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Best practices

  • Strict geographic targeting, as well as the use of multiple screening questions and/or demographic group quotas will drive down the incidence rate of your survey (that is, the share of the population that is eligible to participate in it). Bear in mind that a lower incidence rate will increase the time it takes to fill your sample - and in some cases may make it impossible to fill - while also increasing cost.
  • Any screening question(s) your survey uses must be included at the very outset of the survey. Additionally, respondents who fail to qualify for your survey should be terminated within a minute or less. For that reason, we encourage you to use simple and direct screening questions, preferably with single choice response options (e.g. "Yes," "No").
  • Keep it short! We strongly recommend capping your survey at an average completion time of 5 minutes or less. The attention span of your respondents is a quickly depleting resource.
  • Except for surveys you plan to distribute privately (to an email list), you don’t need to include an introductory preamble, nor any text segues between different topical sections of your survey. These only serve to increase the length of your survey.
  • Place your most important questions at the front of the survey, so respondents will answer them when they’re fresh. Save your demographic questions for last (unless you’re using one or more for screening).
  • Group questions about similar topics so they appear next to each other in sequence.
  • Put two or more questions on the same page if they’re closely related to one another; otherwise, it’s often advisable to put each question on its own page in order to concentrate the focus of your respondents.
  • Unless the list of answers for your question is very long (such as a list of U.S. States), we recommend using single choice questions instead of drop-down questions.
  • Sortable / ranking questions are usually better handled by matrix questions.
  • Keep open-ended questions and response options to an absolute minimum.
  • Writing good questions is more of an art than a science. It can be tempting to add lots of adjectives and other qualifying details to your questions, but this often results in question text that’s wordy and hard to follow. Try to be as succinct as possible.
  • Keep your language simple! Write as though you would speak, using familiar words and avoiding complex sentence structures.
  • Don’t assume your audience has the same background knowledge or familiarity about a topic as you do.
  • Be careful you aren’t asking respondents to provide a single answer to what are really two or more separate questions combined in one. For example, the question, “What sport do you find most exciting and fun to watch with friends?” assumes that “most exciting” and “fun to watch with friends” always go hand-in-hand. In fact, they may not, leaving respondents with ambiguity about what the intent of the question is.
  • Don’t ask leading questions.
  • Don’t frame an issue (e.g., “Did you know that the oceans are rising 2 inches a year?”) before asking for your audience’s opinion about it (e.g., “How concerned are you about climate change?”).
  • Be mindful of how you use words and phrases that carry political resonance. For instance, “social justice” can have very different connotations depending on who the reader is.
  • When asking respondents about something that happened in the past, be realistic about the limits of human memory. For instance, "How much did you spend last year in total on meat and poultry products?" and "Did you take any flights in March 2019?" are both unlikely to yield accurate information.
  • Except where it makes better sense to alphabetize a list of response options for a given question (e.g., "Which of the following stores have you visited in the past month?"), it’s usually advisable to randomize response options.
  • The set of response options you create for each question should be mutually exclusive and comprehensively exhaustive (“MECE,” for short). In other words, all of your answers should be part of the same logical category, and each distinct from another (e.g., "Pepperoni," "Pork toppings," and "Thick crust" wouldn't work as answers for "What's your favorite kind of pizza?"), and you should also make sure you’re not missing any response options. It is almost always a good policy to include “None of these," "Other" and/or “I don’t know" to cover your bases. (When randomizing responses, make sure to lock these at the bottom of the list.)
  • Keep answer choices balanced when using a Likert scale (e.g., "Strongly agree," "Somewhat agree," "Somewhat disagree," "Strongly disagree"). Depending on context, you may want to include a middle option (e.g., "Neutral," I don’t know, No opinion) instead of forcing respondents to make a selection that leans positive or negative. Either way, a 4- or 5-point scale is almost always better than a more detailed scale that uses 6 or more points.
  • If you use more than one Likert scale in your survey, try to remain consistent with the number of points you use, even if the specific response options are different.

How to Use Corus

  • Activity Log: Use the activity log to check updates that were made or to communicate with your team.
  • Previewing & Testing Surveys: You can use the preview link located within the survey editor to test and take the survey as a respondent without having any data being captured. This is a good feature to use to make sure different question settings and if-logic are working correctly.
  • Capture Settings: Use the Capture Settings to designate the mode of your survey (Test, Public, or Closed). You can also designate which devices (All devices, Desktop or Mobile only) you want to be supported for your survey.
  • Ways to Send Your Survey (Private Distribution): Send your survey out to your own audience using a private distribution link.
  • Ways to Send Your Survey (Global Panel): Send your survey out to a global panel where you can set quotas and customized demographic targeting.
  • Dashboard: The dashboard lets you see quick results of your survey in real time. Create insights and reports to share your findings.
  • Crosstabs: Use crosstabs to generate summary tables of your survey where you can also export them to an Excel file. Here you can also cut your questions by other questions and demographic variables.
  • Download: Export the results of your survey via different file types.
  • Single Choice: Simple closed-ended question type that lets respondents select one answer from a defined list of choices.
  • Multiple Choice: Simple closed-ended question type that lets respondents select multiple answers from a defined list of choices.
  • Grid (Matrix): Set of questions or statements that share answer choices. This question type is arranged like a table or grid.
  • Dropdown list: closed-ended question that allows respondents to choose one answer from a list of choices presented in a dropdown menu.
  • Sortable list: Asks respondents to compare items to each other by placing them in order of preference.
  • Slider: Lets respondents rate an item or statement on a numerical scale by dragging an interactive slider.
  • Rating: Allows you to evaluate a statement on a visual scale of stars or smileys.
  • Text: Allows you to collect short open-ended answers from respondents. You can also validate the question to require answers in a specific length or format.
  • Paragraph: Similar to the “Text” question type, but meant for longer text responses.
  • Date picker: Allows you to collect date and time information in a consistent format.
  • Dot on image: Lets respondents drag an interactive cursor onto part of an image.
  • Image zoom: Lets respondents select (Single/Multi choice) between a group of images where they can zoom in on each image before choosing their answer.
  • Contact information: Allows you to collect contact information (name, email, and phone #) from your respondents.
  • Conjoint Table: Used to determine how customers value the various features that make up an individual product or service.
  • Max diff: Ask respondents to pick the most and least important factors in given answer options.
  • Constant sum: Asks respondents to divide numerical values across a set of variables, but it requires the values to add up to a pre-specified total creating metric data.
  • Content: Allows you to place instructions, media, or context for the respondent to digest before asking a set of questions.
  • Location: Allows you to collect location data from where the respondent is taking the survey from.
  • Validation: Validation questions (or red herring questions) are used to ensure respondents are thoroughly reading the survey questions and not rushing through the survey or satisfying.
  • Adding & Editing Questions: Add different question types to a page. Once a question has been added, you can go into that question to edit and customize it.
  • Require All: Enable when creating matrix questions to ensure that respondents have to answer every part of the matrix question.
  • Copying or Moving Questions: Copy or move questions within a survey
  • Adding an “Other” placeholder text: This tool allows you to ask respondents to specify when they select an answer that is “Other”.
  • Question & Page Randomization: You can randomize the order of questions on a page as well as randomize the order of answers within a question. Randomization is used to minimize order bias.
  • Lock in place & Single-select: When asking a question with randomization, you have the option to lock specific answers in place. Also for multiple choice questions, you have the option of designating a specific response as a single-select option. If desired, you can also select to display this answer as a darker color to indicate the answer as a single-select.
  • Limit number of answer that can be selected: When asking a multiple choice question, the number of answers that can be selected by a respondent can be limited.
  • Speeding: Adding a speed trap enhances the quality of your data by not allowing respondents to speed through surveys without actually reading through the questions and answers. Respondents are kicked out of the survey if they get to a question with a speed trap before the designated time. Note, the "minimum time to reach" field is in seconds.
  • Export Titles: Adding an export title lets you distinguish how the questions are labeled in the data file. This can be useful when you have the same question being asked to different groups to avoid confusion when going through the data file.

Adding Multimedia

  • Different multimedia such as text, images, and videos can be added with your question.
  • You can also add images to answer options.

Adding and Managing Pages

  • You can add a new page, manage existing pages using the survey builder sidebar.
  • By clicking on the gear icon, you can copy, move, or delete a page.

Adding Blocks

  • You can add blocks of pages to your survey using the survey builder sidebar. This functionality allows you to group pages of your survey into blocks where page randomization and logic can be used within a block. This is very helpful when conducting product or price testing.
  • Logo: Change the logo of your survey.
  • Background Image: Change the background image of your survey.
  • Colors: Change the color of your survey.
  • Default Header: Change the header of your survey.
  • Other Settings: Can add custom labels or show the average complete time of your survey.
  • Show/Hide if: Use “show if” and “hide if” logic to guide respondents to appropriate follow-up questions. This logic can be used at all levels (page, question and answer).
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