Questionnaire

Why use this technique?
Questionnaire is a useful technique to investigate trends, shifts in user attitudes and opinion, user satisfaction with products and/ or services, and priorities and preferences. It is also used to complement information obtained by other techniques e.g. observation.

How to use it?

Below you can find a step-wise approach how to approach your data finding with questionnaire.
Step 1: Determine what information you would like to obtain.
Step 2: Decide what is the audience for your questionnaire
Step 3: Decide on data collection method (electronic, phone, postal)
Step 4: Decide on types of questions
Step 5: Pilot the questionnaire on a sample of potential respondents and revise questions if necessary
Step 6: Distribute the questionnaire
Step 7: Chase non-respondents
Step 8: Analyse the responses
Step 9: Present and use the findings

Tips:

  • Keep the questionnaire as short as possible – don’t bore or frustrate the respondent
  • Have an underlying reason for every question
  • Group topic areas together to keep the respondent focused
  • It is not a trivial task to create good questions, take time and test them upfront with a small group of respondents.

Advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages

  • The responses are gathered in a standardised way.
  • Information can be collected in short period of time from a large number of people, often geographically dispersed.
  • Inexpensive way to reach a large number of people.
  • Standard questionnaire providers quantifiable answers to a research.
  • Questionnaires allow respondents to take time to consider their responses carefully without interferences from others, e.g. interviewer.
  • They permit anonymity.

Disadvantages

  • There is no way to check how truthful a respondent is being
  • It is quite difficult to create unambiguous questions. There is no possibility to explain questions, so they may be misinterpreted and as consequence incorrectly completed. You shall test your questionnaire on a small group of respondents first to ensure it works as you designed it, before sending it around.
  • Low response rate, if not administered. To increase response rate, an incentive is offered: “You have chance to win an iPod” kind of statements.
  • Questionnaires are not suitable to investigate long, complex issues.

Alternatives

Further reading

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