EHQ Surveys are one of the most widely used tool among our clients. And for good reason!
Surveys are an extremely method for collecting qualitative and quantitive feedback as well as understanding sentiment and community preferences.
Also, information captured by surveys can be analysed using EHQ's Survey Analysis function making it an even more powerful tool for collecting community input.
Arguably, no other research method can provide this broad capability and help you draw conclusions and make decisions about your projects.
However, because of our familiarity with surveys and the frequency of which we use them, we can often overlook good survey design and treat surveys as quick 'tick and flick' activities.
When we do this we fall into the trap of bad survey practice and this can ultimately lead to less than acceptable community engagement outcomes.
In this article, we look at 5 tips to use in your next survey to ensure you are using the full capabilities of EHQ Surveys.
1. Conditional questions
Conditional questions or question piping allows you to guide your survey participants on a predefined path, based on how they answer different questions in your survey.
This functionality is perfect for large complex surveys, where not all answers will apply to every participant.
In the screenshot below you can see an example of conditional questions in action.
To begin, we start with a parent question as identified such as the checkbox question used in number 1.
Second, we simply add a follow-up question and then map out how we would like to link then together.
This is done by selecting the 'add condition' box for the first question and choosing the linking options from the drop down menus. This can be seen at number 2 in the image below.
Continue your survey by adding further follow-on questions and build as many pathways as you require.
This methodology can greatly help you turn large surveys into more contextual surveys for your participants.
It's important to note however, that the parent question will need to be a checkbox, radio button or dropdown question, i.e. a question with choices/options.
In the example below, you can see how conditional questions have been used to reveal a secondary question.
ie. If participant selects parks for "what do you like most about our city?' then show them another question "Please elaborate on which park you're referring to and why.?"
You can read more about this process here.
2. File Upload
In the image above (3) you can also see the use of the file upload question type.
The file upload question type in EHQ Surveys allows you to capture almost any file type from your participants up to 200mb.
This question type is perfect if you're creating submission forms for formal submission processes, competitions where participants need to submit their entries or even just for crowd-sourcing materials from your community for project decision making or scoping.
Simply specify the file types which you want people to submit such as PDF files and construct your survey.
If you are creating a submission form with the file upload tool, ensure you ask relevant participant information to attach to the submission. These might be contact details and other personal information.
You will be able to download each of the files submitted to you via your project reports.
3. Section Header and HTML
This one is a survey tip, but it will greatly enhance you ability to include rich content inside you surveys.
Using a section header in your surveys not only allows you to better explain the set of questions which follow to your participants, but, it also allows you to harness best practice principles for providing context, learning and related content.
To do this, simply use the description of the Section Header question type to add additional HTML to your page.
This might be to include video, images or other interactive media into your survey.
Below is an example of a before and after slider embedded into a Section Header question type.
For basic HTML instructions, we recommend you use the W3 Schools library.
4. Use Likert Scale Questions
Likert scales are perfect for testing a range of different statements against a standard scale of measurement.
They are highly versatile and allow participants to focus on condensed areas or topics of inquiry.
In the image below you can see an example of a likert scale question.
Because of the highly flexible nature of likert scale questions, you have full control over your statements and can choose any scale which is relevant to your project.
Likert scale questions are perfect for satisfaction surveys and are particularly useful for research based engagement methodologies.
5. Associate Images to a Question
To do this, simply use a combination of the Image question type and a ranking question in consecutive order.
By doing this you are able to inject a series of images into your survey as stimulus and then ask participants to respond to the stimulus by ranking their preferences.
In the example below we have created a single image containing multiple images of buses.
By creating a collage like this, we are able to have all our options labelled in one single image.
By adding a ranking question below this image and ensuring the option labels correspond to the images in the collage, we are able to easily use a combination of question types to create a contextual question.
Below you can see an example of our two questions being used in combination.
Similarly, you can choose to upload any image via the Image option and follow it up with a ranking or checkbox question to ask user opinions about the image.
Include anything from plans, maps, photos, layouts etc.