Surveys or questionnaires are formalized lists of questions that help you collect information from your users efficiently. They can be used as part of a more extensive study or as a standalone method for collecting data about your users' attitudes or behaviors. You could use surveys at the beginning of your UX design process to understand how people perceive their problems or needs before you start designing solutions for them. Or you can use it during usability testing after you've designed prototypes and have feedback on how well they perform in meeting user goals.
It is a relatively easy and effective method to conduct and get feedback quickly. However, at the same time, it can be risky, while with not well-thought-out questions, you can get wrong answers and false results.
There are two ways of constructing questions for the survey:
- Open-ended questions: help you deepen your understanding of user behavior and reflections about your product and service. In the case of questions, they use a text box that allows survey participants to write what they think freely. It is a quantitative method, but it is more difficult to analyze.
- Close-ended questions: they mostly dominate survey questions. It is a quick method because the participants get the set of ready answers, from which they can select one option or more. Radio buttons or checkboxes accompany those questions. The data obtained this way are easy to visualize and analyze. However, they won’t answer questions about user motivations, frustrations, goals, and personal attitudes.
What if you would like to conduct a survey?
First of all, have a clear goal, what you want to achieve. Then prepare a list of neutral, easy to answer questions. Ask users only what really matters and has the meaning for your survey. Organize them in a list from the most complex to the lightest one. Respect your user time - keep it as short and straightforward as possible; you can even inform people how much time they’ll need to complete a survey and how many questions they expect. Before sending the survey, test it with a pilot user to check if everything is understandable and works well.
Finally, when you are ready, you can use platforms that serve to conduct surveys as:
And the last piece of advice, don’t forget to thank users for their time and help by responding to your survey.
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