David Housman

5 Things Intercept Surveys Do that Other Surveys Don’t


A website intercept survey is a survey that pops up while you’re using a website. The approach has the potential to work around some limitations of usability testing. When used with Web Analytics, this type of distribution can be powerful. Intercept surveys are different from other methods of research and survey distribution. A website intercept does not replace other forms of survey distribution; it adds to them.

Customer Feedback

I’ve already discussed this in another post, so I will not revisit it here.

Entry Surveys

You’ve probably seen entry surveys before. User demographics and visit objectives can be applied in lots of fields, from marketing to user experience, to web analytics. This data is difficult to collect through any other means, and it is useful just about everywhere. Segmentation data is especially valuable when used to break down other data, such as exit survey data.

Exit Surveys & SPI Trending

Exit surveys are great for trending Sentiment Performance Indicators (SPIs). Some good questions to ask about in an exit survey include

  • Satisfaction
  • Retention
  • Net Promoter
  • SPIs and company objectives

Keep in mind that absolute numbers don’t mean a whole lot. Try to create a framework for comparison

  • Measurement before or after a change
  • A similar page elsewhere on the site
  • Trending metrics over time

Before and After (Bookend) Surveys

Say you walk into a doctor’s waiting room, and there are two people sitting there:

  • Person 1 has been there for 5 minutes and is having a pleasant afternoon
  • Person 2 is fuming because he’s been sitting there for 3 hours and is late for another appointment

The nurse comes out and brings them both a lollypop. Compared to each other, these guys are polar opposites. Compared to how they were feeling 5 minutes ago, they’re probably feeling a lot better. Bookend surveys measure changes in a user’s attitude over time.

The approach involves the use of popover surveys:

  1. The first survey pops up before the event, and collects the baseline
  2. The user goes through a defined, sequential workflow, like a checkout sequence
  3. The second survey pops up after the event. It asks the same questions as the first survey.

When you compare the two surveys, you can learn about what happened in between.

In-Page Assessment

Which of the following is easiest to answer:

  • How well organized was the content of the website you viewed yesterday?
  • How well organized was the content on the page before this one?
  • How well organized is the content you’re looking at right now?

After a user has viewed a page, launch a small popover survey in a sparse region of the screen. Ask questions about the current page. The in page assessment makes it possible for the user to look at a page while they answer questions about it. This will produce more reliable information than other approaches, including usability tests..

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