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Make better surveys

My UX Camp Brighton 2016 on why writing a good survey is hard and tips on how to create better ones.

UX research & design
www.jeremyrosenberg.co.uk

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Make better surveys

  1. 1. Make better surveys Jeremy Rosenberg @jeremy74
  2. 2. @jeremy74 About me UX researcher & designer for 7 years Agency and client side BSc. in Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience MSc. in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Published psychology study in peer reviewed journal Run many surveys!
  3. 3. @jeremy74 Surveys are hard Face to face conversations are rich interactions We seek feedback and modulate our responses We can know when there is shared understanding Surveys are rigid and prone to misunderstanding
  4. 4. @jeremy74 Is a survey the best methodology? Avoid doing it instead of direct user contact e.g. interviews Are there better ways to answer your question?
  5. 5. @jeremy74 Be clear about the purpose Be clear about what you want to find out What will you do with the information Hypotheses
  6. 6. @jeremy74 A bad survey doesn’t smell Often don’t know if the questions were bad/missed asking the right things
  7. 7. @jeremy74 Be ruthless with question choice People will only answer so many questions Justify every question Respect the users’ time Branch it
  8. 8. @jeremy74
  9. 9. @jeremy74 Don’t assume people can/want to answer Adds noise to the data or increases drop-out Allow skipping Include active skipping e.g. n/a Include ‘other’ option
  10. 10. @jeremy74 Put boring questions at the end Improves completion rates Completion tendency/sunk cost Still get partial info for drop outs Roberson, M.T. & Sundstrom, E. (1990). Questionnaire design, return rates, and response favorableness in an employee attitude questionnaire. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 354-357. Martin, J.D. & McConnell, J.P. (1970). Mail questionnaire response induction: the effect of four variables on the response of a random sample to a difficult questionnaire. Social Science Quarterly, 51, 409-414.
  11. 11. @jeremy74 Be clear/specific “How often do you cook?”
  12. 12. @jeremy74 Be clear/specific “How often do you cook?” “How often do you prepare a meal?”
  13. 13. @jeremy74 Be clear/specific “How often do you cook?” “How often do you prepare a meal?” “How often do you prepare a meal, excluding ready-meals”
  14. 14. @jeremy74 Be clear/specific “How often do you cook?” “How often do you prepare a meal?” “How often do you prepare a meal, excluding ready-meals” “How often do you prepare an evening meal, excluding ready meals?”
  15. 15. @jeremy74 Be clear/specific “How many times did you prepare an evening meal, excluding ready-meals in the last 7 days?”
  16. 16. @jeremy74 Be clear/specific “How many times did you prepare an evening meal, excluding ready-meals in the last 7 days?” “Did you prepare any evening meals, excluding ready-meals, in the last 7 days?” then, if so, “How many did you prepare?”
  17. 17. @jeremy74 Subjective questions are unreliable Like usability testing, behaviour is more reliable than attitudes/preferences Bertrand, M. & Mullainathan, S. (2001). Do people mean what they say? Implications for subjective survey data. American Economic Review, 91, 67-72.
  18. 18. @jeremy74 Anticipate biases “Is sustainable seafood important to you” versus “Are you interested in any of the following?”
  19. 19. @jeremy74 Free text responses Be judicious Do you really have no idea of range of responses? Free text as an answer option
  20. 20. @jeremy74 Other things to get right Avoid leading questions Avoid double barrelled questions Avoid absolutes Target the appropriate audience Reduce reliance on memory Consider cost/benefit of open ended questions Map it out if it’s complicated
  21. 21. @jeremy74 Other things to get right Consider a pilot study Randomise question order, and answer options, where possible Make sure it works on mobile Map it out if it’s complicated
  22. 22. @jeremy74
  23. 23. @jeremy74 Other things to get right Consider a pilot study Randomise question order, and answer options, where possible Make sure it works on mobile Map it out if it’s complicated
  24. 24. @jeremy74
  25. 25. @jeremy74 Thanks Questions or tips to share? Will Tweet link to slides @jeremy74

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