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User experience (UX) research is often considered a cost center for businesses, and people often overlook its importance. However, research has shown that investing in UX research can lead to incredible returns on investment (ROI) for businesses.With the growth of survey tools such as Survey Monkey and Qualtrics, user data collection is now easier than ever. The challenge? There's an art to mastering surveys, and if not done correctly, respondents can lose interest, feel a bit bored, or become frustrated with the process—leading to a decline in the quality of responses and decreased turnout for future surveys.

Survey fatigue can occur due to issues in survey design, sampling techniques and survey coordination. Here are 4 helpful tips to improve your survey practices and eliminate user frustration:


Determine if a Survey is the Right Approach

As organizations grapple with the challenges of survey fatigue and data quality, it’s crucial to question whether a survey is the most suitable method. In some cases, alternative research approaches such as interviews, user testing, or observational studies, might provide more valuable and nuanced insights without overwhelming participants.


Keep Surveys Short & Simple

To increase your odds of receiving quality data and increased user response, design you survey in a concise manner. Some examples include:

  • Prioritize relevant questions: Prioritize questions that provide the most valuable insights and remove redundant, less impactful questions.
  • Use skip logic: Reroute respondents around questions that do not apply to them, shortening the duration of the survey
  • Pre-populate the survey: If your survey is not anonymous and you already have demographic or personal information, pre-populate these fields to reduce participant work
  • Ask pointed questions: Keep questions simple and succinct, and do not ask multiple questions within one item. Questions should be clearly interpretable. Example responses can be included as needed.
  • Provide a time estimate and progress bar: Provide participants with an accurate range of time for survey completion, so they can judge feasibility. A progress bar is recommended so users can track their own progress through the survey, reducing early exits close to completion.


Leverage Sampling Techniques to Ensure You Survey the Right Audience

Sampling techniques are a fundamental aspect of research and should not be ignored during survey design. Understanding and leveraging these techniques are critical to ensuring credibility. Poor sample technique can lead to sending surveys to individuals where not applicable, resulting in survey fatigue and diluted quality of responses—reducing the validity of data. Here’s a good place to start:

  • Utilize smaller, representative samples: By selecting a representative subset of the target population, researchers can obtain insights that accurately reflect the broader audience’s preferences and behaviors, without overwhelming every individual with surveys.
  • Choose the right sampling technique: To make sure your sample is representative of the population; sampling techniques can be used. Understanding the principles behind random sampling, stratified sampling, and other methods can empower researchers to make informed decisions about the most appropriate approach for their research objectives. Click here for a quick visual guide.
  • Send to right sample size: To determine how many people to contact for valid insights, you will need to calculate sample size. With an average 20% survey response rate, make sure to send out to enough participants to reach your sample size goal.


Coordinate Research Efforts

Research efforts can become fragmented and uncoordinated in larger organizations with many departments. This lack of coordination can lead to a frustrating scenario—repetitive questions across each department . This redundancy not only confuses participants but undermines the organization’s reputation and professionalism. To address this challenge, organizations should:

  • Establish clear lines of communication: Organizations need to communicate and coordinate among different departments conducting research. By collaborating and sharing insights, redundant surveys can be avoided, ensuring a more streamlined and effective research process.
  • Leverage Prior Work: Organizations should review prior research conducted within their own ecosystem. By analyzing existing data, they can identify gaps in knowledge and strategically design surveys to fill those gaps. This approach not only minimizes redundancy but also ensures that each survey serves a purpose in advancing the organization’s understanding.

Effective Solutions for Meaningful Insights

Want to learn more about how we shape transformation through data and powerful insights? Visit our Advisory, Strategy & Research page for additional research strategies that yield real, sustainable results.