Not many companies spend the necessary time to designing surveys that look good. Design is often overlooked, which is a shame because it’s an essential part of getting the best survey results.

As a society, we’ve become more design conscious and even use design as a way to tell which companies deserve our business.

According to a 2018 Adobe and Econsultancy study, organizations that describe themselves as design-driven, outperform their peers by a considerable margin, and 73% of the respondents in the study say they use design to differentiate their brand.

Good survey design does so much more than look pretty, it shows professionalism and that a brand cares about providing a good customer experience at every interaction.

The consequence of bad design goes beyond just hurting your brand image though, in a survey, it also hurts the quality of your data because it’s less intuitive. If your respondents have a difficult time answering your questions because of how poorly designed your survey is, they just won’t bother.

With that said, here’s how you can step up your game on designing surveys, boost response rates and as a result the quality of your data.

1. Use plain background colors

When choosing the background image for your survey, you might be tempted to use very vibrant photographs but there’s a good reason for why you shouldn’t.

Remember that the survey is there to capture people’s responses to a question. Vibrant background images might distract them from that and make the questions themselves less visible.

When selecting the background for your survey it’s important to think of the content you’re asking the user to fill out. If the survey background is busy, it’s likely the user will have a hard time reading the question.

Here’s an example of two varying background patterns. Notice how easier it is to concentrate on the elements placed in the space marked as simple area.

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Plain colors are a great way to improve survey design. They might come across as boring but they don’t distract users from the goal.

2. Use simple images

If you do choose to use images rather than plain colors for your survey background then only use images where the backfield of the photo isn’t distracting.

Don’t use anything that pulls people away from your survey, or that needs to be heavily edited before it can be used.

Here’s an example of a survey that uses an image for the background yet doesn’t distract users from the survey.

designing surveys

Notice this image is simple and has plenty of negative space. This allows the content in the center to shine.

One more thing to keep in mind about images in your survey is that since large image sizes take longer to load, you might need to first compress your images so respondent’s don’t exit your survey due to slow load time.

If you’re using GetFeedback to create your surveys, you’ll automatically get compressed versions of the image you upload and you can then choose any version you like to ensure that the load time is the shortest possible for your respondents.

3. Maintain brand style

Just because you’re using a simpler background image doesn’t mean you have to ignore branding entirely.

You don’t want your survey to be so out of touch with your brand that people forget that they’re taking your company’s survey.

Here are a few ways to keep your surveys clear yet consistent with your brand:

  • Color: One of the easiest ways to keep the survey consistent with your brand is to use your brand’s color in the survey. You can use it as the background color of the survey and if that’s too distracting you can apply it to the survey buttons instead.
  • Include your logo: In addition to using your brand’s color, you can also add your logo to the introduction and closing remarks of your survey.
  • Use your brand’s font: Another way to ensure that your brand is infused with your survey is to use your brand’s font. You can use the WhatFont Chrome extension to find the name of your company’s font and search to see if you can use it in your survey. If not, keep it simple, stick with Arial, Heebo, Open Sans, or Helvetica.

Here’s this example from Fitbit that serves as the perfect example of incorporating brand with survey design

Notice how Fitbit uses their logo at the start of the survey, this survey also uses its color scheme and even shows a runner in the background.

4. Make it mobile responsive

In 2018, 58% of internet traffic in the U.S came from a mobile device. It’s not enough for your surveys to look good on the wide spaces that desktops provide, but they also have to display well on mobile.

If you use GetFeedback, in the survey editor you can preview your survey on desktop, mobile, and tablet by clicking the icons on the top right corner.

designing surveys

Summary: designing surveys

People are already more design conscious than ever before. You should only expect this trend to continue as businesses keep using good design to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

To design a great survey, you have to keep the goal in mind, which is to get the most accurate response from your respondent.

Your survey design has to aid the accomplishment of this goal. Which means using backgrounds that don’t take the respondents attention away from the survey, keeping surveys consistent with your brand and ensuring it looks great no matter the device your respondent is on.