Design and Layout

The design of the questionnaire will determine whether the data collected will be valid and reliable. Although the researcher’s input is invaluable, ultimately the responsibility for approving the questionnaire lies with the manager. Therefore, s/he must be able to not only evaluate the questionnaire itself, but also the specific wording of questions.

There are three steps to questionnaire design:

  1. What information is needed to answer the research question(s): this requires a thorough understanding of the research objectives and data gathering method chosen as well as of the respondents’ reaction to the research and willingness to provide the information needed;
  2. How are the questions to be asked, that is to say the types of questions that will be used and the actual wording; and
  3. In which order will the questions be asked: this includes the visual layout and physical characteristics of the questionnaire (see layout and sequencing), and the pretesting of the instrument to ensure that all steps are properly carried out.