Questionnaire or form design is an important step in formulating a research design. Once the researcher has specified the nature of the research design and determined the scaling procedures a questionnaire or an observational form can be developed, This chapter discusses the importance of questionnaires and observational forms. Next, we describe the objectives of a questionnaire and the steps involved in designing questionnaires, We provide several guidelines for developing sound questionnaires, We also consider the design of observation forms, The considerations involved’ in designing questionnaires when conducting international marketing research are discussed, Several ethical issues that arise in questionnaire design are identified.
Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau conducts a survey to determine how . many people are in the country, as well as the various demographics of these individuals. This survey is done using questionnaires, Because the forms have been long and hard to understand in the past, there has been a decline in mail responses for the census. As a result, the questionnaires were redesigned for the 2000 census The goal was to make them more user friendly and shorter in hopes of increasing the response rates.
The questionnaire was considerably shortened. Whereas the 1990 short form contained 12 subjects, the 2000 short form had only 7 subjects (name. sex. age. relationship. Hispanic origin. and race for each household member. as well as whether the home was owned or rented). Likewise. the long form for 2000 had 34 subjects instead of 38 for 1990.
Once the content of the questionnaire was determined, it was time to work on the structure and actual wording of the statements. The hard part of the process was making the questions short enough to keep respondents interested. but long enough to obtain the necessary data. Each question had to be clearly defined using unambiguous words. A review was conducted of the 1990 census questions to determine which ones needed to be revised, After determining the content. structure. wording. and sequence of questions, the Bureau looked to a New York design firm. Two Twelve Associates to improve form and layout and develop visual imagery for the questionnaire, including a logo and slogan.
The revised questionnaire was thoroughly pretested. The most extensive pretest was the 1996 National Content Survey (formally known as the U.S. Census 2000 Test). which was designed to test new and revised question wording, formatting, and sequencing, During actual data collection. a card was first mailed before the questionnaire was sent and respondents were given the option to request the questionnaire in English. Spanish. Chinese, Korean. Vietnamese. or Tagalog. Then the questionnaire package was sent in an official envelope with the Census logo on the front, A note on the envelopes reminded the recipients that their response was required by law.
As a result of the user-friendly format of the 2000 questionnaires, mail response rates were about 10 percent higher than in 1990, The consensus was that the 2000 questionnaires were much improved over those used a decade earlier, The Bureau has continued to redesign the Census questionnaire, The American Community Survey is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities a fresh look at now they are changing, It will replace the decennial long form in future censuses and is a critical element in the Census Bureau’s reengineered 2010 census.
Online marketers and Web site designers are increasingly concerned with what design features and experiences make visitors return to a site. An equally important concern is knowing what features and experiences are undesirable so that they can avoid including them in their site Survey Site an online marketing research company, conducted an extensive study to address these questions.
It recruited 87 American and Canadian Web sites to participate in the study, Each site was equipped with a feedback icon so visitors could participate in a standardized survey that asked evaluative questions about the visit. The questionnaire consisted of 12 questions that fell into two broad areas: design/technical evaluation and emotional experience during the site visit, The design/technical questions were kept simple so that even respondents who were not technically savvy could answer them These questions were asked first. in part A and followed a logical order Then in part B. questions related to emotional experience were asked. All the questions were asked using 7-point rating scales except one. which was open ended. That question asked respondents what factors were most important in their decisions to return or not return to the site. The final part. part C obtained Web usage and demographic information The questionnaire had been extensively pretested before it was used in the study.
The results of the survey found that content was the most important factor in determining whether or not a site would receive repeat visitors Correspondingly “frivolous content” was the most cited reason for not returning to a site The second most important factor in determining the repeat visit rate was whether or not the respondent found the visit enjoyable Enjoyment may mean that visitors found the information they were looking for Next. quality of the organization of the site and its degree of uniqueness also influence repeat visit rates. Based on the results of this survey. marketers and site designers should consider content. layout. and uniqueness when developing Web sites Doing so will help improve the number of repeat visitors to their site.
Questionnaires and Observation Forms
Survey and observation are the two basic methods for obtaining quantitative primary data in descriptive research, Both of these methods require some procedure for standardizing the data-collection process so that the data obtained are internally consistent and can be analyzed in a uniform and coherent manner, If 40 different interviewers conduct personal interviews or make observations in different parts of the country, the data they collect will not be comparable unless they follow specific guidelines and ask questions and record answers in a standard way, A standardized questionnaire or form will ensure comparability of the data, increase speed and accuracy of recording, and facilitate data processing.