3. Questionnaires

This is an excellent way of gathering information from many users in one go.

Typical set of questions include:

Closed questions (multiple choice)

These are easy to analyse but the choices provided must be different enough to make it simple for the user to select one. They must also include the most relevant choices.

Open questions.

These offer the chance to obtain more detailed answers and to seek opinions. They are however more difficult to analyse than closed questions and people may not provide useful answers.


Factors to consider when designing an effective questionnaire:

Number of questions

Questionnaires must not be too large, as users are unlikely to be impressed with a 20 page document to fill in!

Wording of questions

Questions should be worded carefully to elicit only the most relevant information and to avoid confusion.

Type of questions

The majority of the questions should be 'closed' i.e. only a limited set of potential answers are offered, such as multiple choice. This means that data analysis can be more effectively carried out on the answers. Although a few open questions may be useful as well, such as "Do you like the current system? Expand your reasoning."


It is important to consider the media to be used for presenting the questionnaire to users. It may be done online if the company can support that or it may have to be done with paper. Paper questionnaires will take longer to process and analyse.


Is the questionnaire to be anonymous or can the user be identified? This will depend entirely on the information to be collected. People are more likely to be honest reporting issues if they know they won't be identified.


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Writing a Questionnaire


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