Survey Design

Designing a successful survey or questionnaire is about much more than just the visual appearance or your question selection.

Survey design considerations

From planning to reporting, there are a number of factors that influence the success of your survey, providing data and insights you can confidently act upon.


There are many reasons why you should properly plan and develop a survey before it is administered to your target response group. Here we summarise why and what to plan.


Before important matters such as question choices, target population and distribution methods, you need a clear understanding of what you are trying to find out.


From the introduction to the conclusion, a number of formatting considerations – from layout to language – can help lift the appeal and performance of your survey.


Choosing the right type, number and running order of survey questions can make or break your research success. Find out the styles and best practices to employ.

The introduction

The intro to your survey warrants attention, as you only get a very short window to grab the attention of respondents, hook them in and to encourage them to take part.

Sample size

Whatever survey you are looking to create and distribute, you’ll want to calculate the sample size you need to reach in order to achieve a desired level of accuracy in your results.


Survey distribution tools allow you to easily reach your selected audience, ask a range of questions, analyse data in real-time and make quick, informed decisions.


Respondents can be greatly motivated to complete questionnaires by means of small incentives, and these are worth considering during the design and planning process.


For a survey to succeed it is advisable at the outset to set aside enough time for careful testing of your questions, survey structure and the expected or desired outcomes.


Having successfully gathered, analysed and interpreted the data from your survey respondents, present your findings in the most effective, but objective, way.

Survey design best practices

Well-executed, surveys are an easy and cost-effective way to find out how current and prospective customers, employees, patients or constituents feel about the businesses, products, services, healthcare providers or public bodies they interact with. By applying these tips you will get the most out of your online surveys.

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