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March 20, 2006 11:43 AM

Broken: Stupid survey

From Seth Godin, a rant on a poorly designed survey: Stupid Survey Award, 2006.


I never give my opinion to anyone. :)

Posted by: JAC at March 20, 2006 12:40 PM

My online school gives us the option of filling out an opinion survey for each class we are taking where we rate the instructor and course materials. I have a few issues with it.

A) It's about 50-60 questions long. That's equivalent to one of my exams.

B) At any point I may save my progress and come back later. That means they're storing my answers somewhere, tied to my student account. Are the results truly anonymous? If I had difficulties with a teacher and gave them a bad review, I wonder how long it will take that teacher to figure out who the squeaky wheel is?

C) The semester is 11 weeks long. They give us the survey during week 7 or 8. How can I possibly give a legitimate response at that point?

Posted by: Manni at March 20, 2006 01:01 PM

I agree for the most part with what Seth says in his rant, but I think he kind of deep-sixes himself when he gets to "they're not going to use the feedback because they actually want it, but because they intend to use it to sell the idea to others."

If this is indeed the case (and I suspect he's right), then the survey is anything but stupid: it's going to accomplish exactly what "they" want it to do. Disingenuous, yes, but not stupid.

Posted by: E.T. at March 20, 2006 02:23 PM

Without knowing what data they are truly seeking, I'm not sure if we can blame them for the wide array of questions. First, if I recall correctly from my psychology courses, it is a common practice to "flood" the survey with a variety of questions to avoid having the respondant figure out how to manipulate the results. Maybe they're only really interested in numbers 3, 7, and 14. (If so, maybe they shouldn't have called it "Airport Parking Concept Survey") Second, the marketing and business people need to know that it would be profitable, and questions like income matter. Someone on a $30k income won't use a luxury like valet parking. (Why they don't already have this data elsewhere, I don't know.)Let's hope they know what they're doing... ::shrug::

Posted by: Alex at March 20, 2006 04:37 PM

A pointless rant, in my opinion.

Posted by: Bob at March 21, 2006 07:58 AM

So that's who was on the "You Don't Know Jack" box ...

Posted by: Marla Erwin at March 24, 2006 01:42 PM

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