January 12, 2007, Newsletter Issue #46: Ask Questions They Can Answer

Tip of the Week

Survey questions should be easy to understand, and easy to answer. Complicated questions that require processing won't generate a very good response. Stay away from the word problems that continue to haunt you...

"A train is leaving London at 10am. It makes 12 stops in 60 minutes. Each stop is approximately 5 kilometers away from each other..." Word problems are complex questions that require a complex answer.  You won't get people past the first survey question, so make sure the questions you ask can be answered simply. Avoid complicated, philosophical meanderings that will leave the survey takers wanting to leave your survey on the table.

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