How to Get People to Fill Out Your Damn UX Surveys

how-to-get-people-to-fill-out-your-damn-ux-surveys

Surveys are a staple of research work. If you’re a UX Designer working on a product (especially a new one), it’s likely at some point you’ll have to craft a survey. I think surveys are great – they can help you gain insights quickly from many people, often for cheap free.

But surveys are only as useful as the number of people who fill them out. The more data you collect, the more you’re able to parse out meaningful patterns.

All too commonly, this is what happens when a novice asks their friends to take a survey…

oh-hell-no-cat-ux

Why does this happen? It’s due to a lack of survey etiquette.

SURVEY ETIQUETTE

The surveys that get little to no responses always make the same mistake…they don’t give potential respondents enough information about the survey itself.

How do you react when you see a post that says “Hey fill out this survey for me please?” My guess is that you’re not jumping out of your chair out of the kindness of your heart to do a survey.

When you think about it, seeing a request like this doesn’t feel too different from advertisement or spam.

Conversely, increasing a potential respondent’s trust can drastically help you get more survey responses. If you just remember one thing from this post, it should be this question:

What information can I provide about my survey to increase trust, and therefore get more responses?

Fortunately, all this requires is some extra effort and information, which we can resolve with a simple template:

The Template for Asking People to Fill Out Your Damn Survey

> Self Intro

If asking strangers or a broader audience, be sure to give a quick blurb of who you are. It can be as simple as your name and/or job title.

Example: Hi Redditors, I’m Oz – author of the UX Blog UXBeginner.com. 

> State the purpose

Tell people what the survey is for. What are you trying to accomplish? How does this survey help you make a decision or move forward with an initiative?

Example: I’m working on creating more useful, UX-driven content for readers like you.

Note that I’m not asking for people to fill out a survey yet.

> Make the request

Time to shine! Ask for the audience’s help, but with some context.

Example: In order to get a sense of what my readers enjoy, would you please fill out this short, 1 minute survey?
Survey link: goo.gl/example

Note that the above link is not real. You can shorten links using services like Google’s URL Shortener or Bit.ly

> Tell them about the survey

How long will the survey take? Is the survey anonymous? Will the audience get to see results?

Example: The survey only contains 7 questions and takes less than 45 seconds to fill out. All responses are anonymous, unless you choose to include your email for followup. After you fill out the survey, you also get to see everyone else’s (anonymous) results about what they’d like to read on the blog! 

> Thanks + other relevant info

In addition to giving your thanks, you can reiterate how this survey will help you, when you need responses by, or even how curious audience members can reach out to you.

Example: I’m aiming to get all responses in by next week (Mon 10/17). Your survey results will help me write better articles relevant to you. If you have any questions/suggestions on the survey itself, please comment below. Thank you!

Survey link: goo.gl/random

Notice that I ended my message with another link to my survey, just in case people missed it. Again, the above link is not real.

Bring it all together

In a fictional example, I’ll demonstrate how I might ask a group of strangers (from Reddit) to fill out my survey:

Hi Redditors, I’m Oz – author of the UX Blog UXBeginner.com. I’m working on creating more useful, UX-driven content for readers like you. 

In order to get a sense of what my readers enjoy, would you please fill out this short, 1-minute survey?

Survey link: goo.gl/example

The survey only contains 7 questions and takes less than 45 seconds to fill out. All responses are anonymous, unless you choose to include your email for followup. After you fill out the survey, you also get to see everyone else’s (anonymous) results about what they’d like to read on the blog! 

I’m aiming to get responses in by next week (Mon 10/17).Your survey results will help me write better articles relevant to you. If you have any questions/suggestions on the survey itself, please comment below. Thank you!

Survey link: goo.gl/example

Where to Post Your Surveys? 

At this point you’re armed with a template that should convert more people to fill our your surveys. Now, where to post your survey?

I created a dedicated Facebook Group called Survey Swap and Share. The idea is simple – post your survey, and help other members fill out their surveys, whether it’s for a UX bootcamp or a personal side project.

Got a survey? Try it now: Survey Swap and Share

Another great option is r/SampleSize – a subreddit where you can freely post your surveys. Before posting, you must create a free Reddit account and follow the community’s posting rules.

If you find another community where surveys can be posted for free, please comment!