Final checklist for online questionnaires

Do leave plenty of free text space for people to express their opinion. Free text may be more difficult to analyse and take more time – but you do want to hear what your participants want to say – don't you? You understand how frustrating it can be when the character count for the text box shows a minus amount of space for characters and you haven't finished getting your point across.

Do give your questionnaire a title that is short and meaningful to the reader. (Does the title tell you what's in the tin?)

Do state the purpose of the questionnaire clearly and tell participants what how and when the results will have an influence.

Do make sure that full information is easily accessible and available in 'layers' i.e. concise information first with "click through" to more details. Most people are reluctant to download and print large documents with lots of pages.

Consider using a response bar so that participants know how much more there is to complete.

If possible allow participants to save and return at a later date and to keep a copy for themselves.

Don't assume people will understand your jargon or acronyms. Give full explanations.

Test and test again.

Consider how you are going to collate the responses to report them to the decision maker. Will this questionnaire enable you to compile an informative report?

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