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How many questions should I have on one survey page?

“The progress bar – it lies.”  – Me; and I think everyone else

In this post I’ll talk about how many questions you should put on your survey page(s) – but the short answer?

When running an employee survey put all your questions on one scrolling page.

That was easy.  Kind of a trick question …

Wait, but what are my options?

Ok so you’ve got your structure all sorted out re what pages do I need in my employee survey, and now your options for the survey page itself are:

  1. One question per page
  2. A group of questions per page
  3. All questions on one long, scrolling page

The first and second are fine if your survey is 5 questions long – and if you are using an online service where the surveys are not designed “by hand”, you might have no choice but #1 or #2.

However if you have a choice, here’s the main reason why you’ll want to put all our question on one page: buy in and commitment.

Why choose a “one page” survey?

As a survey-taker I want to see right off the bat what you are asking me to do. Let me see everything at once and decide and commit here and now as to, a. whether I want to do it, and b. whether I have the time to do it right now.

Please don’t try to hide the length of the survey by feeding me one question at a time. There are few things more annoying than the never-ending, bit by bit, death of a thousand paper cuts survey – with or without a progress bar (in increments that I swear are getting smaller and smaller as I go).

So show the survey all at once, and from my 25+ years in the business I can tell you …

  1. it will give the respondent the opportunity to buy in and commit
  2. it will result in a higher rate of fully completed surveys
  3. it allows the respondent to pace themselves –  and so mitigate the “first question I’m so keen vs last question I’ll answer anything to get this over with” bias. (This is particularly true when there are open-ended questions dispersed throughout the survey – the first open-ended question results in a dissertation; the last in a one-word response.  Been there, right?)
  4. it allows the survey to be completed faster and more easily (no need to keep hitting “Next”)

But what about filters and skip questions?

One argument for a “one question per page” layout is that it might be a better choice where there are “filter questions” – i.e., “Q25. Do you work from home?” (filter), Yes?, then “Q25b. If yes; when working from home …“.

However we deal with these in our one-page surveys by just hiding or showing the given questions in real time based on the answer(s) to the filters(s).

So in the above example, Q25b only becomes visible if Q25 is “Yes”.  (We use a gentle “fade in” technique – otherwise a question suddenly appearing out of nowhere can be missed or disconcerting.)


All of the above is true by the way whether your surveys are on cell phones or PCs, but if you’re not convinced yet, I’d be delighted to discuss the pro and cons of each method given your unique situation – just give me a shout.

Finally, there here’s an excellent article on Survey Monkey on the this topic at (It agrees with me, so it must be correct.)

Next up: “Employee Survey Pro Tip Series 17 –  Should I randomize my questions?“, and as always give me a shout if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks for reading, and if you’re interested in running a survey for your organization call us at 1-604-219-7876, email us at [email protected], or just book a discovery call with our team.

We love to engage in curious conversation! Grab a time on my calendar if you’d like to elaborate more on this topic or anything else
Maureen Simons

Maureen Simons is a senior human resources and communication consultant with over 25 years of experience helping clients achieve their business and organizational objectives through their people. (Linkedin)

Picture of Adam Hunter

Adam Hunter has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA, and 35+ years of technical and programming experience, resulting in a broad mix of analytical, statistical, project-related and business skills. (Linkedin)