What should I consider when designing a questionnaire for research?
Written by: Paul Stallard
The key to designing your questionnaire is preparation. You must spend time working out what your key business objectives are and how research can help you achieve them. Work out what questions are worth being part of the survey and make sure that these questions are clinical, unambiguous and non-leading.
If you are posing questions to an audience that are leading, then you have effectively conducted misleading research. You must strike a balance between using open and closed questions based on what statistics you are looking to obtain. Your questionnaire must be impartial, but you must also base the content on proving or disproving a theory.
Imagine that you have been given a hypothesis and you want to test it but are not allowed to inform the participant what it actually is. You must place questions that ultimately get to your goal without directly addressing the problem. Research is much stronger and useable if the participant has had their own say and reached their conclusion without any specific biased guidance.
This is why who designs your questionnaire is so important. If the questionnaire is rubbish you will only get rubbish data out.
So many people believe this is easy but it is a real art form and the reason why at Arlington Research we only employ director level team members who have the experience and knowledge to ensure the questionnaire hits the spot first time.