Thursday, March 7, 2013

Top 5 Reasons Your Surveys Fail

When we started researching the survey market and survey tools, we talked to a lot of people. We learned a lot about why users take surveys, what they liked, what they disliked and why surveys fail.

Most users of surveys gave us one similarly consistent response. The overarching sentiment  was "Surveys take too much time, they can be painful, boring and they tend to be complex." A combination of these factors leads to a high survey abandonment rate among survey takers.

There were many other data points of feedback about what users did not like about surveys and why surveys have a historically low completion rate.

We have decided to just touch upon the high points of what we learned while doing our research.

The Top 5 Reasons Your Surveys Fail.

1. Takes Too Much Time: Users are pressed for time and are happy to take a survey and give feedback... but only if it can be done quickly. Users have a short attention span in this environment.

2. Overly Complex: Confusing grids with tons of radio buttons and too many choices make completing the survey a challenge. Most surveys are designed in such a way that it is difficult for the average consumer to easily complete.

3. Visually Overwhelming: Too many questions on a page actually challenges users as they will tend to scan thru all the questions and try to decide if the survey will be too difficult to complete.

4. Too Long: Users begin a survey only to see a progress bar that indicates they are only a small percentage of the way thru after answering several questions. Consequently, users exit; which results in very high abandonment rates.

5. Feels Like Work: Users have repeatedly said that the surveys feel like work and the experience is typically not one that they associate with fun.

If you are interested in seeing the SlimSurveys solution to these problems visit