5 Dynamic Question Types To Keep Respondents Engaged

When running quantitative research, market researchers and programmers must be realistic about their respondents' attention span. Survey fatigue and respondent attrition underscore the need for engaging and aesthetically pleasing survey questions, designed to make taking the survey more pleasant for respondents. Implementing dynamic tools into online surveys, where respondents see a more compelling graphical interface to interact with and are giving inputs not just limited to pointing and clicking, fosters greater interaction and attention between the survey and respondents. Dynamic questions may also serve as robust alternatives to typical single-select, grid, and ratings questions, which can be tedious and unstimulating. Here are five dynamic questions types to keep respondents engaged:

5 Dynamic Questions Types to Keep Respondents Engaged

Form Image Replacement

Form image replacement, or FIR, replaces default HTML single-select buttons and multi-select checkboxes with more visually appealing and colorful images. FIR can improve survey usability and allows a research team to implement a consistent theme throughout the survey. FIR can also reconcile the variety of HTML inputs across different browsers and operating systems. Replacing browser specific inputs with images offers consistent visual appearance regardless of device type or operating system.



In a slider question, users physically move, or slide, an interactive dot along a spectrum in order to indicate a value on a scale. A slider can be used to measure a numerical range or take the place of a traditional single-select scale. Sliders also bring the added benefit of allowing respondents to make unique distinctions through comparisons among related items.


Card Sort

For the average survey respondent, grid questions, where a list of attributes is rated on a scale, can be overwhelming. The card sort question offers a more efficient alternative to bulky grid questions. In a card sort, respondents gage a series of ‘cards’ by placing them into different buckets or categories. Animated texts or images slide across the screen, one at a time, and respondents can drag and drop them into the desired category or click the category to add the item to it. This allows the question to collect data on multiple attributes while mitigating fatigue and drop outs.


Image Heat Map

In an image heat map question, respondents indicate how they feel about an image or graphical concept by clicking on specific areas of it. Respondents are asked to point and click on multiple areas of the image to show what they like and dislike about it. The final result is a heat map that reports the frequency that each area was selected. The image heat map solicits feedback through interaction and sustains user engagement beyond asking a respondent to type what they like and dislike about a concept.


Rank sort

In the rank sort question, items are ranked by clicking or dragging them into a certain order to better illuminate a consumer's preferences and priorities. This offers a better solution to the method of ranking items using numerical inputs because respondents can visualize their ranking choice by easily placing or adjusting the position of the cards to indicate their preferences. Contrasting colors, soft edges, or shadows serve as visual indicators and create an interactive user experience for the respondent, improving survey participation.


Stay tuned for more tips on survey design and market research in the following weeks!