If you take a look at the best survey sites, you will notice how they make use of different questions when they make online survey.
Every online poll is composed of questions that are designed according to the results that the free poll maker or online survey creator wants to get or acquire. Probably among the most common and famous of questions used not only in online surveys but even in traditional pen and paper surveys is none other than the matrix question.
The matrix question is basically multiple questions that are presented on a grid form. For an online survey creator, these bundled questions are easier to write and program. These questions are also generally easier to understand and answer in the case of the respondents since the answer options and scales pretty much stay the same in all the items.
But, it is this very surface simplicity of a matrix question that masks its notable drawbacks. For you to gather high quality data, it is important to be familiar with the main pitfalls of this particular type of question, especially now that more and more surveys are being done and answered using mobile devices.
As it is very easy to create these matrix questions, you will notice how this question type is overused by free poll makers. These provide a lot of response options and a lot of rows or items. This is what makes it hard for the respondents to read and it can even promote a poor behavior in taking surveys. They can opt for straight lining in which the respondents choose the same response for every item without giving each row a careful consideration or they can also randomly choose responses for the reason that they just want to finish everything and escape the matrix.
Simple Tips to Write Good Matrix Questions
- Try to keep the response options as short as possible. These response options are the columns of the possible responses.
- Display just five or even fewer response options.
- Ensure that the item wording is short. These items are the rows.
- Once again, display just five or fewer items.
You don’t have to worry in case your matrix questions don’t follow these guidelines as you can still use every question you have written. You can always improve the overall experience for the respondents and gather better data by doing either of these two things: you can choose to break up the matrix into several individual questions or you can break up the large matrix into smaller matrixes.
You also have to remember the fact that most online surveys are completed using mobile devices. For this reason, matrix questions in horizontal formatting are not great for smartphones so be careful when designing the questions and make them suitable for mobile viewing. This will ensure that you will get the answers that you need while ensuring seamless experience for your respondents.