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Smart Survey Design

2. Layout for coding and identification:

As the designer of the survey, pay attention to the physical layout of the survey to reduce the likelihood of errors on the respondents’ end or on your end regarding areas of coding or editing. Here are some principles to follow to make the survey logical for all people accessing the survey, as well as easy to identify, code, and store:

  • 1.

    Identification – You can add a unique number or identifier to each questionnaire. This can be done in the Email Invitation collector tool by assigning an ID number as the “custom value” field for each individual email address imported into your email list. You can also append a unique ID number to the anonymous survey link of “create link for email message” if you are using your own email provider (Iraossi 2006, 80-84). This may help you in tracking or identifying your participants.

  • 2.

    Numbering – Questions can be numbered sequentially throughout the survey, even if the survey is divided by pages or sections (Iraossi 2006, 80-84). You can choose to have our tool number the questions throughout the entire survey as a whole or have the questions numbered according to each individual page. This may help you in coding your survey.

  • 3.

    Instructions – General instructions are important for the administration of the survey as well as for the collection of accurate data. The following two types of information ought to be distinguishable in the survey: questions to be read / answered and instructions to be followed. You may want to customize your survey to include different fonts for the instructions or page descriptions vs. the survey questions themselves. Place any special instructions on either the page description/section or directly above the question itself (Iraossi 2006, 80-84).

  • 4.

    Fonts & Formats – If you want to emphasize important words, then underline or bold them in the survey question or page description. This makes it easier for your respondents to identify key points or items (Iraossi 2006, 80-84). You will need to incorporate HTML code into the survey design to emphasize certain words or phrases. We are only able to offer limited support in your own HTML coding, so knowledge of basic HTML is necessary.

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