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5 Advanced Question Types to Enrich Your Survey Data


Comprehensive investigations often require more sophisticated question types that go beyond traditional single-response and multi-selects. This blog post will explore several advanced question types and share information on how IntelliSurvey’s programming team and platform can help you implement them efficiently and effectively. 


MaxDiff (Maximum Difference Scaling) offers a nuanced approach to understanding preferences among a set of items. Unlike traditional rating scales, MaxDiffs prompt respondents to select the most and least preferred items from a list, facilitating trade-off assessments. This technique yields actionable insights, especially in product or service development, where prioritizing characteristics is critical for design decisions.

Using the IntelliSurvey platform for the presentation and analysis of your MaxDiff comes with a number of benefits, including computation baked right into the system, mobile-friendly display, expert design, and more. 

GIF of a mobile MaxDiff survey question


Unlike MaxDiffs, which prioritize attributes individually, conjoint analysis determines the most preferred attribute combinations. Respondents are asked to assess various attribute combinations and identify their preferred combination. This exercise is then repeated, typically around 10-14 times, to develop utility scores for customer choices.

By fully immersing respondents in the conjoint exercise, IntelliSurvey ensures smooth implementation for actionable results. 

GIF of a Conjoint Analysis survey question

Text Highlighting

Text highlighting enables precise feedback on textual elements, aiding in the evaluation of grammar, word choice, and sentence structure. IntelliSurvey can customize text highlighting questions to capture respondent reactions to specific words or sentences, thus enriching text analysis.

GIF of a text highlighter survey question

Image Area Highlighting

Interactive image questions engage respondents uniquely, particularly in assessing advertisements or graphic concepts. With polygonal image highlighting, the image is broken up into clickable areas. Respondents click on those pre-defined image sections to provide feedback, highlighting the most and least interesting components. 

Each clickable area is mapped to a response in a radio button question, which makes it visible in a standard IntelliSurvey report as a radio question. 

GIF of an image highlighter survey question

Shelf Test

Shelf tests replicate the consumer environment using a virtual shelf of products to simulate a realistic shopping experience. This allows respondents to evaluate product characteristics–such as packaging and placement–and captures how each attribute would affect real-world behavior and intention to buy. IntelliSurvey can also incorporate an “add to cart” function to further simulate actual behavior.

GIF of a Shelf Test survey question

The IntelliSurvey Difference

Leveraging advanced survey question types transforms data collection into a nuanced, comprehensive process that uncovers deep insights. With two decades of experience, IntelliSurvey is well-versed in these sophisticated techniques, ensuring even the most complex surveys are accessible and engaging for respondents. Please contact us for more information on how we can partner to enhance your next survey. 

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