Survey Design Tip #1: Responders DON’T CARE


You live, breathe, and eat your brand. You love nothing more than to discuss the most intricate and minute details of how amazing your brand is, how revolutionary it is, how much better it is than any other competitive brand out there. And, you can talk about it for hours on end and always have something else to talk about. I don’t blame you. I’ve tried your brand. It is totally amazing.

But, do you SERIOUSLY think that survey participants care even 1% as much as you do? They’re just grabbing the pads of paper on the top shelf at Office Depot because they ran out of paper. Do you SERIOUSLY think they care so much about paper that they can remain engaged in a 30 minute survey, discussing how your brand of paper meets all of their paper and paper accessory needs? How it fills their desire to know at the depths of their heart that this paper is statistically significantly better than some other paper?

Perhaps I’m stretching things a bit, but I suspect you see my point. My favourite real example is a survey about gum. Grid after grid after grid. Does it “meet your daily chewing needs?” Does it “satisfy your nutritional requirements?” For all I care, they might as well ask me if it “meets my needs for world peace.” All I want is something that tastes good to chew on while I wait for the bus.

Think about that next time you’re designing the most grammatically correct, professionally phrased, and comprehensively detailed (long) survey. Why aren’t you seeing good data quality with all those efforts?

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