Surveys are a good way to collect quantitative data about users’ opinions about an application or website. Traditionally, surveys have been mailed to consumers through the postal service, and today, the internet is a great resource for distributing and collecting survey feedback from hundreds or thousands of participants in a short period of time.
Surveys are best used as tools to rate user experiences and users’ needs and preferences as they relate to system features. Surveys should be used when users’ task procedures are clearly defined, and when researchers are interested primarily in opinions about a task procedure. This is because, unlike during a one-on-one interview, the researcher cannot ask follow-up questions in response to user feedback. As a result, survey questions should be planned well. Additionally, surveys may include some open-ended questions; however, if time is a concern, analysis of these types of questions may delay the project. Finally, when creating a survey, it is best to consider how each question will be analyzed to determine its utility.