SharePoint Knowledge Base

Jun 21
Tips for Using SharePoint Surveys Better – Part 1

This post is part of an series. Click below for Parts 2 and 3:

What is the easiest way to gather data or opinions from a group? Well you might say a survey would be pretty easy, but how should you do the survey? Survey Monkey? Fortunately, if you have SharePoint then you're in luck! SharePoint has a premade survey list that can be quickly added and customized however is needed. They can have branching logic (have special diet needs ye or no can branch into Vegan etc.) Then once the survey is made there are many functions for distributing and looking at the survey results.

As SharePoint consultants we want our clients to get the most out of SharePoint. Surveys are easy to get started with, but have a lot of options and tools, some of which may not be apparent as to their use. This post will take you through the steps of creating a simple survey and distributing it using a link.

How to Create a Survey

  • Start Internet Explorer and type the URL for your organization's SharePoint server. The Start page will open. If you want your new survey located as a sub site of another site, navigate to that site.
  • Click the Settings menu gear icon. The Site Actions menu will appear.
  • Click Add an App. The Your Apps page will appear.
  • Scroll down and click the Survey icon. The Adding Survey dialog box will appear.
  • Click Advanced Options. The new Survey page will appear.
  • In the Name field enter a title for the new survey. This will appear in any list of surveys in SharePoint.
  • In the Description field enter a summary of the survey.
  • In the Survey Options section, select the appropriate options. There are two options to select: you can choose whether you want user names to be displayed with each survey result, and if you want to allow users to submit multiple responses when filling out the survey.
  • Click Next. The New Question page will open.


Figure 1: The New Question Page

  • In the Question field enter text for which you want to solicit user feedback.
  • Select a type of answer. Based on your selection, the fields in the Additional Question Settings section will change.
  • In the Additional Question Settings section, fill in the fields.
  • If there is another question in the survey, click Next Question and repeat Steps 10-12. Otherwise, click Finish. The Survey Settings page will appear.


Figure 2: The Survey Settings Page


How to Preview the Survey

SharePoint allows for the ability to test a survey before making it live. This allows you to make sure that the survey works as intended before asking a larger group of people to fill it out. This helps to ensure that it works as you intend it – particularly if you've implemented complex survey branching.

  • Start Internet Explorer and type the URL for your organization's SharePoint server. The Start Page will open.
  • Navigate to the survey in which you are interested. The Survey Overview page will open.


Figure 3: The Survey Overview Page

  • Click the Respond to this Survey link. The first survey question page will open.


Figure 4: The First Survey Question

  • Review the survey as a test to verify correctness. If all is in order, click the Cancel button on your browser so no results are actually saved.
  • To actually respond to the survey, answer all of the questions and click Finish. The answers will be recorded in the survey results.


How to Enable Survey Branching

When a survey is being created, not every question will be applicable to every respondent. For instance, if you want to poll users about their favorite candidate, and you've already asked their political party preference, you would want to narrow their choices to those candidates who are actually in that party. When a question asked depends on the answer of a previous question, this is known as branching.

  • Navigate to the survey you wish to modify or create a new survey.

Note: For survey branching to work, there must be more than two questions in the survey, or branching cannot be set up.


Figure 5: The Survey Settings Page

  • Click the link for the question with the answers that create a branch in the survey. The Edit Question page will open.

Note: Selecting the last question will only allow branching to a Content Type.

  • In the Branching Logic section, select the question that will appear after each individual answer is selected.


Figure 6: The Branching Logic Section on the Edit Question Page

  • When finished, click OK. The Survey Settings page will open and the survey will be ready for use.


How to Send a Survey Link

Once you've created a survey you need to let your users know where it is so they can respond to it. That requires sending out a link.

  • Start Internet Explorer and type the URL for your organization's SharePoint server. The Start Page will open.
  • Navigate to the survey in which you are interested. The Survey Overview page will open.


Figure 7: The Survey Overview Page

  • In the Address bar of your browser, select the entire address. Ctrl + A is useful for this.
  • Press Ctrl + C to copy the URL.
  • Open a new message window in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Press Ctrl + V to paste the URL into the body of the message.
  • Complete the message and press Send. The survey link will be distributed.

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