UX Notes: Surveys That Are Easy to Abandon

UX Notes: Surveys That Are Easy to Abandon

Summary: Easy fixes

  • Don't require open-ended questions if the user may not have an opinion about it.
  • Don't require conditional comments.
  • Allow collection of the easiest data the user is willing to give you—the ones with opinions will share without being forced to, the ones with no opinion will abandon the survey if forced.

If I have nothing to say, don't make me say anything.

I'm all for filling out surveys when I've got an opinion about the experience or product. Sometimes, I fill them out just because the survey was presented and it seemed pretty easy to quickly complete.

However, today I was presented with a survey that I decided to abandon after starting, because of a frustration that was easily avoidable. I had been watching a webinar, gotten some good information from it, and at the end, the survey appeared. So far, so good. The survey only had four questions, two of which were multiple choice/rating scales for my experience. That's great.

Where they went wrong was asking for two required open-ended answers. The last question was even worded, "If you have any additional comments, we'd love to hear from you." They took plenty of time to say that my opinion mattered, but they went wrong by requiring all four questions.

Why require an answer to something you've already indicated is conditional? By asking for additional comments if I have any, I shouldn't be required to put something in that field. If I have nothing to say, don't make me say anything.

After looking at the last 2 questions (but especially that conditional one), I was done. I'm not going to put random text or think of some way to say, "No comment," into a text-area just so they could get the legitimate survey answers I had given for the first half. I closed the tab and they lost those answers.