Google Forms in research

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Although more and more people are using SurveyMonkey to create quick or in-depth surveys, I find the lack of export to CSV in the free plan a huge barrier to using it. A more flexible option to SurveyMonkey is therefore Google Forms. Creating a form couldn’t be easier!


There are 25 default designs, called themes, that makes your survey look polished with only one click. Once the theme selected, it is still possible to customize it with fonts, colours and images. Very sleek and intuitive.


There are 9 types of questions: Text, Paragraph text, Multiple choice, Checkboxes, Choose from a list, Scale, Grid, Date and time.

Contrary to what its name indicate, ‘multiple choice’ doesn’t imply multiple choice. Go figure. To allow multiple selection, you need to chose ‘Checkboxes’. Thankfully the ’round’ and ‘square’ boxes are the usual ones found in forms, so it’s easy to see when you’ve made a mistake.

MultipleChoice Checkboxes

Advance settings fine tunes the data collection, with data validation (number of box selected – min, max, or exact number) or shuffle of options.

Grid is also an interesting type of question for more complex questions.


The advance settings are similarly allowing to shuffle through the row or limiting the number of row to be selected.

The type of question ‘select from list’ can be useful to send the user to different page based on the answer.


Checkbox and multiple choice have the possibilty to add and ‘Other’ box. However the other types don’t allow that, which is a shame. To seamlessly allow for this, you just need to create a question type text and to enter ‘Other’ in the question title.


Collaborating and publishing

Before pulishing the survey, it is possible to share the survey with collaborators to discuss it. Use File > Add collaborators..

Publishing the survey is very easy. Share the link of the ‘view live form’.

Data analysis

Not much to say regarding data export, it’s just so easy and flexible! Select Responses > View responses, which opens a Google spreadsheet. This can be exported as a CSV, PDF, XLSX, or ODS.

It is also possible to have a quick view of the results, with Responses > Summary of responses. It gives bar charts for each answer, and a summary of daily answers.


As for every Google Docs app, add-ons can make your life easier! I’ve used so far ‘Form notifications’ to receive an email every10 respondents.


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