Wisdom from the Sawtooth Software Conference

My friend Jon Godin, CMB's Director of Analytic Services, is a brilliant guy but clearly never feels quite smart enough. So he recently attended the Sawtooth Software Conference to lean more about the latest and greatest trade off tools and techniques. We'll be posting some of what he learned over the coming weeks. First up is a presentation from our friend Chris Goglia at Critical Mix.... Here is the abstract from his presentation.

“To Drag-n-Drop or Not? Do Interactive Survey Elements Improve the Respondent Experience and Data Quality?” by Chris Goglia and Alison Strandberg Turner:

Abstract: Chris Goglia presented a paper on the increasing demand for interactive survey elements in questionnaires (like sliders instead of rating scales and drag-and-drop functionality instead of numeric rankings). What they found is that these interactive elements increase time-to-complete but there were not significant differences in the resulting data. Furthermore, other studies on slider bars suggest that the use of sliders will result in a higher dropout rate, longer response times, more missing data, and no improvement in the resulting distributions of data. Interactive elements may be more appropriate for certain (i.e., younger) audiences who are more used to experiencing and using these types of activities online, however, older audiences may actually experience a lot of trouble using them.

So the upshot is that you should be very careful in using these interactive elements in studies, as they may increase engagement for some, but may actually hinder others, and they provide little to no improvement over traditional questions otherwise.

As always, think about who you are researching and adjust your plans accordingly.


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