Survey design in research is something that has generally evolved rather than proactively developed with questions phrased in the language of research and designed solely to answer the researcher’s query. What we tend to forget is whether anyone actually wants to read that question, let alone whether it’s engaging enough to make someone want to answer it.
The role of qualitative research has traditionally been to create and foster the discussion about your consumers’ needs and desires. Quantitative research has been viewed as a tool for testing the statistical relevance of these ideas.
Generally speaking, quantitative research tends to consists of nationally representative samples of respondents evaluating a concept in a survey of closed metrics; however, it doesn’t have to be this way. At its core, the online research platform is simply a means of mass communication -- that communication is not limited to a box ticking exercise.
In any context there are many questions with factual answers which are difficult to answer: “have you considered an affair?,” “how many vegetables do you eat?,” “how often do you go to the gym?” and “have you lied to your boss?” to name just a few.
When it comes to a question like “how much do you drink” it can be hard enough to be honest with ourselves let alone a researcher! Fortunately the anonymity and context of online research puts it in a unique position to secure honest answers to sensitive questions; however, this is no easy feat. When we ask a question there are many hurdles we must overcome to reach an honest answer.