Questionnaires are a useful way of finding out people’s opinions on different topics, products and services, provided they are designed in an effective manner. A questionnaire consists of a list of questions created by a person or an organization or company to get certain information from a sample of people. While designing a questionnaire, one needs to keep in mind the objective or goal of the questionnaire and what kind of information is one seeking from the respondent. According to the objective, the questionnaire must be designed and the questions must be selected.

Different types of formats and structures can be used to make a questionnaire. One must keep in mind the target sample, the medium of the questionnaire and the objective. For example, there can be open-ended questions, where a detailed answer can be given by the respondent without choosing any option, or it can be close ended, where the respondent has to choose from a limited number of choices. He can also answer in affirmative or negative which are a simpler and shorter form of questionnaires. There can also be multiple choice questions which give the respondent a wide variety of options to choose from.

While designing a questionnaire, there are certain things one needs to keep in mind in order to make the questionnaire more effective and convenient:

  • Introduction: Once you have selected the objective and have chosen a target sample, you have to start the questionnaire. But before you write the questions, there must be an introduction where there are instruction about how the respondents are supposed to fill up the questionnaire and also get knowledge on what the survey is all about.
  • Background questions: Before starting with specific questions about the topic, the first few questions ask questions which record information about the name, address, gender, age, income, occupation and education of the respondent. These questions help one know more about the person’s background and must be asked in the beginning of the questions. After this section, other detailed questions can be asked.
  • Simple: Make sure that the design of the questionnaire is simple and to the point. When you make it complicated or use too many formatting techniques, the questionnaire looks cluttered and the respondent loses interest or becomes confused. Keep the questionnaire short and straightforward.
  • Categories: It is important to make the questionnaire organized and systematic so that it is easier for the respondent to fill up the questionnaire. When you design the questionnaire by categorizing different sections, it looks more neat and systematic.
  • Cross check: Run a spell check and look out for any grammatical or factual errors in the questionnaire before you distribute it. You can also do a test on a few people to find out any errors before you distribute the questionnaires
  • Additional comments: Design the questionnaire in such a way that you leave an option for suggestions and additional comments in the end so that the respondent can give his extra opinions on the matter or add something which will help you improve your products and services