10 personality traits of top survey designers

Good survey design isn’t easy. An effective survey designer needs to have many qualities. Here are 10 personality traits its important to have:


1. Be purposeful: set survey objectives and make sure they are clear (more on this here - https://austinresearch.co.uk/purpose-a-market-researchers-best-friend/)

2. Be focussed: stick to your survey objectives. Make sure that every question contributes to meeting your objectives and resist including any that don’t (further reading here - https://austinresearch.co.uk/dont-get-lost-in-a-forest-of-data-focus-your-research/)

3. Be realistic: sometimes survey research isn't the best way to collect data that will meet your objectives. Make sure your expectations of what can be delivered through your survey are realistic.

4. Be plain speaking: you need be able to write questions so that everybody, from all walks of life, can understand them.

5. Be economical with words: use as few words as possible to avoid respondent confusion and fatigue. For online surveys, it also ensures your questions can be easily read on a mobile phone.

6. Be able to simplify: the more complicated a question is the more likely it is to be misunderstood by respondents and the less likely actionable data will result from it. Simple is always best - https://austinresearch.co.uk/keep-it-simple/.

7. Be empathetic: put yourself in respondents’ shoes. Will they find your questions easy to understand and engaging? Are questions rooted in their reality? (more on this here: https://austinresearch.co.uk/root-survey-research-in-respondent-reality/)

8. Be logical: individual questions need to be properly structured. They need to be in the right order and link together. Being able to structure a survey properly is key to its success.

9. Be meticulous: take time to ensure your survey is error free. If it looks as though you haven’t paid attention when putting the survey together why should respondents pay attention when completing it? (more reading here - https://austinresearch.co.uk/the-lost-art-of-piloting/)

10. Be ruthless: trim any survey fat. Remove anything that doesn’t help meet your objectives (more on this here - https://austinresearch.co.uk/working-with-clients-to-produce-shorter-surveys/)

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