Don’t Believe This Best Practice from Google Surveys
We use Google Surveys for quick, cheap incidence tests, or to test question wording or answer scales. Every time I use it, however, I am startled by how foolish Google Surveys can be. Here is an example we noticed from our most recent use of the tool.
Start constructing your Google Survey. Add a “single answer” question. Type in your question, and then your answer options. At the bottom, you will notice advice from Google Surveys: “Randomization produces best quality results.”
If you constructed a question similar to the one we were constructing, with answers that represent a scale from negative to positive, this “best practice” is terrible. Take a look at what a respondent is likely to see:
Google Surveys suggests it is best for you to scramble the answer options so there is no logical order to something as simple as a Likert scale. In our case, the obvious best practice is to not randomize. And, by the way, another best practice (less obvious) is to lay out the scale from negative (on top) to positive (on the bottom).
When it comes to best practices, here is a best practice for using Google Surveys: Do not follow their advice without first consulting Versta Research, or a colleague who knows what she is doing!