When designing a research form, there is a tendency to concentrate on the results and overlook certain factors that can be critical in collecting useful data from your respondents. Presentation is more important than you might imagine.
Here are 5 things to consider when designing your product research form:
1. Start with an introduction
Aside from the pleasant aspect, beginning with a short introduction may help to contextualise the research in the minds of your respondents. If they understand the product to a higher degree, they will be able to give more useful criticism and comments.
2. State the confidentiality
Let participants know that their responses will be confidential (if this is the case) as this allows them to relax and say what they really feel. In the modern world, fear of retribution and conspiracy is all too common in many parts of the world. Keep in mind that confidentiality may be an important factor for your respondents’ peace of mind.
3. Keep it simple
It has been said time and time again, but there is no substitute for a well-designed form that uses easy language, no jargon and clear questions. Take a look at your questions and make sure that each one is understandable as well as absolutely necessary.
4. Smart questions
Make sure you include a “don’t know” or “n/a” response in your questions if appropriate. Also include an “other” response to questions where you cannot predict all outcomes.
5. Test the water
It is imperative that your questionnaire is accurate before you start collecting data. If you discover a mistake later on, it may result in you having to discard all responses collected and start again from scratch. To minimise the chances of that happening, you can conduct a test survey with a small number of respondents to make sure the form is functioning as it should. Do the respondents understand your questions? Do they answer in the way that you expect them to? A test may help you to avoid mistakes before you start the research for real.