When to use which survey question type?

Have more questions? Submit a request

In community engagement projects surveys are one of the most popular tools for gathering data and insights from a target audience.

District Engage offers a variety of simple and intuitive survey building tools to help you create a range of surveys, each with a specific purpose and for gathering different types of data. In this article we will explore the different types of questions for building your survey, and when they should be used.

Multiple choice questions

This is one of the most commonly used types of survey questions, and it’s very effective for gathering quantitative data and measuring attitudes and behaviours. Multiple choice questions allow respondents to choose from a set of predefined options, so it’s important to make sure that the options are clear, unambiguous and mutually exclusive.

Tool to use:

  • Checkbox: Users can select one or more of the predefined options.


  • Drop-down: Users can choose from a list of scrollable predefined options, and can select one or more


  • Radios: Users are able to select one of the predefined options.



Rating scale questions

Rating scale questions ask respondents to rate a statement or an item on a scale. These questions are useful for measuring opinions, attitudes and behaviours, and can provide more detailed data than a multiple choice question. Similarly, a Ranking tool asks respondents to order a list of options by preference.

These tools are especially useful for measuring sentiment such as customer satisfaction.

Tool to use:

  • Rating tool: choose from stars, thumbs or heart emojis



  • Number slider: select a number within a range



Ranking: drag and drop the options in order of preference


Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are used when you want respondents to answer in their own words, and are useful for gathering qualitative data. They provide valuable insights into customer behaviour or attitudes, and can be used to gather feedback or suggestions for improvement. Open-ended questions can be more difficult to analyse than the quantitative data from multiple choice questions.

Find out more about analysing qualitative data with District Engage here.

Tool to use:

  • Text short: Suitable for short responses

text short.jpeg


  • Text long: Longer responses

text long.jpeg

  • Comment text: Long responses with WYSIWYG format


Demographic questions

These questions ask respondents about personal characteristics such as age and gender, and are useful to segment data and identify patterns among different groups. They can also confirm if your survey data is representative of demographics.

Tool to use:Radio: for single response questions such as Male/Female/Other

  • Number input: for postcodes, age

number input.jpeg


Likert scale questions

Likert scale questions ask respondents to indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with a statement. They are similar to a rating scale question, but are used to measure attitudes or beliefs, and range from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”.

Tool to use:

  • Likert scale



Matrix questions

A matrix question asks respondents to rate a series of items on a scale, and can be used for measuring multiple variables at the same time, such as customer satisfaction with different aspects of a product or service.

Tools to use:

  • Ranking tool

  • Likert tool

A well-designed survey is an important source of information and data about your community, and with the right question tool, can give you valuable insights that will help to drive your project forward.

If you want more information about building surveys with District Engage, contact us for a demonstration.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful