Exploring Discovery: Content Vs. Form Read more...
Last week I started posting about the messy business of the client survey; our first interaction with a client that produces the basis of any project plan or estimate. I ended up by isolating what could be two significant problems with the survey (which is based on Kelly Goto's client survey), which is popping up on a wide range of other websites.
At this point the problems appear to be: The content of the survey – the amount of questions and how they're framed, and the form of the survey: a downloadable PDF which lists the questions and contains space for the client to fill in their responses.
Take a look at Airbag Industries. This Cali-based company turned their client survey into a web-based discovery application. The client still has to enter their ideas, but I think it's a good idea because it separates the questions into discreet screens, and uses check-boxes as an easy way to answer simple questions. Also, after watching their demo, I saw that their app takes the answers generated from the survey and formats the info into a creative brief.
I emailed Airbag to ask if they would mind me playing around with their app, I wanted to ask beforehand, because I don't like sneaking around pretending I'm a potential client when in reality I'm not. What can I say, sharing is caring.
I also asked them a few questions, if they noticed an improvement, if clients enjoy it, that type of thing. Airbag took a big step in changing the presentation of their survey, and I big em up for investing that time and effort and being creative. I also wonder if they have an analytics tool installed in their discovery app. That would generate a whole new resource for feedback. I look forward to hearing back and maybe getting a chance to peek around and check out their:
Even though I'm all about having a web-based app instead of a PDF survey, my initial reaction to this whole question is the content. Goto's survey, for all its magnitude and wide acceptance, still frustrates some of our clients. I can't help but accept that there might be some room for growth and improvement with regards to
One option I've been considering is a brief explanation of why each question (or each section of the survey) is important, why the answer they provide helps us, and what actionable step we can take because of each answer. This might help convince our lead to answer the question with some thought and clarity. This seems like it'd be a valuable exercise for me to do regardless.
I've also thought about the example answers after each question. This presents us with its own challenges. If all of the example answers refer to industry x, than the example answers might not be helpful for a lead in industry y. But what does this mean? Do we have to come up with different example answers for different types of projects or industries? Should we just expect our leads to “get it”?
Anyway, that's enough for today. Here's what I want to do. In my upcoming posts I'm going to take a section of our client survey, and write a brief explanation of each question, including why the answer helps us create an actionable step that can be included in our creative brief and estimate. Should be fun.