Questionnaire Design

Types Of Questions


Market research is an important part of the marketing process. Questionnaires and surveys are often used to find out about people and businesses. When designing a questionnaire there are of different types of questions you could use. The question and question type should provide responses that are easy to analyse and provide the amount of detail needed. The most appropriate question type will depend on the objectives of the research and the people (respondents) that will be interviewed.

The diagram below shows the different types of questions that can be used to gather information through a questionnaire.

Types of Questions Diagram

Closed Question

The aim of a closed question is to get one of two responses; usually Yes or No. The researcher will ask the respondent to pick one of two answers.

Example: Do you cycle? Yes or No Do you own your own property? Yes or No

A closed question is useful when the answer from the respondent does not need to be detailed. It is useful when researchers are gathering information about numbers, volumes or how many of something or someone. In other words answers to a closed question will usually provide quantitative data.

Open Question

The aim of this question is to find out the respondents views and opinions on a certain topic. Open questions usually provide qualitative data. An open question allows the respondent to answer the question how they like and with as much detail as they want.

Example: What are your views on the new cycle highways in London UK? What are you views on Learnmarketing's website?

Prioritising Question

A Prioritising question aims to get the respondent to rank the order of their answers. The data is then analysed and presented in the form of percentages. The objective is to obtain quantitative data.

Example: Place the following laptop features in the order of importance where 1 is the most important and 9 is the least.

Scaled Question

A scaled question falls between an open and closed question. Respondents are again asked to pick an answer, but they are given a scale to use in their responses to guide them.

Example:How did you find today's training programme? Please ring the appropriate answer.


Questionnaires are a good way to gather Primary Research but they have to be used carefully. Questions should be clear and easy for the respondent to understand. This means that the person writing the questions should take the target respondents' ability, background and understanding into account. They should also double check each question to ensure that the answers will provide the information needed. The following Article provides more information about Primary Research including the advantages and disadvantages of using questionnaires in telephone and face to face interviews.


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