FEATURE25 October 2010

When surveys go weird

We’ve done quite a few online surveys of late, so we thought we’d share with readers a few examples of when they refuse to behave.

We’ve done quite a few online surveys of late, and the slideshow above brings together some of our favourite examples of surveys refusing to behave. We should say for the record that we have, of course, seen plenty of examples of excellent survey practice too – but they just weren’t as funny as these.

NB Some of the images have been altered so as not to identify the companies involved.

@RESEARCH LIVE

7 Comments

10 years ago

Whilst some of these are funny, and others obvious mistakes that escaped Qualtiy Control, some, for instance the last example, are quality control questions, designed to ensure the respondent is reading the question and not speed clicking their way through the survey!

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10 years ago

There is a method to the madness for some of these techniques, as I discuss in more detail here: http://blog.vovici.com/blog/bid/47537/

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10 years ago

When you say 'done quite a few' I assume you mean 'completed' rather than 'set up'!? Unfortunately, I fail to see the funny side. These are exactly the type of badly executed surveys which result in bad respondent experience which ultimately lead to declining response rates. Sure, there are a lot of other aspects but the design and layout are as important as the content, length and speed of the hosting environment. Using professional software, it's not that hard to get right - and at least test with different browsers.

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10 years ago

Nothing wrong with asking people to select Hamster. It might be nice to explain to attentive respondents that it's a quality control method designed to identify bots and inattentive respondents but it's a good idea and more researchers should be employing such techniques.

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10 years ago

This is priceless! Please prepare a hodge podge of these survey example each month, if we cannot laugh at ourselves we do not deserve to be in research.

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10 years ago

I think it could be quite offensive to dogs taking the survey to have to identify themselves as hamsters. Or humans with a few brain cells, for that matter. If you're worried about people speeding, check their interview length against the average. Or even better, against how long it takes *you* to complete the survey, 'doing it properly'. If it's much less than that, throw it out Asking questions like this basically says 'hmmm, we don't really trust you'. Not a great way to engage the panellist. If what Jeffrey Henning says is true (http://bit.ly/aVp0Pa) then maybe asking them to be honest is OK, though it still seems a bit heavy-handed.

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10 years ago

oh my oh my oh my. There is not one surprising item on this hilarious list. THIS is why our industry is having such problems with response rates and consumer trust. We put out poor quality work and then we blame responders for not answering carefully. Gooooo team!

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