Survey fatigue is something that both experienced and inexperienced researchers alike battle with. Why? Well according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human is approximately 8 seconds.
Avoiding fatigue means avoiding invalid data, speeders (those who speed through your survey and select answers without any thought) and dropouts (those who quit your survey before they’ve completed it).
Some key indicators that your survey could cause respondent fatigue can include questions you may be asking yourself, like:
- Is this survey too long?
- Are there too many answers in the list for respondents to choose from?
- Why isn’t my survey filling quotas as quickly as I thought it would?
Here are some tips to avoid survey fatigue:
- Ask yourself: Is this question crucial in obtaining the insight I’m looking for? If you can design the survey keeping in mind what data you’re looking for, you won’t ask unnecessary questions.
- Orient and welcome the respondent. Create an intro page welcoming the participant, letting them know around how much time this will take, and also how much you appreciate their feedback.
- Advanced targeting over screening questions: Adding screener questions sometimes can take a lot of the respondents time, and now that we have the technology to target your precise audience from the get-go, you can jump right into the survey questionnaire, cutting downtime and fatigue. Our advanced targeting offers over 200 demographic and profiling points, which should help eliminate screener questions.
- Condensing questions: Use grid and scale questions (like Rating or Matrix/Cross) to ask the same questions among multiple attributes.
- Use filter logic: Keep the survey relevant to the respondents and, if possible, use filter logic to skip respondents out of questions that don’t apply to them.
- Vary your question types: Try formatting your survey using our wonderful variety of question types. Answering 50 multiple choice questions gets boring and stale. Switch it up to keep the respondent’s mind guessing and also create some fun. You’ll still get your data on the reporting page.
- Split a longer survey into multiple shorter surveys. This way, you’re still getting the results you want, but you’re avoiding fatigue.
- Preview your survey and take it yourself. If you’re particularly bored or distracted, chances are your respondents will be too! Have a friend or coworker also preview the survey for their opinion.
Next time you create a survey, remember to keep your respondents in mind to avoid fatigue, and in turn avoid invalid data and unhappy respondents!