Writing for the Small Screen? The Importance of Minimizing Question Length

Survey design can be a challenge when designing questionnaires for small screen sizes

Consider the following open-ended question:

Other than cost or price, if there was one thing that Organization X could do to help you and your business in the future, what would that be?

There isn’t too much wrong with the wording. It’s clear and easily understood. However, there is one thing that can be done to improve it. The question can be made shorter. For example:

Apart from changing prices, what one thing could Organization X do better?

adaptive-questionnairesThe revised wording is considerably shorter but the meaning has been retained. The responses you’d get are unlikely to differ greatly from the original question.

Across all survey methods, from face-to-face to online, shorter questions have always been better. Respondents don’t want to have to read or listen to long lines of text. Shorter questions make surveys feel faster in pace. Respondents feel more involved and provide a better quality of response.  Continue reading