Adding a Survey to Preceden with Wufoo

Yesterday I added a survey to Preceden so users could tell me a bit more about their experience, and I think it’s going to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I chose to use Wufoo, a service for creating forms, rather than rolling my own because a) I hate making forms and b) I heard they make it easy.  It’s free to try and I’ve also heard they have great customer service, which is always a plus.

Patrick’s McKenzie’s post on integrating Wufoo into BingoCardCreator was my inspiration for doing this and I highly encourage anyone trying this to read his post too, as he has a lot of good ideas on incentivisation which I don’t cover here.

Wufoo has a slick web interface that lets you build a form by dragging and dropping controls onto it:

You also have the ability to customize the fields which makes it powerful, though it does so without being complicated. It’s clean, well thought out design is refreshing.

I added six question, which are based on the ones Patrick used for BingoCardCreator:

  • Male or female
  • Age
  • What do you use Preceden for?
  • What’s your favorite thing about Preceden?
  • How can we make Preceden better?
  • Would you be interested in using any of the following web applications? …

When you’re done, Wufoo will generate the JavaScript required to embed the form into your site:

I created a survey action in my home controller, with a corresponding survey.html.erb for their JavaScript:

And then I added a link to it from the user’s dashboard:

Clicking it takes you to the actual survey:

When users submit it, Wufoo sends me an email with the results, plus you can also check it on their website:

You’ll notice on the dashboard screenshot that there’s a small X in the top right corner of the survey notice.

I wanted users who have taken it or who don’t want to take it to be able to close the notice so it doesn’t show up forevermore on their dashboard. To do this, I added a surveyed attribute to the User model, which is set to false by default, but is changed to true when the user clicks that X.  Then on the dashboard I can say:

New! Help improve Preceden by taking our two minute .
'close'), :id => 'close-survey', :title => 'Hide this notice' %>

In total, integrating it took about two hours and it would have been a lot less if I didn’t want to keep track of who didn’t want to see it.

While there is already a contact form on the site, adding a survey link in a prominent location has already resulted in a great deal of  really good feedback. Here’s a snippet from one submission:

In no particular order :)

* Would love today’s date to automatically be in the ‘start’ box.

* An API so I can interface with our Bugzilla!
– This would boost other people sending data into preceden (hopefully) and raise awareness. Gosh, imagine a facebook app that logged and timeline’d exactly when you were on facebook. Ouch.
– I would love to see some kind of sync from preceden to Google Calendar (which in turn syncs with everything I own). Easier than developing multi-platform synchronization yourself!

This person probably wouldn’t have taken the time to write me an email, but by asking him directly “What do you want?” he opened up with a ton of useful ideas.

With Wufoo, there’s no excuse not to survey your users. For the amount of time it takes to do it and the value you gain from the results, it’s the easiest decision you’ll make all day.

One thought on “Adding a Survey to Preceden with Wufoo

  1. Timelines for the Classroom « Eduhowto

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