5 tips for designing a product feedback survey

Ryan GallantJune 17, 2016

Person completing a survey

A product feedback survey can be a powerful tool for gathering insights into how users interact with your product and how it can be improved. The key is to design a survey that’s easy and attractive for respondents to complete while providing your team with useful data. Here are five tips for striking the right balance in creating a survey that’s worth your time and effort to implement.

1. Know What You Would Like to Know

To design an effective product feedback survey, you need to start with an understanding of which issues you’re seeking to better understand and what information you’re trying to collect. Be specific—this is not the time to cast a wide net. If you want to know specifically what users like and dislike about your product’s notification system or support channels, build your questions around these topics.

2. Ask the Right Questions

When designing questions, think ahead to how you would interpret the results. You could ask respondents to rate their satisfaction with a certain product feature, but how useful is it to know that 72% are “satisfied”? On the other hand, a question asking respondents to select their top three picks from a list of potential new product features might give you valuable insight into where their priorities lie.

For questions about something that respondents may not have been exposed to, remember to include a “not applicable” option. Otherwise you’ll be forcing them to give feedback on something they don’t know about. In addition, be sure to include a few questions that will allow you to filter or group responses based on user characteristics. What these are—for example, user age, geographic location or operating system—will depend on what characteristics are relevant for your product.

3. Write For Your Audience, Not For Your team

When you live and breathe your product and industry, it’s easy to get caught up in jargon and technical intricacies. But you need to remember that your users likely don’t speak and think the same way as your team (unless you have a niche product specifically targeting industry experts). To avoid confusing respondents, questions need to be written in simple language that’s free of industry terminology and concepts.

4. Keep it Short

You may be tempted to cram as many questions as possible into your survey, but this can do more harm than good. Limited attention spans and survey fatigue are real challenges when it comes to collecting useful data via a survey. You can minimize the likelihood of users skipping your survey or quitting partway through by keeping it concise.

Including a “this survey will take about five minutes to complete” statement at the start of the survey can help reassure respondents that it will be a relatively quick and painless process—just make sure that the time estimate is realistic. Another useful tool is a visual progress tracker that allows respondents to see how much further they have to go.

5. Make Participation Attractive

You can design a killer survey, but if no one completes it then you’re simply wasting your time. Entering respondents who complete the survey into a draw for a prize is a common practice, but it may not be an effective approach if potential respondents perceive that their chances of winning are too slim.

Offering a concrete reward such as a digital gift card to everyone who completes the survey can be a stronger incentive—the rapid delivery of the reward to the respondent’s inbox provides instant gratification. Giftbit’s automated delivery of digital rewards makes this process easy, transparent and cost effective, helping you get the results you need from your survey.

Using the tips above will help your organization design an effective product feedback survey. However, just as you can’t expect to come up with the perfect version of your product on the first try, you should also not expect the first draft of your survey to be flawless. Before rolling out the survey on a large scale, test it out with a small group of respondents to identify any issues in terms of logic, question flow or clarity. These test users should be people who reflect your survey audience, not members of your team. It may take a bit more effort to review and tweak, but the result will be a better survey, which in turn will help you create a better product.

Not sure which gift card is best for your participants? Check out our guide on how to choose the most effective reward.

Feature Photo: PureSolution / Shutterstock.com