surveys – Yes and No questions – Are a “checkmark” and an “X” icon not neutral enough?

The problem with icons is that they can mean different things to different users. In this instance they could be confused with “pass” and “fail” as that is essentially what the question is asking. Which would result in the opposite of what you want them to mean.

At the very least, you should include some text with those buttons. That way you don’t rely on the user having to guess what the icons are supposed to mean.

However, my suggestion would be to remove the icons completely. Just stick with what people are familiar with when they do a survey. Have a simple list of text options to choose from. Something like this:

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You are not limited to a simple style, you can make them look like nice buttons with a more attractive radio button/checkbox graphic, but the overall aim is to have clear, descriptive text alongside a selectable button.

There is a good reason why most survey UI designs use this simple approach, and I can assure you it isn’t because nobody was ever creative enough to make some nice looking icon buttons.