Home Resources Ebook Best practices survey slider design

Best practices survey slider design

When should sliders be utilized?

Sliders are effective when there is a need to make a fine distinction between items. In a five-point agreement scale, a slider could allow distinction between “agree slightly” and “agree strongly”— allowing rank order information for items that would be equally rated in a less granular scale. A slider is also an excellent way to represent a scale with a large range of values. For example, rather than entering numbers in a text box, a slider offers a more user-friendly format for a respondent to specify price ranges.

Sliders are one of the more common emerging question types used in online and mobile surveys. They provide a graphical, interactive alternative to traditional rating scale questions. Used correctly, sliders offer a way to enhance the respondent survey experience and improve data quality.

Consider your starting values

Showing an initial value or position on a slider can confuse respondents as it appears that an answer has already been given. If the initial state indicates a ‘0’ on the scale, there may not be a way to distinguish that from a non-answer (where the respondent chooses to ignore the question and leave the slider as is.) In this example, the initial state of the slider shows a highlighted arrow, indicating some action to be taken with it. No starting value is given in the initial state.

Think about ergonomics

Certain demographic groups may not have the fine motor skills to make subtle slider adjustments. For mobile users, the size of the slider may have to be enlarged to make it accurate to touch. Consider alternative inputs for slider movement, such as arrow keys. Keep in mind that sliders may take longer to use, given the finer precision required to drag the slider than select a radio button.

Think about Avoid the use of imagery to indicate points on the scale

Certain demographic groups may not have the fine motor skills to make subtle slider adjustments. For mobile users, the size of the slider may have to be enlarged to make it accurate to touch. Consider alternative inputs for slider movement, such as arrow keys. Keep in mind that sliders may take longer to use, given the finer precision required to drag the slider than select a radio button.

Formatting tips

Make sure the slider fits within a single screen. This is especially important for vertical sliders as there’s less vertical than horizontal screen space.

Be consistent

Sliders will yield different data distributions than a traditional radio button format. Changing the slider layout also impacts the data. Whether you use a short or a long slider, label all scale points or not, be consistent. This will allow for relative interpretation of data within and across studies.

More customer stories

Ebook

Why qualitative wins: The future of human experience insights

Why qualitative wins: The future of human experience insights Why qualitative wins: The future of human experience insights The growth trifecta: why qualitative research is growing so fast Tell me more. And more. And more. We want the full story. The colors, the shapes, the sounds, and the feelings. It’s no longer enough to sift […]

Read more
Why qualitative wins: The future of human experience insights
Ebook

Employee experience and insight in challenging times

Employee experience and insight in challenging times How do we support team members? Top challenge: Employee relationships are complex All experiences – both good and bad – are magnified during a period of crisis and uncertainty. It is impossible to over communicate with team members during such times, provided communications are meaningful, valuable and empathetic, […]

Read more
Employee experience and insight in challenging times
Ebook

10 Steps to Conduct an Online Focus Group

10 steps to conduct an online focus group What is an online focus group? An online focus group, also known as a virtual focus group, is an online panel with multiple participants and a moderator, aimed at discovering rich insights that can’t be found with static surveys. The group, along with the moderator, might share […]

Read more
10 Steps to Conduct an Online Focus Group

Learn more about our industry leading platform

FORSTA NEWSLETTER

Get industry insights that matter,
delivered direct to your inbox

We collect this information to send you free content, offers, and product updates. Visit our recently updated privacy policy for details on how we protect and manage your submitted data.