Mobile-first users, multiple language needs, and low-internet penetration are critical factors to consider when you’re planning an international survey. Surveys are an effective way to gain insight into trends that are harder to see in qualitative research, such as focus groups and individual interviews, but there are other factors to consider when researching specifically in developing economies. The best survey method for your research depends on which population you’re trying to understand. Standard methods—online, in-person, SMS—can still be effective, but depend on your team’s goals and the populations you’re studying. For example, if you want to reach a shopkeeper who owns a feature phone, online surveys are not a good fit. But if you want insights from millennials, social media and other online surveys work well. Let’s take a closer look at survey methods, and the process of conducting UX surveys from beginning to end.Before you beginRegardless of the context in which you’re surveying, best practice is to conduct preliminary user interviews before developing hypotheses. During this process, your team will transform generalizations and assumptions about the market into user-focused questions. Once you have your hypotheses, you can modify research questions into a survey questionnaire to share across your team for feedback. Before you begin the interviews, conduct a cognitive “think-aloud” by having two to three participants read through the survey and answer the questions. Ask your participants how they would answer each question, whether there is any confusion, and if they would change anything about the survey.If a respondent re-reads a question or pauses, this may indicate that the question isn’t clear. You should also test questions with local language experts. For example, in some cultures “you” refers to the whole household rather than an individual. Local lingo for technology terms may also differ. For example, in East Africa, the term for a buffering cell phone is “scratching,” and in India, “netpack” denotes mobile data.