To get a message across clearly and efficiently takes time and effort — especially if it’s delivered in text. Icons are some of the best tools to overcome many language and cultural communication barriers. We use icons to communicate ideas, explain complex processes, convey emotions and stand up for our beliefs. That’s why Typeform, makers of beautiful forms and surveys, has been using Noun Project’s API in its form builder since 2014.
When designing a survey, there are several important factors to consider, such as how you ask a question, who you’re asking, and how your question is delivered. One of Typeform’s key features is that it allows users to make a survey more conversational and quickly adapt your questions based on the answers you’re receiving. They realized that in many cases, questions asked with images work better than those with text, creating simple, effective and more engaging ways to communicate. Having Noun Project’s diverse and extensive icon library available inside Typeform unleashes the possibilities for more clear and concise communication.
We asked the folks at Typeform to share a few tips for designing great surveys, and how to build your own:
1. Focus on what you want to know
What do you want to find out? Keep this in mind while you’re creating your survey and come back to it repeatedly.
With any project, it’s important to have clear, smart goals. If you don’t know the purpose of your survey, then you’ll likely trip up when designing the right questions. If you’re going to ask a question, and it’s not going to help you accomplish your goal, then change it up or take it out.
2. Be brief or be gone
Humans process images faster than text. In fact, research indicates that we process images up to 60,000 times faster than text, and we’re more likely to remember images than words. If you can use an icon to represent your responses, do. It will significantly reduce your customer’s cognitive load — and it’s an opportunity to have a bit of fun!
3. Be specific
A simple question can be interpreted in many ways. A question like “What’s the best vegetable?” isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. What are your criteria for “best” in this case? Is it the tastiest vegetable? The easiest to cook with? The most colorful? The most nutritious?
When it comes to surveys, specificity is king. Otherwise, you’ll leave people confused, bored and likely to click “x” — and for those who do answer, your data will likely suffer. If you’re interested in all of those four elements of what makes a great vegetable, then ask four separate questions, or pick one and stick with it.