6 tips for creating better surveys

Use these checks when creating your next survey.

Gayathri Rajendiran avatar
Written by Gayathri Rajendiran
Updated over a week ago

EHQ Surveys are one of the most widely used tools among our clients. And for good reason!

Surveys are an extremely effective method of collecting qualitative and quantitative feedback as well as understanding sentiment and community preferences.

Also, information captured by surveys can be analyzed 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 them 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 building 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 a 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. Skip Logic

Skip logic allows you to send participants down different routes in your survey. This will help you ask them more relevant questions based on their choices. This path can be determined by how they answer your question (Question skip logic) or based on what page they are on (Page skip logic).

A Question Skip Logic can be created only with single choice questions, i.e., either a radio or dropdown question type. To start, first, create your single choice question with the answer options. Then click on Add Skip Logic.

This will provide you with an option to choose the path to skip for each answer.

The skip to logic can be applied, to only one option or all the options of your question. It is not mandatory that all options have a skip logic. You can select any question, on any page to skip to, all previous questions (on the same page) up until the selected question will be skipped. You can also choose the 'End of survey' option from the dropdown box. Once done click Done. The skip logic used is displayed below each option in green, as shown below.

NOTE - The question skip logic is applied only at the end of a page, NOT immediately, so if there are more questions on the same page, they have to be answered before the skip takes place. We recommend you place these questions at the end of a page.

3. 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 for 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.

4. Section Header and HTML

This one is a survey tip, but it will greatly enhance your ability to include rich content inside your surveys.

sing a section header in your surveys not only allows you to better explain the set of questions that 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.

5. 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.

6. Associate Images to a Question

If you would like to add images to options, simply use a radio button question type and enable the option 'Convert to image question'. In the example below we have created a question that has only images as options.

Contact our support team if you need any further assistance via chat or email support@engagementhq.com'

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