With web surveys, it’s a balance between providing enough answer options to get a valid sample and keeping the list small enough to avoid a lot of user scrolling. It’s important that you get to know all of our question types in order to find the best type for what you’re looking to ask and make sure that you’re providing enough answer options to include all respondents.
Avoid binary questions
- Try to turn questions with two opposite answers, like “yes” and “no”, into a scale. For example, instead of asking “Do you agree with the following statement? I like apples, ask, How much do you like apples? and give respondents options from “Not at all” to “Very much.” Validation tests have shown that incidence accuracy is better when binary answers are not used. Having three or more answers helps eliminate confusion for the respondents, provides a better user experience, and improves survey quality.
Have an opt out
- Some questions need an opt out for respondents whom they may not apply to. For example, you want to ask respondents if they have had their phone stolen. If you provide only two answer choices – “Yes” and “No” – you assume that all respondents have a phone. To make this question apply to everyone, you need to add an opt out, such as “I do not have a phone” or “I prefer not to answer”.