Survey sense?

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We have been preparing a number of web surveys for work in various places around the world this week.

Online surveys have become a very common feature of the ‘pre-work’ in many projects, along with individual interviews, working with a design team and video vox pops. [By the way, our 13p worksheet is proving very popular for many design teams – one of the P’s is ‘pre-work’….do you know the others?]

In our facilitation training courses, we emphasise there are three things that make for a great survey:
1) Some really insightful questions – and only a handful of those. Take time to get these right. Make sure you have slightly more open ended ones (which is counter intuitive to some who think ahead to ease of analysis – see point three below).
2) A platform to host the survey. Is it branded or on a free site (such as Surveymonkey or Zoomerang)? Do you make it clear you are getting an independent outfit to help with your opinion research or are you keen to show you are doing it in house? Can the system you choose enable automated emails of individual submissions and a daily xls of all the survey results to the survey host?
3) A clear and insightful analysis. This is the key step. Increasingly free survey platforms (such as Zoho) make production of pie charts and graphs easy. However, we believe there is no replacement for an insightful person who can make sense of the relationship between the quantitative and qualitative answers from both closed, fixed choice and open ended questions.

These steers might help you perfect your in house surveys.


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