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Designing Forms for
User-Feedback / Opinion survey
UI vs UX
The success of any enterprise, product or service, is dependent on how it
appeals to people who use it. It is very important to assess user-acceptablity, as
closely as possible. This is done by measuring two important aspects of design:
User interface (UI) and User experience (UX).
UI (User interface) : is the collection of all visual elements like --
screens, pages, buttons and icons, colour schemes, font sizes and styles --
that enable a person to interact with a product or service.
UX (User experience) : is the internal experience that a
person has as they interact with every aspect of a company's products and services.
User experience design(UX, UXD, UED or XD) is the process of enhancing user
satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility,
and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.
A common and convenient way to obtain feedback on the UI-UX aspects of
a product or service is to use a web -based form which the user is invited to fill up.
The rest of this article is about designing web based forms for UI-UX feedback. Interestingly,
the design of these tools also has to follow rules of good UI and UX design.
Ask for help, but be reasonable
- Let things be clear from the very beginning (details)
- Keep it simple and short (details)
- Avoid intrusion (details)
- How much more to go ? (details)
- Make it quantifiable (details)
- Keep a good balance of UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) feedback (details)
- Content matters, know how it felt (details)
- Avoid straitjacketing your visitor/user (details)
- Show some courtesy (details)
1. Let things be clear from the very beginning
The opening sentence inviting a user to give his/her opinion or feedback is an
important step in UI-UX design. The feedback/opinion you get, will guide your UI-UX design
and contribute to the sucess of your entreprise. Many users just ignore the call, or hesitate to
make their feelings clear. They are usually reluctant to give negative opinion or adverse comments,
both of which are essential for making improvements to your products and services. Make it clear
that negative comments are welcome and will be acted upon. Let them feel comfortable, right from the beginning.
Tell the user what exactly is being reviewed. Is it a service, a person, a place, a product or an object (name the object
being reviewed) ?
All non-standard, uncommon or custom-made abbreviations must be expanded and defined whenever they are first used.
2. Keep it simple and short
A short and quick survey will lead you to more willing respondents. There is a difference between an
opinion survey and a police interrogation. Make it less painful for everybody.
No one likes to spend a whole day talking about the product/service they used. Even if they have a complaint, they may want to
just speak out and be done with it, rather than write long reports. Having seen a bad product is bad enough. Let the feedback part not make it worse. Also, sincere compliments usually come in small phrases or sentences. You
should accept and respect this simple fact of life.
3. Avoid intrusion
No one likes an intrusive and inquisitive host. Your visitors must feel comfortable when you want them to talk to you.
You want to review your own product or service. You do not need a mugshot of the respondent. Do not be too keen to get
personally identifiable details specific to your respondent. Excessive curiosity about the respondent is the best way to lose
respondents. Take care about this aspect.
4. How much more to go ?
Your respondents may sometimes feel restless or impatient, and may give up mid-way. Let your
respondents know how much more is left in the survey. Display a progress bar or a
page count (x of y pages). In any case, make the form as short as possible, preferably just one page long.
5. Make it quantifiable
Individual, verbose responses can some times be misleading or biased. You should be able to aggregate the responses and do some
quantitative data analysis, to get an unbiased overall picture.
6. Keep a good balance of UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) feedback
There is usually an overlap between UI and UX. Try to maintain a focus. This will help you
improve the specific aspect affecting your product.
7. Content matters, know how it felt
Content makes coffee taste better, they say. This applies to creative activities like web sites or books also. Find
out the user's opinion about the contents/deliverables.
8. Avoid straitjacketing your visitor/user
This is a very common and horrible mistake found in many opinion surveys/feedback/complaint forms. The vendor (you) categorises
issues into separate compartments and asks the user to choose the issue he/she is talking about. This
same approach is often seen in many interactive voice response (IVR) systems used in the "help desk" of many
companies/organisations. This approach may help you to sort out and automatically
direct the form/call to the concerned department/person, but it has some major pitfalls:
It would be a good idea to give a "catch all" option, in addition to the initial screening options, so that the user can put in
his/her own and unstructured statements/comments.
- The user may want to report about an issue which you have not visualised/imagined when you designed the form.
- The user may want to report on a matter which spans/overlaps two or more issues/categories.
- There is no indication of the urgency or seriousness of the issue which the user wants to report.
Using a FAQ is usually a bad idea.
You may also like to give a mail ID where the user can send his/her own suggestions/comments directly, without using the
feedback form. Let them never feel straitjacketed.
A subtle way of intrusion exists when you ask "leading or loaded" questions
The way you ask questions influences the quality of responses you receive.
Two common sources of biased survey questions are loaded and leading
questions. Each sways respondents to answer in ways that don't account
for their true feelings and preferences. Aviod this trap.
9. Show some courtesy
Before finishing the survey with a DONE/SUBMIT button, your respondents must get an opportunity to
review their responses, or even edit them. Give them a prompt and let them go through their responses.
Give them a way to report complaints about the form itself. They should be able to do this without having to use the same form.
Give them a "Thank You" message as soon as they submit the form. As an
additional level of assurance, you may mail them back a copy of the form
which they have submitted.
Wrapping it up
Here is an example. Check out how many of the above points are respected
in this survey. You can email your opinions and observations to ::
You may like to take a look at some additional resources: