Matrix style Question— Why you should use them?

Jun 28, 2019 | Improve your surveys

The “Matrix” question type is a multi-dimensional version of “multiple choice” or “scale” type questions.  It is presented in a tabular form and the respondent must provide one answer per line.



Different types of questions


Matrix radio button


This question type allows respondents to enter their responses on a scale of 0 to 10. The respondent responds by selecting the “button” of his choice on the scale. Radio matrix allow you replace a text with  an image. The order of responses can be displayed randomly to avoid any bias. You can also add labels to the extremes of the scale.


2D Matrix radio button


This type of style allows  you to add up to 6 columns in the 2D Matrix and respondent selects one choice per row with the radio buttons. An image can replace the text of the answer or the question. The order of responses can be displayed randomly to avoid any bias.


Why you should use matrix question style


This type of question is very useful if you need to ask the same question for various aspects. However, it also improves the appearance of your questionnaire making it easier and more fluid for your respondent.

For example, the data analysis phase is subject to this type of question. This is because it is composed of several parts (each line of the table representing a part) is considered single question.


The advantages of using matrix questions


The questions can facilitate the look  and the layout of your questionnaire.

Matrix sliders make the question dynamic and fluid for your respondents. This also saves your respondents from having to navigate through a mine-field with radio-buttons.

By dividing the satisfaction of an element into several aspects and calculating its average, you can (achieve overall satisfaction) while allowing respondents to express their satisfaction for each aspect individually.

If your questionnaire includes a sliding or Likert scale question and a matrix question.  Each of them highlights the different aspects that will allow you to calculate the average. You can compare the two results during your analysis.


The disadvantage of using matrix questions


Since the matrix question is considered as a single question with several parts (the different parts or lines of the table) cannot be analyzed independently.

A matrix with too many lines can become overwhelming for the respondent. This may either encourage them to abandon the survey or answer at random without reading the question or table leading to falsified results.

This problem can be partially avoided by using sliders instead of radio buttons. The former being more dynamic, they also do not allow respondents to simply “click, down a column”. However, it is preferable to limit the number of lines.

There are few types of analysis for the question of matrix style. Remember that the style question is considered a single question when you plan to perform advanced or complex data analysis. This makes it incompatible with some types of analysis such as cross-tabulations because only part of the question can be analyzed.

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