Creating a survey to inspire my own infographic series.

The Decisions Survey: What is it?

I have been developing ‘The Decisions Survey’ to base a series of infographics about decision making on. I have been involved in assisting survey making before, but have never had any direct training or experience of doing it myself so its all been a bit of a learning curve.

http://www.samwalterdesign.com/the-decisions-survey/

My objectives

Develop a series of infographics exploring and comparing the influences, implications and reasoning behind the decisions we make in our daily work lives. To gather the information, develop an online survey to collect information on decisions from a number of professionals.

By the nature of being trained as a graphic designer, the idea of research is new ground, I was always going to approach it in a different way. I took it upon myself to do this project due to a slump in freelance work. I wanted to do more infographics work, and thought it would be interesting for me to do the research for the inforgaphics themselves, so the project could both engage people and be driven by me curiocities.

My mistakes

  1. Only having a vaigue idea of the infographics I was going to make, meant there wasn’t a solid plan to stick to.
  2. Making the original survey too long.
  3. Responding to peoples feedback too much while moderating the survey to be ‘more enjoyable’ to take.
  4. Trying to formulate a new plan mid — survey and work out a new strategy.

The responses

I have however got a number of positive responses about the survey, largely that:

  1. It’s interesting for people to consider why people have taken their life decisions.
  2. There is interest to see the results of the decisions
  3. People’s toughest decisions are often the best decisions they have had tho take.

My lessons

- It is always good to have a hypothesis that you can explore before starting a survey. In this case, this is something I realised early — mid survey, meaning that the bulk of my early ‘easy responses’ from my friend as a result of pushing over Facebook.

- A survey based design series is a great way of engaging people with both an idea away from design and to get visitors to your website. Whether that will be effective is yet to be seen.

- Asking for help and opinion is essential, to evolve the project and gain valuable feedback as to how to get it to progress.

- Ironically, as my survey suggests, I knew by instinct when the survey was working and was finally asking the right questions. This was backed up as peoples responses became more frequent, and positive feedback as opposed to dismissal started to come in.