Online Technology for Research & Insight

Research Blog 10 January 2018

Gamification Techniques to consider for your next survey

Are your survey questions getting a little bit boring or repetitive? Do you find it hard to engage respondents and get a high response rate? It may be time to consider some gamification techniques to add the fun-factor into your survey. Studies into surveys using gamification techniques have shown that you get more thoughtful and diverse feedback from these, as your respondents are more engaged and interested.

There are many ways to introduce game-playing into surveys, and five simple ways are listed below. They engage the respondent in ways that can get far more honest views and opinions out of them without them having felt they've been interrogated.

5 Common Types of Game Questions

  1. Personal Scenario: This involves placing the respondent in a scenario they can relate to and bringing a situation to life. For example, the question "What are your 3 favourite types of fruit?" would become: "Imagine you were at the supermarket and only had enough money to buy 3 types of fruit. Which would you choose?" The scenario can be as simple or complex as you like but try to avoid making it too wordy to maintain high engagement levels.
  2. Projective Scenario: This is similar to the Personal Scenario, but places the respondent into someone else's shoes. For example, for a new product evaluation, instead of "What do you like about the new mint flavoured Maltesers?" you could ask: "Imagine you are the brand manager for the newly launched mint flavoured Maltesers. How would you sell this product to consumers?" But be aware of your target audience so that the projection is something they can understand. The example we give here depends upon the respondents having some appreciation of marketing and brand concepts.
  3. Guessing Game: This plays on the competitive nature of respondents and essentially turns your survey into a quiz. Examples would include "Can you guess which brand this ad is for?" or "Guess which of these watches is the most expensive".

    watch quiz

  4. Word Limit: "In no more than 7 words, tell us what you think about the latest Star Wars film". Placing a word limit on the answer makes people think about their answer more, focus their thoughts, and rise to the challenge you've set them. It also prevents them from waffling!
  5. Just for Fun: This can be used at any time, but is particularly useful at the end of a hard-going section of questions in order to re-engage respondents and take them by surprise. For example, at the start of a section on personal finances, you could ask: "You have won dinner for two at an expensive restaurant. Which celebrity would you invite to join you and why?" Even if you are not that interested in the response, the question will have made the respondent smile and re-engage them for the remaining questions. (By the way, the correct answer is Daniel Craig, because you'd then know your martini would be shaken not stirred.)

Use these techniques wisely and it will make respondents think more carefully about their answers. It will also stop them speeding through the survey and switching off. More engaged respondents will ultimately mean better quality data for you.