The Do’s and Don’ts of Survey Aesthetics For Maximum Response Rates

Do not underestimate the power of the first impression. The way your survey looks is the first thing that your recipients will see…and make judgment on!

The aesthetics of your survey could mean the difference between someone taking the time to answer your questions, or ignoring it completely.

Take a look at some of the “do’s and don’ts” of designing a survey below so you can prevent a bad first impression from your respondents…


do include a cover letter, title, introduction, questions (of course!) and a conclusion in your survey. Putting your most interesting questions first will grab the respondent’s attention. Ask for contact details at the very end of your questions.

dont make the survey too long – keep it short and sweet. If your survey is too long, it will discourage recipients from completing it. Try splitting your survey into sections if you have a few questions to ask to break it up

do use variety of question types whilst also ensuring that your page and question layout are consistent (for example, if your first question is left aligned, keep all questions throughout the survey left aligned also)

dont squash all your questions together to make the survey look shorter. This will have the same effect as having a long survey as crammed text will put off a lot of potential respondents. Make use of white spaces and only put one question on each line.


do use colors consistently – use the same color palette as used on your website or school crest. This will create familiarity and trust for the recipient of your survey.

dont underestimate the moods that your color choices represent. For example, blue can be perceived as trustworthy, green connotes health/freshness and orange can evoke fun and vitality.

do consider the topic of your survey when it comes to your color choices. If you are asking about a local football team then use the teams kit colors in your survey. Asking a questions about Christmas? Think about using typical Christmas color schemes.

dont use too many different colors. Rainbows are very pretty in the sky, but in a survey it is a recipe for distraction. Keep colors simple and relevant to your survey. Color should be used to enhance your survey’s appearance, not become the main focus of it.


do use bold and italics to highlight keywords (you can also try using colored text). But remember not to use bold or italics too frequently or it will no longer highlight words as effectively.

dont use too many different font types. Ideally you want to stick to one font type. The only time that using a different font type tends to work is if you use a different font for your survey title. Even then, use multiple font styles in one survey with caution.

do use easy-to-read font styles. Stick to clear fonts that are easily readable. Similarly, don’t make your text too small. You don’t want to divert the respondent’s attention with your font choice.


do add your logo – this will immediately resonate with customers and also make your survey look legitimate, official and familiar.

dont overdo it on the pictures. A few images can enhance your survey, but bear in mind that the more images used, the slower the survey download time will be.

Keep your audience in mind when you design your survey. Make sure that you match their tastes and style when considering the aesthetic of your survey. Ensure that look of your survey is attractive to your recipients and it will be love and first sight of your survey.

One Response to “The Do’s and Don’ts of Survey Aesthetics For Maximum Response Rates”

  1. […] beauty of online surveys is that they are very clear to read (as long as you follow the Obsurvey Do’s and Don’ts of Survey Aesthetics). With computers you are able to zoom into surveys if the font is too small for you to read and […]