Survey Design Tips with EZSurvey

  • Come up with a unified appearance when you first start building the survey. Plan out the colors, tables of questions, and make some decisions about where page breaks will be. Design the first page or two, or build a few pages that are representative of the question set. Perfect these pages, then when you are reasonably satisfied, build the rest of the form. This approach will save you from making sweeping changes later in the process.

  • Put a title heading on the first page and let it be carried over to subsequent pages. Sometimes, it's nice to have both the title of the questionnaire, and a section title for the particular part of the questionnaire that you're in. Having a title and/or a section title on every page gives the questionnaire continuity. Even a simple banner with a background color, logo and text will give a more finished appearance.

  • Don't use too much of the page. Some monitors will cut off text close to the edge of the screen.

  • Avoid putting lots of questions on a page. Ideally, it's good to have one question per page so the form looks uncluttered and the respondent won't skip questions. Attitudinal surveys benefit most from having one question per page to lessen the influence that one question has on the response given to another. In most multi-page forms, the questions (and navigation buttons) should not extend past the bottom of the screen.

  • Choose your background colors carefully if the survey will be run on a large number of machines. Likewise, try the survey out on a computer with a low-resolution monitor (800 by 600, or less), or set your monitor to a lower resolution to check appearance.

  • Check spelling. Use EZSurvey's built in spelling checker before making the final draft of your form.

  • Don't have your respondents start the survey out of nowhere. Be sure you have introductory pages that tell a bit about why the survey is important, and any relevant instructions. The level of instruction needed depends on how well the survey is designed and how web-savvy the intended audience is.

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