Re: Bloated Docs: Identifying What's Useful

Subject: Re: Bloated Docs: Identifying What's Useful
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 22:38:34 -0500

On Thu, 23 Feb 2012 21:00:07 -0500, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> wrote:

I think surveys are problematic.

Quite agree. It is extremely difficult to design a survey that is not offensive, incomplete, skewed, prejudiced or ignored.

- You offend by offering choices A, B, C, D, and E. The person answering feels that F would have been correct.

- Skewed surveys give you numerical scores that indicate something about the questions you asked, but not about the problem you are trying to solve. You can also skew by selecting an unrepresentative sample. It is said that surveys predicting DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN were taken by telephone, and thus ignored voters who had no phone.

- Surveys via internet can be skewed intentionally by responders who take the survey multiple times.

- Prejudiced surveys drive the responder to desired answers.

- Some people will ignore your survey for personal or aesthetic reasons. "Too many questions." "Stupid survey. Choosing on a scale of 0 to 10 is stupid. GOOD, BAD and DON'T CARE WHICH would have been better." "Hate the product, hate the survey." "Forget it! There's nowhere to add comments!"

- Some people simply ignore all surveys.

Surveys that take you through step by step, but won't let you look ahead to see what the rest of the questions will be are annoying. Surveys that force you to give an opinion on every step, even things about which you know nothing, are worse than annoying.

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