By Tatum White
Beadell, Stephanie, & Guay, Matthew. Surveys 101: A Simple Guide to Asking Effective Questions. Zapier. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from https://zapier.com/learn/ultimate-guide-to-forms-and-surveys/writing-effective-survey/.
Guay and Beadell, marketers at Zapier and Briggsby, provide guidelines to create effective surveys from getting started to formatting questions appropriately and avoiding common problems. The article describes nominal, ordinal, and interval question types. Interval types should be used whenever possible because they allow for statistical analysis of the results while Yes/No, multiple choice, and checkbox responses only provide counts and percentage results. They also discuss the importance of using simple language, being specific, and asking only about one concept per question to minimize interpretation errors. Questions should be carefully constructed and pretested to uncover possible bias on the author’s part that may lead the respondent to answer what is “right”. Randomizing the order of questions and putting the most sensitive questions last improves the accuracy of the survey by limiting pressure on the respondent to inflate or alter subsequent answers according to previous responses.