Surveys are an effective way to gather meaningful data about your application. You can use surveys to inform a design direction, better understand your users, or determine which new features to prioritize.

Before building your survey, it is best to have goals for it. What are you trying to learn? How will you define your target audience? To whom are you planning to share the results?

Once you've built your survey, you must test it several times with your goals in mind. You want to make sure everything is working correctly. More importantly, you want to determine whether your survey provides the necessary data.

Question Types

There are two types of survey questions: open and closed.

Open questions are qualitative data that measure a user's behavior, actions, or motivations. Gather open-ended responses with input fields and text areas. While respondents might be happy to provide their own opinion on a topic, open questions require more thought and take more time. Detailed responses to an open question can provide valuable insight and account for responses that closed questions might miss. However, they tend to take longer to analyze.

Closed questions are quantitative data, and respondents choose from a fixed number of possible responses. Collect these responses using dropdowns, checkboxes, and radio buttons. Unlike open questions, closed questions are easy to answer and evaluate and can provide meaningful statistics for your survey audience. Because closed questions do not describe thoughts or motivations, a follow-up question like "Why" or "How" can make them more insightful.

Building Your Survey

Building a flawed survey is easy, while creating a good survey is an art form. There are several things to keep in mind while building.

A good survey question is straightforward. Avoid questions that are difficult to understand. Use everyday language, avoid industry jargon, and describe what you want to know. Avoid asking about two different concepts at one time. Avoid double negatives. Keep your question to about 20 words. It is better to have several short questions than one long one.

Group similar questions together so respondents can understand the context. Use conditionality in your questions. Conditional questions change what a respondent sees based on the answer to a previous query.

Use equal positive and negative reactions for questions with a scale or range. Avoid overlapping scales. For questions with multiple-choice options, provide an "Other" option to avoid frustrating your respondents. Further, allow respondents to answer "Don't Know" to some questions. Allowing them to have no opinion will keep your statistics accurate. Finally, ask neutral questions, avoiding unnecessary bias and leading questions.


Here are a few final tips before you build your survey:

  • Use a progress indicator to keep respondents informed about your survey's length.
  • Incentives like gift cards, coupons, early access, or free trials will increase your survey's response rate.
  • At the end of your survey, allow users to provide feedback on your survey to help you iterate for your next one.
  • Keep non-response bias in mind. The respondents who choose to complete your survey will statistically differ from those who do not.


There are several tools on the market for generating surveys, and these are some of the best:

  • Google Forms
  • Survey Monkey
  • Typeform
  • Wufoo