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Survey Design

September 13, 2012 by Georgia Konzel   

When wanting to redesign a item, the first thing to do is to assess what is wrong with the old product. In order to find out what need to be changed, it is a good idea to survey a group of people and find their opinion on the product. In EDSGN 100, we will be conducting a survey in our smartphone project, to see what flaws the current smartphones have, and to see what people would like to see changed. My team and I designed a survey to find these problems, and while designing the survey, I was intrigued on how to write a good survey.

When starting to write a survey, the first thing you need is to have a goal in mind.  This goal is important, because it is what you want to learn from the survey. When writing the questions, it is very important to keep your goal in mind, so that the questions you ask, when answered, will provide the information you are looking for.  At the beginning of the survey, you may want to include your goal, so that the person taking the survey knows what information you are looking for.

There are primarily 2 types of questions in a survey. The first type, structured questions, have a fixed response. These are questions when the surveyor provides all of the possible answers, and one answer is selected by the surveyor taker. Structured questions, are generally easier on the survey taker because the survey taker is presented will all the possible options, but structured questions, do not offer any new ideas to the surveyor. The other type of questions are called non-structured or open questions. Open questions provide the survey taker to write in their response. Because new ideas can be presented through these questions, it is best to use them when wanting new opinions or information.

Before publishing your survey, It is important to review through the survey to make sure it is exactly how you want it to be presented. Look for possible grammar and spelling mistakes, and makes sure all of the questions are worded in a way that is easy to understand. Try to keep your survey concise because it is likely that you will have more respondents if your survey is not tedious. The last step to you survey is to test it yourself. You want to run through it to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Design Methods


“Designing a Survey.” Science Buddies. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. .

“Survey Design.” Creative Research Systems. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.

Halterman, Ed. “Five Guiding Principles of Good Survey Design.” Survey Gizmo. N.p., 26 Nov. 2007. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.


1 Comment »

  1. Richard says:

    Few manage a good blog on design methods early in the course, but you did.

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