When designing a poll or a survey, there are several tips and best practices to consider.
- DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVES. Clearly identify the purpose of your poll and the specific information you want to gather.
Good objective: Determine the most popular ice cream flavors among a group of respondents.
Bad objective: Collect general information about ice cream preferences.
2. USE HASHTAGS, ADD INTEREST GROUPS.
3. KEEP IT TO THE POINT. People have limited attention spans. Their focus needs questions as short and sweet as possible.
Do: Keep the poll short and focused on ice cream flavors.
Don’t: Include irrelevant questions about dessert preferences.
4. Catching attention by incorporating ATTENTION-GRABBING ELEMENTS like photos, videos and other digital content could help tremendously.
5. SIMPLE AND CLEAR LANGUAGE. Avoid slang, technical terms, or complex sentence structures that could confuse respondents.
Yes: “What is your favorite ice cream flavor?”
No: “What is the supreme, unparalleled, unbeatable ice cream flavor that reigns supreme in your heart and leaves all other flavors in the dust?”
6. Start with DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONS. Relevant to longer surveys, beginning with a few demographic questions (e.g., age, gender, location) to gather basic information about the respondents.
Good Example: “What is your age group?”
Bad Example: “What is your age, height, weight, favorite color, and shoe size?”
7. Explore different QUESTION TYPES to capture different aspects of the topic. There are one-word answer polls, called word clouds, multiple-choice, rating or ranking questions, open-ended, and yes/no questions. However, keep the balance and don’t overload the survey with too many complex question types.
Good Example: “Which of the following flavors do you enjoy? (Select all that apply)”
Bad Example: “Please rate the taste, texture, appearance, and color of your favorite ice cream flavor on a scale of 1 to 10.”
8. Ensure mutually EXCLUSIVE AND EXHAUSTIVE options.
Good Example: “Which of the following is your favorite ice cream flavor?”
- Other (please specify)
Bad Example: “Which of the following is your favorite ice cream flavor?”
- Milk chocolate
- Dark chocolate
- White chocolate
9. AVOID leading or biased questions. See our guide to identifying biased polls.
Good Example: “How frequently do you consume ice cream?”
Bad Example: “Since ice cream is the best dessert, how often do you indulge in this heavenly treat?”
10. RANDOMIZE or rotate answer options. PollPapa will do this for you every time you use a multiple-choice question. This helps to minimize response biases caused by the order of the choices.
Good Example: Randomly order the options for each respondent.
Bad Example: Always list chocolate as the first option for every respondent.
11. INCLUDE AN OPEN-ENDED QUESTION. This input might prove invaluable if the ready answers, for some reason, haven’t captured the essence of the respondents’ preferences
Do: “Is there any other ice cream flavor you would like to mention or any comments you would like to share?”
Don’t: Exclude an open-ended question and limit respondents’ ability to provide additional insights.
12. Browsing through our most popular and highly rated polls will provide you with some good inspiration.
….AND YOU ARE READY TO START POLLING!
Uncovering manipulative methods used in biased polls and surveys.