How do I write a survey?
Looking for a good place to start? The courses in our Lighthouse Academy will help get you on your way to writing and programming elegant and effective online surveys using our state-of-the-art survey authoring tools! Visit the Lighthouse Academy for courses on how to utilize our Survey Editor, Best Practices for survey questionnaire design, and more!
We automatically build in best practices for number of questions, character limits, and answer limits. (Learn more about our philosophy.) If you need more room, we do have a few license options that raise the limits, but still keep your survey within the margins of what survey takers will happily handle. You can upgrade to a paid membership to get extended character and answer limits for free.
aytm Survey Question Types
Build your survey using a combination of our 20 survey question types, and five Research Tests. You can get an in-depth look at the various Question Type capabilities through our Lighthouse Academy course, but in the meantime, here is a brief overview of our question types:
Prequalification Questions - Single Choice, Multiple Positive Choices, Multiple Negative Choices: These let only relevant people into your survey. If they don't pass your prequal, they don't get to see your survey, and you don't pay for their answers. A prequal may be added by using one of our House Tags on the target market page, or by writing your own.
General Questions - Radio Buttons, Checkboxes, Combobox, Reorder: You'll likely use these the most often as they are clear and flexible for most cases in online surveys. For answer fields that include a little talking cloud icon, click on the icon to enable an optional open-end field where respondents can provide more information.
Context Questions - Instruction Text, Image Questions, Video Questions: These aren't really "questions," since respondents have no way of answering them, but they're the best way to provide context, or expose survey takers to stimuli such as video clips or images, instructions, or copy.
Matrix Questions - Progressive Matrix, Sliders, Star/Smiley Ratings, Distribute: These are great for grouping similar questions together into a single question. They're more time-consuming for respondents than simple questions, but more efficient than asking the same question multiple times across several entities. They'll save you money and respondents' time by keeping answer options consistent across sub-questions.
Qualitative Questions - Open Ended, Forms, Image Response, Video Response: Gather qualitative feedback by prompting respondents to respond via text, image, video, or logic-validated response. Open Ended, Image Response, and Video Response come with a separate Qualitative Response Results pane, through which you can filter, sort, tag, and assign sentiments.
Specialty Questions - Polarity Scale, Side-by-Side, Heatmap, Rapid Association, Impression Dial: These questions involve the use of aytm's proprietary technology to gather
Advanced Research Tests: Advanced MaxDiff, Van Konan, Topography, Conjoint, Shelf Test: Research Tests are more than questions, because they support various smart research methodologies, number-crunch responses, and provide you with automated analysis. Results include in-depth perceptual mapping, 3D scale analysis, easy access to comparison data, and interactive infographics.
Demographics: When you launch US-based Panel survey, 10 demographics are automatically included with your results, without your having to ask them. For List surveys, choose which demographics to include as questions at the beginning or the end of your survey. Read more specifics about demographic breakouts here, or adding List survey demographics here.
Illustrating survey answers
Researchers often want answer choices or sub-questions to be presented in a random order to respondents to avoid order bias—for example, when the first item in a list is rated higher or attracts more attention, just because it's presented first to everyone.
Advanced survey logic made easy
Skip logic allows you to ask relevant questions based on earlier answers and set up A/B or 'monadic' tests (exposing respondents only to one of several alternative stimuli such as product shots, prices or video commercials). Just click on the rabbit icons to set it up, either as direct skip logic, or as random skip logic, with organic or even distribution.
aytm Logic (available to Plus and Max users) is a set of rules typed directly into the survey fields that let you manipulate survey path, based on earlier selections that a respondent made, or when certain conditions are applicable. Learn more about Basic aytm Logic in the Lighthouse Academy!
Previewing your survey
Before you launch your survey into the field, it's always a good idea to use the Preview tool to see how respondents will interact with the survey.
List Survey features
Plus and Max license users can provide the purpose of the study, communicate details of an incentive, and/or provide privacy statements through a custom message in the side bar of your List Survey. To accommodate multiple screen sizes, this message will appear as a splash screen when your survey is opened on a smartphone and will be available for repeat viewing.
Plus and Max licenses also have the option to take full advantage of any pre-screeners/pre-qualification questions to set up forwarding URLs at the bottom of the List Survey Editor for the following three cases:
Respondents will be forwarded to the URLs you enter here once their survey sessions are over.
Alternatively, all users can create a custom 'Thank you' page that will be displayed at the end of the survey. It's useful for communicating next steps, giving instructions on how to obtain an incentive, or simply to express your gratitude for respondents' time and attention.
If neither URLs nor a custom Thank you page is set up, we'll show a screen with the following messages: “Thank you! We sincerely appreciate your help!" or “Survey is closed." We'll present these in the language you selected for the survey locale.
Learn more about List Surveys here.
Questions? Comments? Reach out us, we'd love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org, or +1 (415) 364-8601 (6am-6pm Pacific Time)