How To Design A Survey

Last week I’ve received an email from a colleague of my design management network; maybe some of my readers got this as well ;-) Anyway, the email pointed to an online survey ‘designed’ and conducted by some students from an US Eastern Coast design management program about the current and future social/business impact of “bottled water”. Great topic indeed!

Since I’m always happy to support design management students with their work I’ve followed the link to the survey and started clicking optional answers over a myriad of pages. The students did make use of a (free) online survey service so to a certain degree I think they can’t be blamed for any disruption in terms of poor usability & graphics. In contrast what has been terrible way the user experience in terms of the design of the questions.

Maybe I’ve been too lazy to frame my experience and feelings about this questionnaire in my own words, but I was happy when I’ve noticed a posting by my #1 blogroll author Steve Portigal. He wrote a professional, but at the same time emotional and passionate review about his experience which exactly matches mine. Needless to say that I would have wished to have this written if I wouldn’t have been too lazy (Oh, did I mention this already ;-)

Unfortunately my second comment to this posting seems to be eaten away by some technical gremlin between my computer and Steve’s blog. It has been a response to a student’s comment (Eling Lee) complaining that no one at the according college has ever told him/her how to design a questionnaire. For sure this is poor support by the course instructor since a simple search with the words “survey design” would have revealed a comprehensive list of books to choose from.

In the meantime Core77 picked up the topic as well in their weekly newsletter and today Steve has been so kind to post a link to a (free) resource which concisely explains the Do’s and Don’ts of Survey Design. So no excuses any longer and special thanks go to Steve!

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