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Subject:Re: User surveys From:"Andrew F. Swartz" <aswartz -at- HARLEQUIN -dot- CO -dot- UK> Date:Tue, 22 Apr 1997 17:00:34 +0100
Susan Brown asked about formulating questionnaires. My advice would be to
ask as many specific questions as you can in addition to the typical
general questions. What you may want to know is 'Is the new help system
better than the last one?' In fact, it may be interesting to ask just that,
but you may get more useful information by calling up a user of the old
system and asking them questions such as, 'What's the last thing you looked
up in the help system? Did you find what you were looking for? Was it a
good experience?' and then asking the same questions of users of the new
Also, I remember an STC survey on seminars which suggested a process for
developing a survey something like this:
1. Decide what questions you want the survey to answer--that is, what's the
purpose of the survey.
2. Decide how you'll get your list of interviewees and their phone numbers
or addresses. (This can take a long time.)
3. Draft a questionnaire and pass it around for internal review.
4. Send a warning letter to the full list of interviewees, so they get the
idea that the questionnaire is coming and that it's important.
5. Send the revised questionnaire to a small sample of interviewees. When
you get their responses evaluate them to make sure the respondents seem to
understand the questions in the way you meant them to.
6. Send them the questionnaire itself. Consider offering some reward for
returning the survey, even a pen does wonders for your response rate. At
least include a return envelope with postage.
7. After an appropriate time, send reminder letters or make reminder phone
I've never had the time to follow all these steps myself, but can see how
they would be helpful if you had the time and resources, and would if your
response rate would be helpful.
> From: Susan Brown <sbrown -at- JSCSYS -dot- COM>
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: User surveys
> Date: 21 April 1997 17:25
> Hi, Hi!!
> I=E0ve recently drastically reorganized the format of the help
> our firm produces for the systems they develop. I would like to send out
> questionaire to the users to get some information about how this new
> stacks up against previous ones, what they like, what they don=E0t like,
> they use it, etc. etc.
> I am sure many of you have done this kind of thing before, so,
> rather than reinventing the wheel, I thought I'd pick your brains first.
> If any of you have any comments, suggestions, or copies of
> questionnaires you have written/distributed/received, I would really
> appreciate hearing/seeing them.
> Thanks tons, folks, and ciao.
> Susan Brown
> JSC Systems Corp.
> "Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till
> come to the end: then stop."
> - Lewis Carroll
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