Now available: Design for Impact by Erin Weigel

2010 in 46 surveys: too many


I take a lot of screenshots: web sites in general, forms specifically, and of course surveys. Those specific to a project go into particular folders; the rest are filed by year.

Today I was hunting through for inspiration for the chapter I’m working on, and got tired of flicking past non-survey things. So I moved all the surveys ones into a separate folder, and then thought: well, how many surveys are there anyway?

Now, I obviously I do a lot of surveys for professional reasons. I’m a member of one of the internet panels, just to see what they’re like. I’m working with a market research client on the user experience of their surveys. I’ve been creating a few examples of my own, and my husband has been investigating what you can get for free in a few survey tools. And if a friendly person asks me to advise informally on a survey for a volunteer or professional group, chances are that I will. So I discounted them.

That left 46 surveys that I actually completed in 2010.

Nearly one a week.

I’m sure I’m far more willing than most people to have a go at a survey, because I’m collecting materials for this book. If I possibly can, I’ll do them, but even then I’d say that I’m only able to do about a third of those that I’m asked to do. Just too busy.

Can it really be true that I’m getting around 3 survey invitations each week?

During March, I’ll try to record every invitation as well as the completions.

But maybe there’s a clue here about the general decline in response rates: there are just way too many of them.