7 Most Common Online Survey Question Types

In this article we will cover the 7 most commonly used online survey question types. Generally speaking, all online survey question types consist of two parts - a question text and then the question body that is specific for individual question types. Below is a list of the most often used online survey question types.

Multiple Choice

Multiple choice question type serves the purpose of selection of one or more options from a predefined option list.

The question body lists the close ended options. This list can be optionally expanded by an open-ended “other option” input field where respondents can enter textual input that is not available in the list.

The options can be displayed as buttons in one to four column(s), horizontally distributed buttons or dropdown menu.

In terms of validation, it is possible to select how many options the respondent can select by specifying an exact number of options to be selected or by specifying minimum or maximum count.

Text Box

Text box is a survey question type that enables the respondent to enter a textual response usually of a brief character.

The question body contains an input field suggesting the respondents that the input should be concise.

This response can be optionally validated to allow just a whole number, decimal number, email address or web address. Maximum length of 10, 20, 40, 60, 80 or 100 can be set as another independent validation criteria.

Essay Box

Essay box provides the opportunity for a respondent to enter open ended text. This text is usually of longer character than when using the text box.

The question body contains an input element suitable for writing and reviewing longer textual input.

Regarding the validation it is possible to limit the length of the essay box to 100, 200, 500, 1000 or 1500 characters.

Date and/or Time

This survey question type is for obtaining date, time or date and time from the online survey respondent.

The question body contains a single input field hinting the required information and it’s format. The value can be selected from an interactive date/time picker component.

Date validation formats MM/DD/YYYY or DD/MM/YYYY can be used. For time 12-hour clock (AM/PM) or 24-hour clock validation formats can be utilized.

Address

This question type can be used to acquire respondent’s first name, last name and address (street, city/town, state/province, ZIP code and country).

The question body contains input fields for individual values and provides a country list localized to the selected survey’s language.

Matrix of Choices

Matrix of choices is a survey question type that is typically used for customer satisfaction rating of various aspects of goods or services.

Matrix question consists of rows and columns. Rows are usually used for the properties (i.e delivery speed, product quality etc.) to be rated and columns are for the qualitative rating (i.e. very negative, negative, neutral, positive, very positive). It is possible to format the rows as horizontally distributed radio/checkbox buttons or as dropdown menus.

It is possible to select how many options the respondent can select per row by specifying the exact number of options to be selected or by specifying minimum or maximum count.

Rating Scale

Rating scale has the same visual representation as the matrix question type. The difference between these two question types is that for this survey question type weights have to be specified for individual columns. This setting influences the resulting response table and graph output.

Survey Informative Elements

This list would not be complete without mentioning the informative elements that are used to provide additional information or context.

Informative Text

As the title says the informative text is for providing standalone textual information anywhere on a survey page. This text can be used to provide the purpose or context of the survey. Alternatively, it can be used to provide supplementary information for survey pages or questions.

The informative text element content can be horizontally aligned (left, center or right).

Informative Image

An informative image's purpose is to provide additional visual information anywhere on a survey page. They are typically used to increase the respondent’s engagement during the survey response process or to provide additional information relevant to the questions.

The informative images can be horizontally aligned (left, center or right).

We hope that this summary helped you to acquire an understanding about the most common question types in online surveys.

As a next step we recommend reading through our short tutorial on how to create a survey and then to sign up with us.

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