Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Questionnaire Design

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Questionnaire Design

How To Plan, Structure And Write Survey Material For Effective Market Research

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Want to find the right answers? Then ask the right questions, the right way. Here`s how to write a savvy survey.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • For Experts


This is a highly specialized guidebook for market researchers. Author Ian Brace goes into great detail about designing questionnaires, a process which may seem simple, but is not. Brace thoughtfully considers the variables that can arise in all aspects of planning, structuring, writing and asking survey questions, including how to avoid ambiguity and how the actual questionnaire should look. He hews tightly to the task of getting researchers to formulate the best survey tools possible, even recommending the best type sizes and layouts. This book is only for serious market researchers, who will welcome its enclosed compact disc containing sample questionnaires and designs. In a day when many researchers use time-tested canned questions, this is a craftsman’s handbook on the inside art of drafting a questionnaire. recommends using this authoritative manual to develop your market research questionnaires. And, if you hire someone to design a questionnaire for you, this will give you some background so you can monitor the content intelligently. In questionnaire design - and supervision - apparently the really dumb question is the one you didn’t ask.


More Than Asking Questions

Anyone who has collected market research data with a questionnaire knows how crucial the questions become. When questions are presented in the wrong sequence or are ambiguous, the entire survey can be tainted and may fail to produce accurate results.

Two types of mistakes can undermine your survey: sampling errors and nonsampling errors. Sampling error stems from asking your questions to the wrong variety of people. They may belong to the wrong demographic group or have built-in biases. This source of errors can be quantified and corrected, although that can be expensive. Nonsampling errors arise due to problems in data processing, untrained field interviewers or the actual construction of the questionnaire. Nonsampling errors are difficult to detect and can derail the best thought-out survey. Reducing questionnaire error in advance is far more economical and efficient. However, doing so requires thoroughly understanding the role of questions in the survey process and knowing exactly how to design questions.

The goal of any well-designed questionnaire is to meet the survey’s objective, such as discerning what product or brand people...

About the Author

Ian Brace is the research director at TNS UK, a consumer research company. He has been a market researcher for more than 30 years and has worked for many research organizations. He is a Visiting Fellow at Bristol Business School and a member of the Council of the Market Research Society. This book is part of the Society’s series on market research.

Comment on this summary