I am designing a survey form and this is one of my questions:

How do you perceive the level of security for cloud services to be?

The survey participants are to choose from the following choices

Very Secure , Secure , Insecure , Very Insecure , Doesn't Matter

I can't decide if the layout should be Layout 1 or Layout 2

Layout 1

Very Secure | Secure | Insecure | Very Insecure | Doesn't Matter

Layout 2

Very Secure | Secure | Doesnt Matter | Insecure | Very Insecure

I can't decide if I should put the Doesn't Matter option in the middle of the list of choices or at the end of the list of choices.

What are your opinions and recommendations?

Are there any guidelines or recommendation in regards to the layout of survey choice?

Note : Can someone suggest a better question name? I feel my question doesn't fully reflect the issue at hand.

  • 9
    It depends what you are trying to capture: "No opinion", "Won't answer", "Don't need security" are different. Location and wording thus would differ.
    – Jason A.
    Apr 7, 2014 at 9:42
  • In a lot of surveys I often see "doesnt matter" in the middle and "does not apply" at the very right.
    – PlasmaHH
    Apr 7, 2014 at 14:22
  • 1
    I hope you're having your survey proofread.
    – TRiG
    Apr 7, 2014 at 14:47
  • 1
    Did you consider to split it into two questions, one asking about their perception and another asking how important that aspect of the service is for them?
    – Philipp
    Apr 7, 2014 at 17:20
  • As long as you don't put "all of the above" below "none of the above"...
    – keshlam
    Apr 7, 2014 at 23:17

8 Answers 8


I agree with @Jayfang's comment, what does "Doesn't Matter" mean?

I think your dilemma is that Doesn't Matter could represent both the middle ground, or just that the user doesn't know. Split them out like this:

Very Secure |  Secure | Average | Insecure | Very Insecure | No Opinion

I think visually distinctive on the right would make the most sense. To me, it's an alternative to the other answers on the question. I wouldn't recommend placing it in the middle, because if someone doesn't have an opinion about something, you shouldn't count it as neutral (because neutral is an actual opinion).


I would say

Very Secure |  Secure | Insecure | Very Insecure ||| Doesn't Matter

e.g. separate it visually from the rest of the options.


For me personally "It doesn't matter" means that I don't have a strong opinion towards Very much or Not at all.

So in your case I would go for the middle, representing indifference.


I would definately split the question. What I perceive the security to be, does not necesarrily have anything to do with whether or not it matters to me (I might say that the security is really bad but that does not matter to me because I don't use cloud services).

Furthermore, quite often you only label the end-point of such a scale thereby making the data more interval-like. At the moment your scale is ordinal and you cannot in a statistically meaningful way calculate an average (which you may or may not need). For more information on these kinds of scales, here is a good blog article by Jeff Sauro: http://www.measuringusability.com/blog/interval-ordinal.php


"Doesn't Matter" style questions and "Not Applicable" answers require a different science. It's important to understand that "Doesn't Matter" or "Not Applicable" used the wrong way could lead to an inability to collect data accurately.

I actually created a video topic about this on YouTube if you wish to take a look and review: https://www.youtube.com/embed/GAiQSZ7uH_o?rel=0

I've got lots of tutorials and tips for people like yourself looking to learn more about better survey design.

Best of luck!


I think it depends upon the question you are framing around these options. From your options I believe it is framed around some security related questions. General users tendency is to look for relevant options by reading them all and chose the most suited to them.

I recommend "Doesn't matter" should be placed in the last of the queue.


The most surveys I saw have the neutral response in the middle.

My opinion is you shouldn't concern yourself too much about the position of "undecided"/"doesn't matter" options in surveys questions.

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