Are you looking for questionnaire examples and templates? It’s important to get your questions and formatting right if you want to get useful responses.
In this post, we’ll step through 7 examples of good practice in questionnaire design. We’ll also show you the easy way to make a WordPress questionnaire with a template.
How Do You Prepare a Questionnaire?
The best way to make a questionnaire is to use the WPForms plugin.
WPForms is the best form builder for WordPress. It has a surveys and polls addon that makes it easy to create surveys and questionnaires for your site.
And you can easily create beautiful charts from the results.
We reviewed SurveyMonkey vs Google Forms vs WPForms so you can see how powerful WPForms is compared to other survey tools.
Let’s look at some questionnaire examples that you can use as inspiration when building your own forms.
Questionnaire design is all about getting the right information in the right format. Let’s look at 7 tactics we can use.
1. Keep Your Survey Short
Before you design a questionnaire, consider these 3 points:
- What do I want to know?
- What do I need to know?
- Am I asking anything that would be nice to know, but won’t teach me anything about my respondent?
If you keep the questions (and the questionnaire itself) as short as possible, you can focus on what you need to know as a priority.
Here’s an example of a question that we could work on a little:
This is a nice to know question. It could be tweaked so that we learn something we need to know instead.
2. Give Clear Instructions
If people don’t understand what you’re asking, they’ll likely click a random answer just to move past the question.
So be sure to ask clear questions and give clear answer choices.
For example, avoid any question that has overlapping answers, but only allows the respondent to pick 1.
We could make the question easier to answer by providing 1 checkbox for each item and allowing people to check as many as they want.
Here’s a good example of a clear question with clear answers. This question uses a number slider. Even better, it clearly defines what zero and 100 actually mean.
Sometimes it can be hard to edit your own questions. That’s why it’s important to test them out in a pilot before publishing your questionnaire more widely.
3. Be Specific
To get good quality data from a questionnaire, you’ll need to be precise in your question. That means avoiding words like:
These words can have different meanings to different people, so you can’t be sure that everyone’s going to interpret them the same way.
For example, here’s a good question about local shopping. The question gives really specific distances for us to choose from:
This is a great way to avoid a mixture of formats in the answers. We could improve it further by adding an equivalent distance in kilometers.
Being specific also matters in the question wording. For example, you might have problems if:
- You ask 2 questions in one sentence
- You use double negatives in a question
- The words you use are too difficult for a beginner to understand.
Again, you should pilot your survey and make a note of any questions that cause problems. That way, you can reword them before your questionnaire goes live.
4. Order Questions Logically
When you build a survey, always assume that some people will abandon it before they get to the end. Use this to guide the order of your questions.
In general, here’s the order that’s best to use:
- Ask the most important questions first
- Place simple questions before difficult ones
- Start out with general topics before you get to specifics
- Put personal, sensitive, or embarrassing questions at the end of the questionnaire.
With the right ordering, you remove a barrier that might stop people from even beginning to answer.
Here’s a travel survey that puts the easiest question ahead of a more difficult one on dates.
Letting people skip non-essential questions can help to reduce abandonment rates. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose valuable answers.
You can use the form abandonment addon in WPForms to save partial form entries. That will let you use the data from questionnaires that are partially filled out.
5. Use the Right Fields
With some questions, you’ll have a choice of fields you could use.
Choosing the right field is important for the user so that the questionnaire is easy to fill out. But it’s also important when it comes to analyzing the answers.
A really simple example is asking someone’s age. There are a ton of ways to do this, like:
- Typing an answer
- Selecting an answer in a multiple choice list
- Picking an answer from a dropdown.
Here’s a multiple choice list that’s well-designed. Notice how none of the answer choices overlap.
Here’s a final tip. When asking for an opinion, a Likert scale (matrix question) will work best. But take care not to add too many questions or answer choices in one matrix.
This Likert Scale question as 7 choices, which is usually the maximum you’ll want to use:
Avoid providing so many choices that you can’t easily draw a conclusion from the answers.
6. Take Care with Open vs Closed Questions
Open and closed questions have different formats.
An open question is one with a freeform answer with a text or paragraph field that the respondent can type in. A closed question has a number of options to choose from.
Both of these question types are useful in different circumstances.
Closed questions are good for any questionnaire when you have a good idea of what the answers will be. For example, asking someone their age is a closed question.
While closed questions have a ton of benefits when it comes to analysis, there are some situations where you’ll want to be cautious.
Here’s an example of a closed question that could be difficult to answer.
Someone living in the suburbs might feel that neither of these choices is a good fit. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an ‘Other’ option.
Here’s a good example of a question on gender. Instead of asking a closed question on whether you’re male or female, this uses a slightly different closed question format with:
- Inclusive answer choices
- Super clear language
- An ‘Other’ field.
This is a great way to make analysis easy without restricting people to choices that don’t work for them.
With WPForms, you can use smart conditional logic to show an additional text entry field if your respondent selects ‘Other’. That way, your form will be compact and easy to read.
Open questions give your visitor the freedom to use their own words. This is a great way to allow someone the opportunity to give a detailed answer.
Here’s a great example of an open question in a questionnaire:
It would be impossible to predict the answers to this question, so leaving it open makes perfect sense.
One issue you might run into is that open questions don’t scale very easily. So having too many can make analysis pretty tough.
As a workaround, consider using open questions in your pilot test. This can help you to get an idea of possible answers and file them in groups according to what you want to measure.
After that, you can convert some of your open questions to closed questions in the final questionnaire.
7. Appealing Layout
Once you have your questions in place, it’s time to look at your questionnaire layout.
Using WPForms, you can make the questionnaire more appealing by using:
- Section dividers to clearly split questions into categories
- Multi-step forms with page breaks and a progress bar
- Forms with images (or image answer choices in place of text).
Here’s a nice example of image choices to make a questionnaire more fun to fill in:
The WPForms plugin comes with tons of form templates that you can use to make questionnaires.
Using a template to get started makes the whole process so much faster. We’ve already done the hard work for you!
When you open up the form builder, you can choose from templates like:
There are tons more useful templates in the forms pack addon. And every template is customizable, so you can build your questionnaire quickly.
You can use our smart survey fields to get the information you need and easily change the order of the fields by dragging them up and down.
When you’re done customizing the template, be sure to turn on survey and poll reporting for your form so you can create reports right from the WordPress dashboard.
And that’s it! Now you know how to easily make a questionnaire in WordPress.
Next Step: Make a Questionnaire Report
Did you know that WPForms lets you create beautiful reports from your questionnaires?
You can easily create charts, JPGs, and PDFs right from the WordPress dashboard. Take a look at this article on how to write a summary of survey results to get some ideas.
You might also want to check our guide on demographic survey questions if you’re looking for survey question inspirations.
Ready to build your questionnaire? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes a free questionnaire template and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.