August 29th, 2003

This IS me (by schwitters)Default

Briefed and debriefed

I signed up with a web-based market research company called PineCone Research, who claim to offer £4 a pop for one's Grate Thorts on prospective new products. Last night they sent me an e-mail inviting me to take part in my first survey.

Now, what, do you think, is the most efficient way of getting participants to the online survey? Personally, I would say a unique URL which takes you directly to the right page and identifies you as you.

That's not how they did it.

These were their instructions:
  1. Go to our homepage (whose URL we're not actually going to mention here, you can just scroll all the way to the bottom of the message to find it).
  2. Click on 'Current Surveys'.
  3. Identify the survey we want you to take part in by finding this nine-figure number in a page of nine-figure numbers.
  4. Enter this seven-digit user ID and this six-letter password.

So I did that, and got to a page asking me to swear by all that's holy that I and members of my household would not divulge any information about the fantastic, exciting products I'll be asked to evaluate, no matter what, and that I wasn't a journalist. I dutifully read through it all and typed 'I AGREE' in the box as directed.

I got a message telling me that my session had timed out and I needed to start again from the nine-figure numbers page.

If market research has not taught them that you should make things as quick and easy as possible or people just won't bother, they can't be very good at it.
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    annoyed annoyed