Surveys are a good tool to quickly reach out and get feedback from your target audience.
When to use surveys
- You have other research tools at hand and you want to extract more attitudinal data from your users
- You can get at least 20 people to fill your survey
- Collect customer feedback before redesigning a website
- Collect customer feedback about your product
Be careful! Survey are one of the most comfortable, yet dangerous research tools. Since this is a quantitative research tool, make sure your questions reflect that, asking qualitative questions in surveys can result in a lot of misinterpretation.
For example asking people to tell more about something in a survey is considered to be a bad approach: you should interview users and have a conversation. Collect their e-mail address at the end of the survey instead and line up an interview.
How to run a good survey
- Identify your purpose
- Try to create as simple questions as possible
- Test your survey with a few friends
- Pay attention to question ordering. They might have an influence on each other
- Do pairing during the survey creation process to ensure the questions are proper
Tips for better surveys: classic mistakes to avoid
Be careful, it's easy to slip. Probably the biggest concern with surveys is that it's easy to miss issues. By this you won't even notice you've made a mistake. So be careful with surveys and especially with these issues:
- Survey doesn't map the information you need. TODO: Add explanation for this one.
- Mandatory questions. It might be tempting to make the most important questions required, but at the end people might just leave the survey. You should leave all your field optional. If they will skip answering a few questions you will know that there were some problem.
- Two-in-one questions. You should avoid this type of questions because the user may have 2 different answers. To resolve this, simply turn it into 2 separate questions.
- "Was the message clear and compelling?"
- "Is your manager honest and trustworthy?"
- "Did you know that Mozilla is a mission-driven organisation to make the Internet a better place?".
- Complex questions. Complex questions might scare users off, not to mention it's easy to misunderstood.
- Leading questions. "How would you rate the career of legendary outfielder Joe Dimaggio?" To get unbiased information, don't include your personal opinion within them.
- Direct questions. Asking directly can be harmful. There is a big difference between what people say and what people do. For example asking about if they would buy your product, more people tend to give positive response than people willing to put down money for your product.
How to find users to survey
Based on the survey and types of users we want to reach there can be 3 different scenarios:
- Existing users: collect and reach out active users; send them a friendly mass-email directing them to a Google Form which they can fill. You can increase the engagement with gifts or coupon.
- Target demographic: using a 3rd party survey tools, like Google Consumer Survey allows you to set demographic settings based on your needs.
- General public: using a Google Consumer Survey or distributing your survey through Facebook/Twitter. This might happen early phases in the product development process. Be careful, it's very rare that you want feedback from general public, you should be able to define your target audience quite early.
Tools to use
Google Drive allows you to create Google Form documents which you can use to send out for your friends. You can easily set up the survey and share the link with your users.
Google Consumer Surveys
Google Consumer Surveys is a tool which allows you to set up and distribute surveys. The price is 10¢ to $3.50 per complete (up to 10 questions, various kinds) and it depends on the length of the survey.
Different Use cases give you an idea about how to get out the maximum of Google Consumer Surveys.
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Italy (Android only)
- Japan (Android only)
- Netherlands (Android only)
You can set various screening and demography options which makes this a great and affordable tool to use.