One question at a time: The best strategy for a survey

Displaying one question at a time is the fastest and easiest way to conduct a survey. This method improves the user experience, which increases the likelihood that a respondent will continue until they reach the end of the survey.

Most people use their phones to access the internet. No one wants to see a long list of questions on a small screen. If a respondent starts to feel survey fatigue setting in, there’s a good chance they will abandon the survey before finishing it.

How one question at a time works

When you design a survey using the one question at a time strategy, you present respondents with a single question on the screen. As soon as the user answers the question, the survey shows the next question.

This eliminates the need to scroll down to view the next question. Instead, the respondent’s focus remains on one question until they move on to the next question.

Benefits of one question at a time

Why should you design a survey with one question at a time instead of using a long list of survey questions on the same page? This survey format

  • Reduces survey fatigue. A long list of survey questions can overwhelm some people, causing them not to finish the survey.
  • Eliminates bias. When you list all of the questions together, the phrasing of one question could bias a person’s response to other questions.
  • Improves the survey experience. Simplifying surveys by using one question at a time improves the overall experience for each user. Many people find the format easier to navigate.
  • Increases survey conversions. Improving the efficiency of online surveys boosts survey conversions. Survey completion rates are as much as 36 percent higher when you present the questions one at a time compared to completion rates for traditional surveys.
  • Gathers more data. A higher survey completion rate translates into gathering more data for your organization. The information you get from survey responses can help improve payments, lead generation, registration rates, and more.
  • Collects partial survey results. Even if a person doesn’t complete the survey, you still receive their responses to the questions they did answer. If all questions are shown on the same page, and the respondent drops out halfway through the survey, you won’t capture any data.
  • Enhances your brand. Any time a customer interacts with your brand, they form an opinion about the company. A well-developed survey can improve perceptions of your brand.
  • Expands access. Good survey design creates a user-friendly experience across all devices. Customers can access the questions on a phone, tablet, or computer.
  • Integrates gamification features. Since many people often use screens for entertainment, it’s important that your customers have fun. Motivate customers through gamification by using a progress bar and micro animations that guide users through the questions.
  • Leverages extra features. Using one question per page gives you the option to leverage unique survey features such as randomization, skip logic, and answer piping.

While there’s a variety of benefits to the one question at a time method, there’s also a potential drawback. Moving through multiple pages in the survey could increase the risk of technical issues because of page load time and connectivity. The easiest way to avoid these problems is to use a reputable, proven tool — like JotForm.

How to design a survey using one question at a time

If your survey is short, you might consider putting the questions on a single page. On the other hand, a lot of questions can result in too many pages if you only show one question per page. The one question at a time survey method works best for surveys that are short or medium in length.

Creating a user-friendly survey is easy with JotForm. It’s important to ask your customers for feedback using a system that’s easy and fun, and JotForm Cards meets that qualification as well. There’s also a variety of designs and styles to match your design and branding.

For example, in this restaurant evaluation form template, all the questions are asked one by one.

Use JotForm Cards to create your survey using a template. Or, if you want to upgrade existing online forms, you can convert them to JotForm Cards.

This article is originally published on Oct 15, 2020, and updated on May 11, 2021.
Data collection analyst. Seeing life in 1's and 0's. Can't resist to a good cup of coffee. You can reach Quentin through his contact form.

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