Open-Ended Questions

Open-Ended questions contain a text box in which respondents can formulate their own answers. It can help you see things from a respondent's perspective, as they give you feedback in their own words. It is mostly used to get raw and uninfluenced opinions and information, as It can not be answered with a simple "yes", "no", or any one-word answer.


This guide will teach you: 

  1. Add an Open-Ended Question  
  2. Change the general settings
  3. Edit the question
  4. Examples
  5. Advantages and Disadvantages
  6. Tips & Ideas

1. Add an Open-Ended question

Under the Questions  tab, click the button ? Questions. Select Open-Ended from the list of question types. Click Add.

Open-Ended Questions- add an Open-Ended Question

2. Change the general settings

Open-Ended Questions- change the general settings

  1. The settings can be hidden/shown.
  2. The order can be changed.
  3. The type can be modified as well.
  4. The question can be active/inactive. With this, you chose to make it available or not available on the survey.
  5. Lock/unlock the question to be edited by other team members.
  6. To Copy, Delete, or Preview.

3. Edit The question

Open-Ended Questions- edit the question

  1. Add your text here. Use the rich text editor icons to change the text to bold, italics, or use your company's colors and change the font size. 
  2. Click Add media or Add YouTube video to upload images or videos to make your survey more entertaining. The file needs to be under 2MB. To add a YouTube video, paste a YouTube link after clicking the Add YouTube video button. See the example below to check how this looks.
  3. Make the question mandatory - toggle the button to require respondents to submit an answer before moving to the next one.
  4. Add a question tag - turn this feature to add a tag that you can reference in your survey or PDF.

The respondent can enter 5000 characters in the Open-Ended text box. When the limit is almost reached, a character countdown appears, indicating how many characters the respondent has left, as shown below.

Open-Ended Questions- characters limit

4. Examples

• What’s your reason for reading this blog post?

Describe your last visit?

• Why have you responded to this listing?

What do you think about the two candidates in this election?

What’s the biggest benefit you feel you have gained from attending this workshop?

Please describe the impact that you feel the last 6 months’ classes have had on your life.

Open-Ended Questions- example

Open-Ended Questions-example

Here are some other ways to use it:

  • You could ask respondents to complete a sentence, for example, “An effective supervisor….” or “The main things that bother me about the company’s policies are…”
  • It may be helpful to respondents to provide some sort of support so that they know what type of answer they are being requested to provide. For example, you can ask “What were the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing course?” rather than “What did you think of the marketing course?” which would leave things vaguer for the respondent and could result in an unfocused and rambling answer.

5. Advantages and Disadvantages


+ Allow an infinite number of possible answers

+ Give you qualitative data

+ Collect more detail

+ Understand how your respondent thinks

Ask without knowing the answer 

+ Gives you opinions and feelings, adding value to the answer

Help the respondent feel more engaged


 Will give you opinions and feelings, thus making some answers subjective

 They take longer to complete, increasing survey fatigue and may result in a lower completion rate

– Limited amount of inquiries you can ask

– Respondents may be unsure about what sort of response is expected from them

– Difficult to make comparisons between answers received

– Analysis of answers is more time-consuming than numerical data

6. Tips & Ideas

  • Ensure to review your entire survey and that the number of open and closed-ended questions is balanced. Asking your respondents to write their answer all the time can be off-putting as they are time-consuming to complete. However, because they can yield so much valuable insight, you may not want to skip them!
  • Use them at the end of surveys. If respondents have had enough with your survey and drop out, there is enough data captured to analyze the responses. But if allowing your respondents to formulate their own answers is an essential part of your data gathering, you may want to consider giving it a prime position towards the beginning.
  • It may help respondents provide enough information so that they know what type of answer you are looking for. For example, ask “What were the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing course?” instead of “What did you think of the marketing course?” which would leave things vaguer for the respondent and could result in an unfocused and rambling answer.

What's next?

  • Image Choice is used when you ask a multiple choice question and present the possible answers to your respondent by using images or GIFs. Photos in your survey allow you to connect with your audience on a more emotional level and it’s proven that people often respond better to a picture. 
  • Image Upload allows respondents to answer by uploading an image file or taking a picture. It's perfect to get a realistic view of what the respondent does with your product. The respondent can add or take a picture at that particular moment. This picture will be uploaded into the survey.
  • Text Only allows you to add a screen or slide with only text (and a media file) in your survey. It will add interaction and personality to your survey because instead of only asking for information, you have the opportunity to give information as well. It helps to create a dialogue and make your survey feel interactive.
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