13 types of survey questions with practical examples

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There are different types of survey questions that you can include in your questionnaire, and each one serves a specific purpose. In this article, we will discuss what types of survey questions exist, their advantages, and how to choose the best ones for each case. We will also provide you with various examples of survey questions to inspire you when creating your questionnaires.

Creating an Effective Survey Questionnaire

Before delving into the types of survey questions, you may want to refresh your knowledge about questionnaires. You can find plenty of tips on how to create effective questionnaires in our post on the topic.

Also, keep in mind that at We are testers, we are passionate about creating your questionnaires. Feel free to get in touch with our team if you need assistance or prefer us to create them for you. The choice is yours!

Let’s now explore the types of survey questions you can use.

Most Common Types of Survey Questions

Dichotomous Questions

Dichotomous questions are closed-ended questions that offer only two response options, typically «Yes» or «No.» This type of question is useful when seeking a clear and quick response, leaving no room for ambiguity.

Example question: Have you used our product in the last month? (Yes/No)

Dichotomous questions are quick and help keep questionnaires short. They are easy for the respondent to understand and are ideal for use as filter questions. However, they may not be the most suitable survey questions if you want to gather information about intermediate options.

Single-Choice Questions

Single-choice questions offer a predefined list of responses, and the respondent can choose only one.

Example question: How often have you used our product in the last month? (Never, Once, Two or Three Times, Four Times or More)

In the example, it’s not possible to have used the product both once and never; these options are mutually exclusive, so the respondent is only given the opportunity to select one option as true.

Single-choice questions are also quick and easy to answer and are perfect for tabulating data. To make them work, it’s crucial to ensure that the response options are mutually exclusive. The respondent should never feel frustrated by being unable to select all options they consider true.

Multiple-Choice Questions

Multiple-choice questions also provide a predefined list of options but allow the respondent to select multiple options instead of just one. This type of question is useful when seeking non-mutually exclusive answers.

Example question: Which social media platforms do you regularly use? (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, None)

In multiple-choice questions, it’s important for the response options to be distinct so that the respondent does not perceive one answer as equivalent to another or included within another. For example, in the previous question, «Twitter» and «X» should not be offered as distinct response options.

Rating Scale Questions

Rating scale questions allow respondents to express their opinion using a numeric or verbal scale. They can be numeric scales (e.g., from 1 to 5) or verbal scales (e.g., «Very Dissatisfied» to «Very Satisfied»).

Example question: How satisfied are you with our service? (1 = Very Dissatisfied, 5 = Very Satisfied)

For rating scale questions to work well, the rating scales should be symmetrical, meaning they have an equal number of positive and negative responses. A very common scale is the Likert scale, for which we have created a post with practical examples for using it in your studies.

Numeric Questions

Numeric questions are formulated to elicit a specific number from the respondent. This type of question is used to obtain precise quantitative data.

Example question: How old are you?

Numeric questions are quick and easy and allow for quantifying volumes, frequencies, and similar quantities. Before using them, it’s important to consider whether the respondent will be prepared to answer them. Sometimes, we may not remember exactly how many times we have consumed a product, which can be a memory effort that’s too much. In such cases, it’s preferable to ask for numerical ranges.

Slider Questions

Slider questions, or sliding scale questions, allow respondents to select their response by moving a slider control along a numeric or verbal scale.

Example question: How likely are you to recommend our product to others? (Move the slider along the scale from 0 to 10)

Within survey questions, those that include sliders stand out for being quick, visual, and engaging for respondents. An alternative to sliders is to place a certain number of stars or other types of icons for the respondent to click on their desired icon.

Ranking Questions

Ranking questions allow respondents to rank a list of items based on their preference, importance, or relevance. This type of question is useful when establishing hierarchies among different options.

Example question: Rank the following product features by importance (Price, Quality, Design, Customer Service)

Ranking questions are very useful for creating hierarchies but require some reflection effort from the respondent. Sometimes, it can be challenging for them to rank items they perceive as similar or of equal importance. This implies more time and effort on the respondent’s part, so it’s preferable not to use them too frequently in a questionnaire.

Image Questions

Image questions present visual content to respondents. These can include images of packaging, logos, designs, advertising campaigns, and many other things. This type of question is useful when seeking a reaction to the image or when assuming that the image will aid the respondent’s understanding or recall.

Example question: Which logo do you prefer for our company? (Present different logo options)

Image questions are visually appealing to respondents and break the monotony of a text-based questionnaire.

Video Questions

Video questions incorporate videos instead of static images. They are essential questions in most pre-advertising tests and post-advertising tests when measuring the number of people who have seen a specific advertisement.

Example question: Do you recall seeing the advertisement we are showing you below? (Yes/No)

Video questions are crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of marketing campaigns or multimedia content. They are engaging in a questionnaire and maintain the respondent’s interest. Keep in mind that creating the video may require some time, and the market researcher must ensure that file size limitations or screen size in mobile surveys do not compromise their use.

Audio Questions

These are similar to video questions but provide only audio content to respondents. They are used to gather opinions on an audio recording.

Example question: After listening to the welcome message on our phone service, do you consider it friendly? (Rating scale)

Heatmap Questions

Heatmap questions are an interactive tool that allows respondents to interact with an image and mark relevant areas. This is useful when you need to gather data on how respondents perceive images.

Example question: Which parts of the packaging catch your attention? (Click on them)

Heatmaps are created in two different ways. One involves asking the respondent to click on relevant areas of the image or follow their mouse movements. Alternatively, neuromarketing techniques can be used to track the respondent’s eye movements and see where their attention is focused.

Matrix Questions

Matrix questions, or multiple-choice questions, combine several items and rating scales in a single question. They are useful when seeking information about different aspects of a topic in a single set of questions.

Example question: Please rate the following aspects of our service on a scale from 1 to 5:

    • Delivery Speed
    • Customer Service
    • Product Quality

Matrix questions allow for detailed information on various related aspects using a single question and the same response options. They save time and are efficient in achieving the goal. However, keep in mind that they require some reflection effort from the respondent and can become monotonous if used too frequently in a questionnaire.

Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions allow respondents to answer freely, with no restrictions on the length or format of their response. They are ideal for collecting spontaneous opinions, comments, and suggestions without predetermining possible answers.

Example question: What aspects do you think we could improve in our service?

With open-ended questions, respondents communicate freely, expressing their personal opinions and experiences. They are an excellent choice to gain a deeper understanding of a topic or identify new ideas. The main disadvantage of open-ended questions is that they need to be grouped into similar themes to draw conclusions, which typically requires more analysis time. With We are testers, you can now use artificial intelligence to group the responses and suggest conclusions. Additionally, it provides access to all the information that leads to the analysis so that you can make any necessary changes until you are completely satisfied with the results.

Skip Logic and Branching Responses

To make a questionnaire effective, you need to master both the types of survey questions and skip logic and branching responses.

Skip logic, or conditional logic, allows certain questions to be skipped based on respondents’ answers. For example, if a respondent answers «No» to a dichotomous question, skip logic can take them further in the questionnaire to skip questions that would only make sense if they had answered «Yes.»

Example: Have you purchased our product in the past year?

    • If the answer is «Yes,» proceed with the product satisfaction questions.
    • If the answer is «No,» skip the product satisfaction questions and continue with the questionnaire.

Branching responses or skip logic go beyond skip logic and lead the respondent to answer different questions based on their responses.

Example:

    • What is your favorite clothing brand?
    • If the answer is «Brand A,» a specific satisfaction question about Brand A is presented.
    • If the answer is «Brand B,» a specific satisfaction question about Brand B is presented.

Skip logic and branching responses offer many advantages for the respondent. They personalize their experience and save them time and effort. For the researcher, using them requires additional effort as they need to think about the possible skips and branches that make sense without creating an overly complex questionnaire.

Now you are familiar with the most important survey questions you can include in your questionnaire. With We are testers, you have the widest variety of questions to use in your survey, and we assist you in the programming so that you don’t have to worry about anything. Are you interested in creating a survey? Get in touch with our team of research experts, and they will assist you with everything you need.

Update date 22 December, 2023

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