Be Positive with the Whicher, it improves UX

May 21, 2013

When first experimenting with the Whicher, we put together a survey called “Which social network would you rather give up?” We decided to pick a topic that was fun and quick making it easy for us to test the tool’s usability. We choose 8 social networks to rank by popularity (contenders, in Whicher parlance) and sent out the link!

Screenshot of the ”We have a winner” page in the Whicher

Then something weird happened. After they completed the survey, I began to receive messages from each of the participants. They said to me, “My winner was ‘Foursquare’...but that’s the social networking site I don’t want, the one I like the least. Why would that be my winner? It didn’t win in my book.”

Putting aside this participants feelings on foursquare (heresy), they’ve got a valid point. The network you don’t like sure doesn’t feel like the “winner”.

Intuitively, winning indicates that the top pick is the most desirable, even if the question asks otherwise. This helped us realize Would the results have been different if we asked “Which social network would you rather keep?” or “Which of these would be harder to give up?

What we learned: Your survey question is the only text in your Whicher tournament, the one opportunity you have to communicate with your participants. so make it straightforward and intuitively easy to understand. Phrasing your question positively will avoid confusing feedback from your users. Phrase wisely!

If I was running this tournament again today, I’d probably phrase the question...

Which social network do you rely on the most?” or “Which social network would you be more disappointed to lose?

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