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5 rules for creating a great survey

The main reason why most surveys fail to provide any tangible value is that they’re simply not human friendly. It’s all too easy to forget that a feedback survey is a human to human conversation at heart. It’s actually the equivalent of asking your friend for a favour, yet that is often lost in the process of deciding on which questions to ask. Since the fact is that you are asking a whole bunch of people to do you a favour you are obliged to respect their time and intellect. Here are some rules that will help you a long way towards not doing a lousy job:

  1. Only ask for information you can’t find in other ways
  2. Only ask for information that you actually plan to use
  3. Only ask for information that is actually important, not just nice to know
  4. Always use the responses to improve your service for the users that kindly answered it
  5. Respect anyone that doesn’t want to participate; Stop asking them

These rules are quite simple, yet they are often not used. If you respect the people you’re asking favours of, then the flip side is that you will also make better surveys that receives higher quality responses. Humans are strangely glad to help, and if you only respect their time and privacy they will be helpful over time. So the next time you’re thinking about running a survey to get some insights make sure you do that for some better reason; Like a redesign, to prioritise the next quarters work, or to figure out why your organisation even exist.


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