[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: laptop/edu-users

In message <35ABBBBF.C8A03DD@ix.netcom.com>, kmself@ix.netcom.com writes:
>Looks like we're shaping this section up.
>> [_] Check here if you would like to use a laptop.
>> And then the laptop question will put in another section for people
>> who check it. (Note that I ask "would like to use", not "currently use".)
>I like.  Language:
> "Check if you use or plan to use a laptop"
>  ...covers all bases.

Ok, so I'm going to try to blow this laptop issue wide open again. Sorry.

I don't think we should have this checkbox on the front page of the
survey. In my opinion, this is pretty much the same as having little
checkboxes for "Check if you use or plan to use a modem", "Check if you
use or plan to use a printer", "Check if you use or plan to use
mathematical modelling software", and even "Check if you use or plan to
use a monitor". All of these issues have certain user groups who have
specific needs and specific concerns. Is there really much of a difference
between asking somebody if they prefer interlaced or non-interlaced 
monitor resolutions, and asking them how important the weight of their
laptop is, from the perspective of the operating system?

I will grant you that it would be nice, in a fuzzy sort of sense, to know
what laptop users think is most important for their laptop, and I will
grant you that we might want to have a question in the "demographics"
section (do you use a laptop?), and I will grant you that we might even
have a small section in the core questions list (things like "how important
is it to be able to interoperate with a laptop?").

But I think that having a bunch of "check here if you want feature foo"
checkboxes on the first page of the survey, and then using those checks
to build a survey once we know what the user already cares about, is
extremely backward. At the least, we will skew our survey. More likely,
we'll also end up asking the user each question twice ("Should I ask you
about foo?" "Ok, now that you're expressed interest in foo, how important
do you think foo is?")

This is not the way. We might consider developing a separate laptop
survey, or pointing users who indicate interest towards an existing
laptop survey.

Actually, that brings up another interesting point. Instead of just
collecting information and saying "thank you", why not compile the
information they've given about their interests and goals, and give
them a specialized set of recommendations once they've finished the
survey? This might answer virtanen's question earlier about "How can
we motivate people to take the survey?" -- we motivate them because
they get automated personalized advice once they're done. This has
other issues tho, like people experimenting with our survey to see
what advice we give for which user type, when they don't actually
belong to that user type. (And it's also more work. Whee.)