The Ultimate Guide to Survey Question Types in 2024

This ultimate guide to survey question types in 2024 covers everything you need to know to create effective surveys, including examples and best practices.

Author

Soham Saha

Date

February 22, 2023

Effective market research is an absolute necessity for understanding your consumer base better. It not only helps you identify your target audience but also helps you navigate and stay afloat through any fluctuations that the market faces. Despite the amount of care that goes into formulating the perfect strategy, we have seen big brands like Kodak falling prey to the consequences of ignoring market trends.

Asking the right questions in your market research survey and gaining accurate, unbiased, and actionable insights is the best way to ensure your market research strategy is bullet-proof.  

But, before you rush into choosing your survey questions, let us dive deeper into understanding the various aspects of choosing the right type of survey questions and why it is important.

What are Survey Questions?

These questions extract specific information to assess the respondent’s feelings, thoughts, and opinions. They can be close-ended or open-ended and used to gather feedback from various respondents.

Stages of Planning a Survey Questionnaire

In the process of planning, you are keeping in mind the “Why,” “What,” and “How” of your market research, which is vital to avoid going astray and getting reliable and actionable results.

Importance of Choosing the Right Question Type

The success of any survey hinges on the quality of the questions it asks. Selecting the most appropriate question type for each answer you want from your audience is essential for gathering accurate and insightful data. 

Here are five key reasons why choosing the right question type is critical in survey design:

1. Targeted Data Collection

Different question types are designed to obtain specific kinds of information.  Multiple-choice questions with predefined answers are ideal for gathering factual data or gauging preferences among limited options. On the other hand, open-ended questions allow respondents to express themselves in their own words, providing richer details and uncovering unforeseen perspectives.

2. Reduced Bias and Misinterpretation

Poorly phrased or out-of-the-box questions can lead to biased responses or misunderstandings. Choosing the right question type helps ensure clarity and allows respondents to understand your intent. For instance, leading questions that nudge respondents towards a specific answer should be avoided in favor of neutral phrasing.

3. Enhanced Response Rates and Quality

Surveys with a mix of engaging and easy-to-answer questions are more likely to see higher completion rates and better-quality responses. Open-ended questions can become tedious, while more complex multiple-choice formats need to be clarified for participants. Striking a balance between the two is key to keeping respondents engaged.

4. Facilitates Efficient Data Analysis

The chosen question type significantly impacts how you analyze the collected data.  Closed-ended questions with predetermined answers generate quantitative data that can be easily tabulated and statistically analyzed. On the other hand, open-ended questions require qualitative analysis, which involves categorizing and interpreting textual responses.

5. Actionable Insights

Any survey you perform aims to gain actionable insights to inform decisions and drive improvements. You gather the specific data needed to address your research objectives by selecting the right question types. This allows you to translate the findings into concrete actions that deliver real-world value.

What are the Different Types of Survey Questions?

Imagine that you're working as a product manager at a leading OTT streaming service. Concerned about a drop in user retention rates among long-term subscribers, you launch a targeted survey to gather feedback. Questions include frequency of use, content preferences, satisfaction levels, encountered issues, and desired improvements. With the insights gained, you devise strategies to enhance the user experience and retain valuable subscribers, demonstrating your commitment to continuous improvement.

An effective survey requires diverse question types to capture a range of information from your respondents. Here's a breakdown of some popular options:

1. Multiple Choice Question Type

This survey question type offers respondents a set of predefined answer choices from which to select. It's ideal for gathering factual data (e.g., "What is your age?") or preferences with a limited range of options (e.g., "How likely are you to recommend our product?").

2. Image & Video Selection Question Types

Visual elements can enhance engagement and cater to respondents who prefer non-textual options. Image selection allows choosing from a set of pictures, while video selection lets respondents pick a video that best reflects their answer.

3. Checkbox Question Type

This format provides multiple answer choices, allowing respondents to select all applicable options. It helps gather information about preferences or experiences that encompass various possibilities (e.g., "What features do you find most important in a laptop?" with options like "Processing speed," "Battery life," etc.).

4. Star Rating Question Type

This is a quick and easy way to gauge satisfaction or opinion on a scale (often 1-5 stars), with a higher number signifying greater satisfaction. This question type is ideal for capturing user experience or product feedback in a user-friendly way.

5. Paragraph and Short Answer Question Types

Open-ended questions allow respondents to elaborate in their own words. Paragraph questions are suited for in-depth responses and detailed explanations (e.g., "What are your suggestions for improving our customer service?"). Short answer questions, on the other hand, prompt concise responses (e.g., "What is your PIN code?").

6. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

This single question with a 0-10 rating scale asks respondents, "How likely are you to recommend our company/product to a friend or colleague?"  Followed by optional open-ended questions to understand the "why" behind the score, NPS helps gauge customer loyalty.

7. Likert Scale

A specific type of rating scale, the Likert scale, uses a symmetrical range of options (often 5 or 7 points) with a neutral midpoint (e.g., "Very Dissatisfied" to "Very Satisfied"). It's commonly used to measure agreement or satisfaction levels.

8. Smiley Rating Question Type

This playful approach uses emoticons (smileys or frowns) to represent different satisfaction levels or opinions. It's a visually engaging option for younger audiences or when dealing with sensitive topics when you don’t want any explanation from the respondents.

9. Date Question Type

A date question is a type of survey question where respondents are required to provide a date and time as their answer. This question typically appears as a short-answer text field, allowing respondents to input specific dates and times.

10. Ranking Question Type

A ranking question type in a survey asks respondents to prioritize or order a list of items according to their preference, importance, or any other criteria specified by the survey creator. Respondents typically arrange the items by dragging and dropping them into the desired order or assigning numerical rankings.

11. Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down Question Type

A thumbs up/thumbs down question type in a survey presents respondents with a simple binary choice: they can either indicate their approval (thumbs up) or disapproval (thumbs down) of a statement, product, service, or any other subject of inquiry. 

Why Use Decode for Your Survey?

Decode is an integrated consumer research platform that leverages Insights AI for consumer insights. Our platform offers multiple question blocks like checkbox, multiple choice, Likert, dropdown, star rating, etc. To make the design better, you also get the option to change the user interface of this block by changing the font family and color scheme and adding a background image of the question.

Once your study is published and respondents have taken the test, you can analyze the block-wise result of the questions asked. After that, you can filter the results and view/download the results of any particular respondent or a group of respondents. This process is easy to implement and get started with. 

Final Words

Choosing a survey question type might look easy, but it can make or break your survey. It is essential to consider factors like your target audience, primary goal, volume, TAT, and bandwidth of resources, amongst others, to decide which survey question type will best suit your market research strategy.

Decode allows you to conduct quantitative and qualitative research with added features like facial coding, eye tracking, and voice AI to get accurate, reliable, and unbiased insights every time. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question 1: What are the four main types of survey questionnaires?

Answer: The four main types of survey questionnaires are multiple-choice, Likert scale, open-ended, and ranking or rating questions.

Question 2: What is a survey?

Answer: A survey is a research method used to gather information or feedback from a group of people by asking them questions.

Question 3: What type of questions are in a survey?

Answer: ‍In a survey, various questions can be used, including multiple-choice, Likert scale, open-ended, ranking or rating, and demographic questions. These question types allow researchers to gather various information and feedback from respondents.

Supercharge your research with actionable insights faster on Decode's integrated consumer research platform with Insights AI.
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Build the Right Products, the Right Way: Elevate your UX with Qatalyst's integrated user research platform with Insights AI.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

2

Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

3

Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

4

Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

5

Saving the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Publish the Template

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Author Bio

Soham is a true Manchester United fan who finds joy in more than just football. Whether navigating the open road, scoring virtual goals in FIFA, reading novels, or enjoying quality time with friends, Soham embraces a life full of diverse passions.

Soham Saha

Product Marketing Specialist

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