Research & understanding

Survey

Colton Schweitzer
November 3, 2020

A survey is a list of questions that you use to collect responses from people in your target audience. Surveys are relatively quick and straightforward to build and help you gather data about your target audience. They’re great for quantitative data collection and the results are easy to analyze.

There are two types of questions in surveys: open and closed

Open questions invite a greater response than just a yes or no answer. They invite the user to answer a question how they’d like. Open questions are a great way to understand the underlying reasons why a user is making a decision. They come in the form of text boxes so respondents can write their answers. They will help you learn about your customer needs in a way that you can’t through closed questions.

In a survey, closed questions have a limited number of possible responses. The participant has no room to elaborate or tell you how they really feel. They give you results in the form of numbers. Closed questions typically come in the form of multiple-choice questions (multi-select or single select) or questions answered on a scale. 

Many surveys use a combination of open and closed questions. 

Important things to keep in mind about surveys

Longer surveys tend to decrease the number of responses you’ll collect. The more you include in your survey, the more survey fatigue participants will feel. When it comes to surveys, people tend to be lazy and don’t like to write everything out. 

Also, keep your survey as simple as possible. People only have so much motivation and goodwill towards your survey. Make it easy for respondents to finish your survey. There’s nothing worse than putting work into a survey only to get few or partial responses. 

Surveys are also not the best format to collect open-ended, qualitative responses. While surveys answer the “what,” they aren’t so good at answering the “why.”

With this in mind, asking a lot of open-ended questions will limit the number of responses you’ll get. 

On top of that, depending on the survey, how niche the target market is, and the timeline of the project, it can be challenging to get the right people to fill out your survey.

It’s also relatively easy to create bias within your survey, like selection bias, leading questions, or priming the pump (question order bias). 

Additionally, use simple, straightforward language in your survey. If you use complicated language, jargon, or anything advanced, people can get confused and misunderstand what you’re asking.

Before sending it out to participants, test your surveys with friends, family, or colleagues. Use their feedback to fine tune the survey so the participants will understand everything. 

Not every project needs to have a survey. Some projects require a large number of responses to validate specific types of research questions. Many other projects don’t need this kind of research to be successful. 

Free survey tools

TypeForm

Google Forms

SurveyMonkey

Why you would use use a survey:

To gather quantitative data in a relatively short amount of time.

If you need statistically significant data to validate your assumptions.

To determine the general direction to head in for a product. 

To learn from many different people.

To gather information from more than 10 people.

Back to library
110
Back to library
110
The UX process for absolute beginners (with free cheatsheet!)
1
Getting started
How to become a UX designer in 2021 (and beyond)
2
Getting started
UX vs UI
7
Getting started
Do UX designers need to know how to code?
8
Getting started
Recommended UX books
9
Getting started
UX university programs: Pros & cons
12
Getting started
UX bootcamps: Pros & cons
13
Getting started
6 brutal truths aspiring UX designers don't want to hear
14
Getting started
Difference Between Graphic Designer vs UX Designer vs UI Designer
15
Getting started
Intro to research & understanding
101
Research & understanding
Finding a problem to solve
102
Research & understanding
SWOT analysis
103
Research & understanding
Competitive analysis
104
Research & understanding
Heuristic evaluation (usability evaluation)
105
Research & understanding
Task analysis
106
Research & understanding
Stakeholder interview
107
Research & understanding
Framing the problem
108
Research & understanding
Research plan
109
Research & understanding
Survey
110
Research & understanding
User interview
111
Research & understanding
Card sorting
112
Research & understanding
Customer journey map
113
Research & understanding
Empathy map
114
Research & understanding
Affinity diagram
115
Research & understanding
Personas
116
Research & understanding
Contextual inquiry
117
Research & understanding
Diary study
120
Research & understanding
Eye tracking
121
Research & understanding
Intro to IA
201
IA & wireframing
Layout + CRAP
203
IA & wireframing
Site map
204
IA & wireframing
Scenarios
205
IA & wireframing
Storyboards
206
IA & wireframing
Low vs high-fidelity
207
IA & wireframing
Sketching
208
IA & wireframing
Wireframes
209
IA & wireframing
User flows
210
IA & wireframing
Intro to usability testing
301
Prototyping & usability testing
Usability testing plan
302
Prototyping & usability testing
Prototypes
304
Prototyping & usability testing
Research report
305
Prototyping & usability testing
Typography basics
401
Visual design & handoff
Color basics
402
Visual design & handoff
Color accessibility
403
Visual design & handoff
Pixels vs points
404
Visual design & handoff
Layout + 8pt grid system
405
Visual design & handoff
Design system
406
Visual design & handoff
UX writing
408
Visual design & handoff
"Final" usability test
409
Visual design & handoff
UX portfolio basics
501
UX portfolio
Your portfolio is just another UX project
502
UX portfolio
Choosing a site builder for your UX portfolio
503
UX portfolio
UX portfolio inspiration
504
UX portfolio
5 tips for junior UXers asking for portfolio feedback
505
UX portfolio

Join hundreds of

designers learning UX

Take our free 7-day UX design course for graphic designers, complete your first UX project in just a few days, and see what you think.
😎 You're awesome! We'll send you an email with the next steps. 🎊
👻 It looks like there's a ghost in the machine. Please try again.