survey not being completed or terrible data quality. Surveys designed with aesthetically pleasing elements and interactive tools tend to keep respondents’ engaged and reduce survey drop-out rates. In addition to to the aesthetics of the survey, research practitioners can implement dynamic questions with captivating interfaces. These varying question styles foster interaction between the respondents and the survey. Dynamic questions also serve as alternatives to single select, grid, rating and open-ended questions, which often can be tedious and unstimulating for the respondent. Therefore, we have compiled a list of question styles that can add variety to a survey and minimize fatigue.
Keeping respondents engaged can be achieved by using slider style questions, which allow respondents to answer a question on a scale by dragging an interactive slider. This is an alternative to rating scale questions since users can interact and create unique distinctions through comparisons among related items.
Sliders questions are not as beneficial when there is little to no interrelationship between question topics. For example, when asking a set of attitude statements that are not related.
In the example, there is no relationship between the three questions options. When using a slider question it is important to understand that respondents will make relative comparisons among related items. If there is no relationship between the items, it will be more beneficial to use another type of survey question such as multiple choice.
Image Heat Map
Another way keep respondents engaged is by using an image heat map question. This type of question allows users to identify the areas they like or dislike about a specific image. This type of question provides flexibility and has a number of potential applications. For example, it can help collect feedback on a new website layout. Using an image heat map facilitates feedback through interactions and sustain user engagement.
Rank sort questions are another alternative to keep respondents alert and engaged by using visual indicators. This type of question allows respondents to rank items by clicking or dragging them into the desired order. This offers an alternative method to numerical inputs which respondents might find tedious. The use of visual indicators provide the respondent with an interactive experience and can improve survey participation.
Another question style that promotes interaction is card sort questions. This question style serves as an efficient alternative to grid questions, where a list of attributes are rated on a scale. For card sort questions, respondents are shown animated text or images, one at a time. The respondents are able to drag these elements into the desired category. This allows the collection of multiple data points while mitigating fatigue and dropouts.
In sum, survey fatigue is an ongoing problem in the data collection process. When crafting a survey, researchers need to keep in mind their audience and the type of questions needed to minimize survey fatigue. Collecting quality data relies on respondents’ engagement, therefore the use of interactive questions will improve participation rates, minimize dropouts and ultimately keep respondents engaged.