Surveys of the future

This article discusses successful strategies for the development of post engagement surveys to collect and enrich customer experience.

I like to imagine the future of customer data collection, which is dominated by technologies that collect hypertextual passive data from all our interactions with websites, and a person has nothing to do.

“No matter how exciting these new technologies may be, it is important to understand that there is always room for a good survey.”

However, exciting these new technologies may be, it is important to understand that there is always room for a good survey. It will always most effectively reflect the opinion of the user, but, more importantly, it will become an additional method for enriching other data that is collected using the very technologies that will affect the data that will be generated as a result of a particular business process. Of course, in order to achieve such a future, the polls that are being used now must inevitably change.

First of all, we need to rethink the idea of the future, and for this we need to see it through the eyes of the young generation, which consists of digital Aborigines (this term was first used by the American Mark Prensky to refer to people born after the digital revolution and used to receive information through digital channels):

  • they learned to convey their ideas in 140 characters.

  • they share their thoughts and opinions when they are not asked about it.

  • they grew up watching 15 second videos.

  • they write text to communicate rather than speak.

But above all, they grew up with the concept of instant gratification deeply embedded in their DNA. There is no doubt that if we want our business to stay afloat, we must rethink our survey experience in order to satisfy this new audience.

The idea of rethinking the polls was the result of a study that showed that there is a direct relationship between the time taken for the survey, its download speed and dropout rate. In other words, the larger the survey, the longer it takes to load and the more it is closed.

“The larger the survey, the longer it takes to load and the more it closes.”

Google is making some important efforts to improve page loading time (with emphasis on mobile versions). They launched a very interesting initiative called the Google Accelerated Mobile Page. Facebook does something similar with its instant articles.

Google is making some important efforts to improve page loading time (with emphasis on mobile versions). They launched a very interesting initiative called the Google Accelerated Mobile Page. Facebook does something similar with its instant articles.

Polls today

As a rule, today I come across polls that are based on the concept of “page”: the user is presented with a question, he selects the answer and goes to the next page. Perhaps this was done on purpose, or perhaps it was a natural evolution of a more traditional and fundamental questionnaire on paper.

You must understand that with this approach, there is a huge minus - the probability of a network failure. If a researcher wrote a questionnaire, for example, out of 30 questions, then the user needs to load 30 pages per session, and you never know what could happen. One way or another, the longer the page loads, the more chances you have of losing a member.

In this form, participants must make a few clicks and wait for the pages to load just to pass the survey. From my own experience, I can say that this time is enough to change your mind about it.

This “question on page” concept slows down innovation. A modern web and mobile survey do not have to follow the same “page paradigm”. This concept connects us technologically and conceptually with methods in which we can only make gradual updates. Sometimes a new approach is required to open new possibilities.

Ideas for the future

Below we presented several different perspectives on the future:

  1. The flow of questions. If we are inspired by social network, then we see that the content there is displayed in an endless stream of information, in which the user simply must scroll pages for interaction. Instagram, for example, simply displays image after image. This allows you to do just 1 level of interaction (double tap to like) without leaving the stream.

    In the survey, this could be done beautifully, introducing the participant to one question at a time, continuously scrolling it to the next, so that all the pixels on the screen are dynamically used to optimize space and ensure maximum readability.

  2. Disappearing questions. This paradigm includes a similar approach to presentation (one question at a time). However, instead of scrolling through the questions, they will disappear and appear.

    The first paradigm is better suited for web polls, while the other is perhaps more effective for mobile devices. It sounds like a simple cosmetic change, but real changes happen in the background. Ultimately, both ideas come down to reducing the time required to answer the survey and improving the quality of user service.

    My idea of the future says that everything should happen with a minimum waiting time. If the participant answers each question, in the background the polling mechanism should load the rest. Here I cannot but mention the participation of artificial intelligence in this process. It should help you predict the most likely path the participant will take and prioritize the download queue. Almost the same way Google begins to offer search terms when we start typing in the search bar.

    These conditions are very relevant, and this is not accidental. Of course, all this must happen in real time. Machine learning ensures that the system is becoming more and more accurate as it successfully repeats the forecasting process.

    In addition, if we can download the full survey “instantly”, we minimize the number of requests to the server to call the next page and load its contents. Each server call is potentially a point of failure, and this is especially important when we talk about mobile devices where the connection is more unstable.

Finally, a couple of tips

  1. When developing future platforms, we must constantly monitor what is happening around the corner (UI, UX, UAT, etc.).

  2. Keep in mind that we are responsible for the further development of the industry.

  3. It is important to question every step in the research and development process.

  4. Pay attention to the solutions that AZN Research offers.

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