Survey guide

Setting up the survey...
  • When do you need your results?
  • Have you included all of the profile points needed to define your target audience?
  • Will this population yield significant results (e.g., is it the correct target. is it the appropriate N)?

A good survey yields good results and one that...

  • Reads well and is easy to understand
  • Has no spelling or grammar errors
  • Has the right amount of info (not too much and not too little)
  • Does not include industry jargon that might not be readily understandable by a typical consumer, or where necessary terms are explained
  • Has the appropriate verb tenses
  • Each question is straightforward for a typical person to answer (i.e. put yourself in the shoes of different people and try to answer)
Regarding questions and question types...
  • If the question has images / videos, do they match the description and answer options
  • There is appropriate routing both on a question and answer option level
  • The type of question is correct (e.g. 'choose many' OR 'choose one')
  • Is matched with appropriate instructions in the question (e.g. 'Select all that apply' OR 'select one')
  • Answer options are randomized if appropriate (note that the 'None of the above', 'Not sure / Other' options are always automatically fixed at the bottom)
  • Appropriate scales are used (e.g., very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, very negative) and appear in logical order (i.e. not randomized)
  • The answer options cover all possibilities or they need a 'None of the above' or 'Not sure / other' option
  • If the question will not apply to everyone, then a 'Not applicable' option is needed
  • When including 'None of the above' and/or 'Not sure / Other' options, please use the buttons provided so that those options are fixed at the bottom, rather than adding those options manually in the response option list.
  • If a respondent could answer about more than one experience or example, there is an instruction on which to think about when answering (e.g. think about your main bank account)
  • If the question is personal/ sensitive, you should include a 'Prefer not to say' option
  • Please don't make assumptions about people's situations (e.g., not everyone owns a smartphone, not everyone has a sibling)
  • Avoid overlapping scales, especially for frequency questions (e.g., weekly, several times per month, once every other month)
  • Remember that if YouGov Surveys already has a profiling attribute, you do not need to ask that question in the survey - it will be available as a filter in the results
  • If the question is measuring sentiment, use an equal number of positive and negative statements
  • Requirements when asking about Sensitive Personal Data: YouGov Surveys allows clients (you) to ask its members (people who respond to surveys) about Sensitive Personal Data, but a “prefer not to say” answer option must always be included. Sensitive Personal Data is defined as any question relating to the following topics: racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, a person’s sex life and sexual orientation.

Reviewing the survey as a whole...

  • How is the flow? Does the ordering seem reasonable? There is no 'right' or 'perfect' survey, but make sure you are comfortable with it.
  • Does the survey avoid any biased or leading questions?
  • You may want to have a colleague review your draft survey - a new set of eyes can sometimes pick up on things that you might overlook after working on the survey for a while! Take advantage of the 'Share Preview' option.

Ending the survey...

  • Is a custom link needed to drive users through to a website?
  • When do you want to run the survey?
  • Did you check how it would look on the preview function?
  • Do you want to share the preview with any team members, prior to launching it?
  • How many responses are you looking to receive based on the estimate at the top?
  • Are you happy with the budget needed to fulfill this?
  • Do you understand that your account will be charged the 'budget' amount shown?
  • Do you want to save the survey as a draft for now to edit later or do you want to publish it immediately?
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