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Wondering how one would go about designing a long questionnaire with 700+ questions

The questions should have an input text field next to them or sometimes a Yes/No checkbox, and can be mandated/deleted.

Would you go about grouping them by certain criteria, or is it best to lay them out one by one?

Can anyone present some good examples I can relate to?

P.S. This is an example of what I'm building right now - not quite mad about it: (Example I'm building right now - not quite mad about it)

Thanks.

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    700 questions? SEVEN HUNDRED!? You're going to have to explain how that is justified. It's not your job to fix a bad idea in the first place. :) – DA01 May 5 '15 at 19:39
  • Hi Denis, welcome to GD.SE and thanks for your question. I completely agree with @DA01 here: some things are such monsters that they'll never be pretty no matter how much design you lob at them. If you have any questions about GD.SE, have a look at the help center. Feel free to ping one of us in Graphic Design Chat once your reputation reaches 20. Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent May 6 '15 at 8:54
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You need to split the questions up and you shouldn't have them on one single page. I would review the hierarchy in which the questions need to be answered and see if some of the questions can be placed in a trigger so if someone says YES to a question it will expand the other set.

Look into a multipage form to prevent annoyance by the person filling it out. If this is to be for a website and you're going to go the route with a multipage form I would also implement a completion bar so it will communicate back to the person filling it out they're almost finished.

On another note 700+ questions sounds terrible and it will be a site issue and you may need to look into cacheing what they are doing in case they may have a site connection issue, hosting issue or server issue. For that many questions I would look into designing a PDF and use a JavaScript trigger that will send the data back or create a simple website page that will allow the PDF to be uploaded and you could script on the server side a PDF validation.. All of which is beyond a design question and I would suggest referencing StackOverflow or serverfault for solutions.

Another perspective to look at the whole process is you need to have disclosed what is required and what is optional. I cant imagine what questionnaire would require 700+ questions. If they all aren't required I would minify the questions and allow a second option of the download if they really want to fill out 700+.


After image edit:

Everything looks like it is crammed together. 5 & 9 look like they could be the same question in Property Location / Contact. You need less columns and better implementation with more space. Too many things going so look into adjusting all the checkboxes. If someone was to start filling it out, based on the space you have there, there is no way to tell if the input field they are filling out is directed to the text above or below the field.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks a lot for your answer. I'm more interested in the arrangement of these questions, the front-end look sort of speak. I don't quite like the way I am building it (i.imgur.com/IwLpx0T.png) right now, so I was thinking if there's any guideline for building such long questionnaires. – Denis Borisov May 5 '15 at 17:15
  • err... I dont think it's a comment its an answer to your question comments in the answers area aren't allowed ;) – DᴀʀᴛʜVᴀᴅᴇʀ May 5 '15 at 17:16
  • Sorry, I meant to say an answer, of course. A great answer. I was gonna elaborate on my comment and hit enter to indent a line, but it posted it instead. – Denis Borisov May 5 '15 at 17:20
  • Thanks again. Do you think it's better to arrange questions 1 under another on the left and place checkboxes/text fields on the right, or group them like I did (but find a better way to do it)? – Denis Borisov May 5 '15 at 17:55
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The form appears to be non-public, so 700 values really isn't that unreasonable.

First things I see are improper use of inputs. #21/22/18/32 should be radio buttons, not checkboxes (cannot be multiple values).

And a number of checkboxes are far too short (4, 6, 19, 20 etc). Greatly increases the chance for input error. people will read the form for errors, they will NOT scroll through every overflowed box.

In no particular order:

  • Country should be a dropdown, and I hope you use ISO country codes internally. makes future translation much easier.

  • Drop the phone-fax city code fields, they are part of the phone number in most cases. Pre-populate the country code fields from the country list, allow users to change them when you get it wrong (note "when", not "if")

  • 31 should be a textarea, unless you want a really brief description. Like 5 words.

  • Line up the phone numbers.

  • Remove "Zip". "Postal code" is a global term, "Zip Code" is American. Every time I see "Zip code" I think "Great. Another US company who doesn't realize there is a world outside the lower 48"

  • Split location and contact into several sections. Name / Address / Phone / Internet. Reduces the visual fatigue you've got there now.

  • Include co-ordinates / google maps url (which you will parse for coordinates). Address search is NOT reliable. They know where they are, let them put the pointer on the front door. Best if you inline a map and say "drag the pointer to your location"

  • With this many fields you will not be able to verify the form all at once. Your server will have to save and recall partially completed forms, and I expect places will split up the entry work amongst several staff. Imagine the complains you will get when user B erases user A's part of the process. If you go for multi-page, make sure we can get to page 4 before page 2 is complete.

  • The backend is utf-8 compliant, yes? You can accept addresses like Müller-Berset-Straße and 明治神宮通り3丁目?

Yes, all this js and server processing is a lot of work. So is filling out a 700-field form.

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