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Designing bespoke questions

Bespoke questions allow you to make the most of our surveys and this guide is designed to help you create the best question to fit your needs.

Take these three steps to design your questions:

  1. Decide what to ask about
  2. Choose a question type
  3. Polish your question


1. Decide what to ask about

Start working on your bespoke question by thinking about what is important for your organisation at the moment, identifying key areas to gather more information. A bespoke question might help you to:

  • Find out if the public knows or understands what your charity does
  • Test which other charities are associated with the same type of work as yours
  • See which words come to mind when people think about your charity
  • Test attitudes about a particular cause such as health condition or social issue
  • Understand the public’s reactions to specific campaign materials
  • Test the effectiveness of your campaign or specific messages
  • Find out more about the public’s perception of your logo
  • Understand the public’s attitudes towards the issues important to your organisation
  • Reveal where people go for information on your cause 


2. Choose a question type

There is a great deal of flexibility around how you create your bespoke questions. After you have identified your area of interest, select a type of question to suit your needs:

  • Simple Yes/No question

The image above is from a recent campaign by charity X. Have you seen it?

  • Statements with agreement scales (e.g. 'strongly disagree' to 'strongly agree')

To what extent do you agree with the following statements about charity X?

Statement 1

Statement 2

  • Selection from a list

Which of the following do you think are symptoms of condition X? Select as many as apply.

  • Multiple choice

What percentage of children in Britain do you think are currently living in poverty?

A) 0-10% B) 11-20% C) 21-30% D) 31% and more

3. Polish your questions

The quality of our survey is important to us. We do our best to make sure our respondents do not rush through questions and fully understand what they are being asked about. To polish your questions watch out for the following:

  • Jargon: Use everyday language that will be widely understood
  • Multiple concepts: Make sure your questions/statements only ask about one thing at a time
  • Length: Questions that are too long may cause respondents to drop out. Use no more than 8 statements in an agreement scale question
  • Forcing opinions: Keep "Do not know" or "Not sure" options available. Agreement scales are  useful to gain a nuanced understanding of respondents’ opinions.
  • 'Leading' questions: Consider if your question suggests that one response is inherently better than another


If you have any questions about creating a bespoke question, our researchers are here to guide you. Every wave of our research starts with a consultation on the questions with your account manager. Use this time to tell us what you need from the research.

Give us your ideas and we will do our best to advise you on the format and wording of your question to ensure your research results are of the highest quality and relevance for you.