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Who says online surveys have to be blasé and bland? With the right online survey software tools, you can customize every square inch of your survey to keep respondents engaged to the very last check box.

Design elements can make your surveys attractive, enticing and can also help improve how well respondents understand your questions and answers. So what survey design best practices can you use to add splash and improve response?

Color it beautiful.

A little color can go a long way to ensuring that your surveys appeal to your target audience. Add color where it counts! Use it to highlight important words and calls to actions. Use contrasting color on buttons to make them stand out on the page. Pull colors from your logo for a branded look. And, consider the psychological impact of color. Try using subtle, calming colors for serious surveys, use red to add excitement and purple for a creative flair.

Dress it up.

Borders can be beautiful and they can also make your survey more readable. Choose ornate borders to make your survey jump off the page. Or, colorize your borders around text boxes to draw the eye into a specific area on the page. It’s an easy way to organize information add life and energy to your survey page after page.

Picture the possibilities.

Add images in fun and unexpected ways to guide your respondents through your survey. Images can be used in a variety of ways; they can be used as prompts in questions or as cues in answers. They can be used to entertain and inform. Illustrations can help lighten a difficult topic. And imagery can improve the understanding of your survey question or answers. Either way, be sure to include a text equivalent for every image as required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Mobilize it.

Since many of your respondents may choose to take your survey on a mobile device, be sure your survey design is mobile friendly. Choose an online survey tool that can detect and auto-scale surveys for mobile devices and browsers. Limit the use of video and large images that can eat away at data plans. Because mobile users are pressed for time, avoid the need for scrolling by including only one or two survey items per page — and limit the use of progress bars and background images that can slow page loads. And, keep your mobile survey readable by using basic fonts and simple design elements that make the best use of small viewing areas on smartphones and tablets. For more mobile survey tips, check out the Checkbox Mobile Survey Best Practices.

Checkbox Survey gives users’ full control over the look and feel of their online survey designs with jQuery Mobile technology and built-in mobile themes that auto-scale for mobile views. Try it for FREE to see how fun designing your surveys can be with our style and branding options and built-in style managers.

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