Aug 16, 2007

Surveys: What “not” to do : part 1. keep it Brief

More and more people are realizing the need for “measuring” customer satisfaction, or the “User experience” of their websites. It is a good trend nevertheless I have seen many worrying and erroneous usage of this technique. Now, this post is not a tutorial for correctly designing surveys, I am sure there are many books and articles out there.

What I plan to do is to have to series of post which will each point a major flaw in survey design, with a slight dash of sarcasm. I will not give screenshots, and even if I do, I will obfuscate the screenshots.

Why is this a series and not a single post? Many reasons. No, this is not a secret conspiracy to take over the world, or any means for world domination.

  • One post will be too way too long. Blogger’s like it short and sweet (see, size does matter)
  • It is but a nice way to cure my blogging block (writer’s block) and one point at a time means I have a lot of fodder for many posts. (Look ma, I do think)
  • Also, it gives me a chance to ingest a bit of humor in my writings. Jammy, Rahul, you are supposed to laugh at the posts. Not me!)

    Size does matter:

    1) Keep the survey brief: Why?

    I am your customer. I am looking for some information/ product/completing my task on your site and you expect me to leave my tasks to spend my valuable time on your survey so that this information can help you?

    Get the point. No?
    Now go on, go on, and finish the 54Th question for your next survey.

    8-10 questions are a decent number. Anything more than that will cause surveytigue (survey fatigue) and your customer will lose interest. And remember, you read about the word surveytigue here at