Monday, June 6, 2011

How NOT to do an Online Survey

In Saturday’s Toronto Star, Joe Fiorito held forth again.

Joe Makes Sense

I started (hint!) taking the survey.

The first page of questions was easy.

Then came a variety of different ways to respond to questions. Joe has already torn the wording of the questions to shreds; I won’t try to better his treatment.

1: I found the business of dragging text blocks into rectangular areas non-intuitive.

2: I found that WHERE I dragged the item to affected the priority of my response, it wasn’t sufficient just to drag-and-drop; I had to drag-and-drop-in-place.

3: In some case the rectangular areas expanded to make space; sounds good in practice, but since the headings for a 2-by-2 array were the same font typeface, size and colour as the text I was dragging, it soon became near-impossible to see where I was dragging stuff.

Take the survey and see if, like me, you soon tired of playing a game you just can’t win.

4: Then look for the button that let’s you say “OK, I’ve had enough; let me submit what I’ve done so far and get on with my life”.

Can’t Be Done

This survey was designed/approved by pencil-pushers at City Hall with spare time on their hands.

My best guess is that the surveyors first surveyed the staff at City Hall asking them to write on a blank sheet of paper what sort of questions they thought should be asked.

Then they shuffled all that paper and called it an online survey.

There’s probably a question in there somewhere about what height the mower blades should be set to snip the dandelions and avoid the daisies.

I didn’t get that far.

I quit by closing the browser.

City Hall - Another Waste of Money

Talk to Me !

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