Thursday, March 21, 2013

Surveys: Why Less is More

Surveys: Why Less is More. While doing some deep research into survey best practices we have discovered some very interesting data. Did you know that on average most surveys have 10 or less questions. Think about that for just a moment. Let than number sink in. 10 questions is the average survey length.

Are your surveys too long? Probably. This creates several problems when your survey is too long. Typically the longer the survey, the higher the abandonment (drop off) rate. Also it is important to note that if you use grids for answering questions and having people rate something on say a scale of 1-10, every time they need to click a radio button it should be considered 1 question. A common practice and high source of user frustration is too many radio buttons to select per question. Users will also tend to just click to get through the survey (survey fatigue), which actually will skew the data and create inaccurate information. We tend to not be fans of multiple grids as they overly complicate the survey experience.

Remember that you should only ask a question if the data you are going to collect is actionable. Asking questions when you are not going to use that data to effect some change in your product or service falls into the category of non actionable data collection. This is the area where survey creators fall down quite frequently. Be careful not to fall into the trap of asking too many questions in your survey.

Simply Put: Less is more when it comes to number of questions you ask in your survey. Keeping it under 10 questions will actually give you higher participation rates, lower abandonment rates, more accurate data and users will have less resistance to taking the surveys that you create when you keep the survey short.

You can register for early Beta access to SlimSurveys here.