Monday, January 20, 2014

SharePoint 2013: Planning Your Survey Questions


Check out the whole end user series!


Introduction

Planning your survey questions involves both what feedback you are trying to obtain along with how it should be obtained. This correlates with the question/answer entry types that are available in SharePoint along with how the responses are presented. This post lists examples of the common types that should be used in a survey and may be used as a guide to help you decide what type of answer is appropriate for your questions.


Free Form Single Entry

A free form single  entry may be used to ask a question that may have many possible answers but not finite enough to provide choices. This is where you want the user to enter whatever they feel without being constrained to a list of choices.

User Entry Interface






Graphical Response Summary


Free Form Multiple Line

A free form multiple line entry should be used when you would like the user to describe an issue or problem, provide a relatively longer (than the single line)  explanation , expand on comments, or provide recommendations/suggestions.
User Entry Interface
Graphical Response Summary




Choice Question as Drop-Down

A choice question allows you to enter specific choices in which the user may select as the answer. For the drop-down type, the choices appear in a drop-down list. This type of answer interface is good for questions that may have several possible selections (5-10) but obviously works with two or more.

User Entry Interface









Graphical Response Summary



Choice Question as Drop-Down with Fill-In

Using the optional “Allow Fill-In” selection allows you to create a question that provides both a drop-down menu and an option for the user to enter their own answer.
If you are going to allow the user to fill-in their own answer, using the options or the checkboxes (explained in the next sub-sections) provides a more naturally mapped user interface.

User Entry Interface












Graphical Response Summary



Choice Question as Options (Radio Buttons)

For the Options type of choice question, the available answers to the question are presented as radio buttons in which only one may be selected. This is similar to the drop-down menu however, the user can see all options available without having the look inside the drop-down.

User Entry Interface









Choice Question as Options (Radio Buttons) with Fill-In

Using the optional “Allow Fill-In” selection allows you to create a question that provides both pre-defined options along with an option for the user to enter their own answer.
If you are going to allow the user to fill-in their own answer, using the options as shown here provides a more naturally mapped user interface (versus with the drop-down menu).

User Entry Interface










Graphical Response Summary



Choice Question with Checkboxes (Multiple Selection)

For the Checkboxes type of choice question, the available answers to the question are presented as checkboxes in which the user may select one or more answers.


User Entry Interface










Graphical Response Summary







Choice Question with Checkboxes (Multiple Selection) and Fill-In

Using the optional “Allow Fill-In” selection allows you to create a question that provides both pre-defined checkboxes to check along with an additional checkbox for the user to enter their own answer.
If you are going to allow the user to fill-in their own answer, using the checkboxes as shown here provides a more naturally mapped user interface (versus with the drop-down menu).


User Entry Interface










Graphical Response Summary



Rating Scale Question

A Rating Scale question involves one or more sub-questions (or items) that need to be ranked in some sort of fashion. The scale of numbers is configurable as well as the rating text. There is an option to include or not include a not applicable (N/A) column. The text for the N/A column is also configurable - other examples include “I don’t know” and “Prefer not to answer”.


User Entry Interface










Graphical Response Summary







Branching Questions

Survey questions in SharePoint 2013 have branching logic capabilities. You may direct the user to different sets of questions based on their answer to the branching question. It sounds like you can direct the user all over the place but really you are presenting an additional set of questions because they answered in a certain way. I like to think about it as “follow-up” questions.

In this example, if the user answers Yes to the branching question and clicks next:









They are directed to one or more follow-up questions:













The survey does not present the follow-up question and continues onto the configured next question in the survey:






Learn all about Surveys in my SharePoint 2013 End User Series guide:



2 comments:

  1. Hello
    I purchase this guide and i miss a really interesting option how to send on an on-premises installation a survey to a external user (or anonymous one)

    Please could you guide and/or include?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is easier said than done. You would need SharePoint configured as an extranet or public facing internet site.

      Delete