For the 3rd time this week I’ve been asked to fill in an online questionnaire. They remind me of the goldilocks and the 3 bears story.
One was from my gym, they asked a few questions such as did I think the gym was clean or dirthy, were the staff friendly or unfriendly etc. But it is rarely an either/or. There are degrees, and this is why surveys usually have a 5 or 6 point scale to allow you to indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree.
I didn’t complete this questionnaire, it was too little, (The baby bear survey).
One was from a professional association with a huge number of options and asking me to rank numerous items on a 1-10 basis where I had to put them in order, far too many choices, how can I put one a bit higher than another? I’ve attempted this sort of survey before, and just given up. I’ve provided my professional view, but they insist on sending them out like this. I wonder what sort of a response they get.
I didn’t complete this questionnaire, it was too big, (The father bear survey).
The 3rd was just right, a 5 point scale, 6 questions and completed in less than 5 minutes. It was easy, a no brainer, so I did it. This was the mother bear survey.
Survey Monkey and similar have made questionnaire design something that anyone can do but it doesn’t make people a survey researcher.
Good survey design is a specialist area and I trained to do this via my psychology research methods module. I highly recommend that if you want accurate results that you do the training, or use an expert, otherwise the results are less useful than a quiz in a woman’s magazine and you can’t rely on the results for any decision making.