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Surveys: When, Why, How

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Surveys: When, Why, How

by Firecat
July 15, 2021

About the Session

Surveys can produce great insights, but they frequently annoy people and waste money. We’ll explore when a survey is the right tool, how to coax people to respond, and when NOT to conduct a survey.

Recorded August 5, 2021.


The Survey Octopus has tentacles about the choices you make in surveys. Why you want to ask, Who you want to ask, the number. 8 tentacles: Left side: The reason you're doing it, The questions you ask, the answers you get, the answers you use; Right side: The list you sample from, the sample you ask, the ones who respond, the ones whose responses you use.

About the Presenters

Caroline Jarrett

10 years ago, UX consultant, teacher and user research expert Caroline Jarrett dove in to learn all about surveys. Her exciting new book Surveys that Work: A Practical Guide to Designing and Running Surveys lays out the cases for, and against, using surveys. The book comes with scads of helpful frameworks, approaches, and processes Caroline has developed over years providing survey and forms design.

Caroline loves making experiences efficient and usable, especially forms. In 2009, she co-authored Forms that Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability. Through her company Effortmark, Caroline delivers usable forms, surveys, documents, and other experiences for government agencies in Great Britain, Australia, North America, and beyond. She’s currently working on a Future Farming and Countryside programme for the UK’s Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Lily Casura

Lily Casura loves how survey research helps unearth untold stories of vulnerable populations and drives better decision-making. With insatiable curiosity, Lily immerses herself to understand the full story, analyzes, then uses data to craft compelling stories and better policy. Lily founded the first website about combat veterans and PTSD, conducts original research into women veterans and homelessness, and currently leads a community-wide survey on domestic violence.

Currently a Ph.D. student in applied demography, Lily holds a Masters of Social Work from UTSA and a BA with honors from Harvard University. She’s a longtime journalist, published author, and TEDx speaker.


Surveys that Work book by Caroline Jarrett cover - Patchwork quilt

About Firecat First Fridays

We host these free, monthly lunch-and-learn sessions to help our clients, our team, and our creative community to stay inspired and keep up with emerging techniques, tools, and tactics for User Experience design. strategy, and marketing. 

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