Survey gamification examples: Quick and easy DIY tricks

Survey gamification examples: Quick and easy DIY tricks

If surveys are games, shouldn’t they be fun like games?  Good survey gamification examples that are successful in engaging respondents are hard to find. Too often, surveys rely on the science of data gathering without enough thought into making the data collection experience fun and rewarding for the end user. As a result, many respondents abandon surveys prior to completion or do not become fully engaged, providing minimal feedback.

Here are some effective survey gamification examples that replace survey questions with gamified approaches:

Demographics Mad Libs

Most surveys start with or end with some basic demographics questions. These are necessary to understand the audience and, in some cases, for weighting and modeling the results. They can also be exceedingly boring.

Survey gamification example #1: Turn demographics questions into a fill-in-the-blank story. Let respondents tell you about themselves in a fun way instead of just answering the same boring questions. Use a combination of drop-down selections and open ended text fields to make entering their information as easy as possible.

survey gamification example using madlibs

Matrix-style grid questions

A grid question asks the same question about a number of different related things. For example, it might ask a participant to rate a number of different brands, or ask how satisfied they are on several different characteristics. But grid questions have their problems. They are prone to poor data quality because they encourage straight-lining or other speed-based completion techniques. Grid questions are often considered and answered as one question rather than each item considered as separate independent questions. It is easy for respondents to skim down the list of items without actually reading and understanding each item on its own. Finally, they don’t display well, especially on mobile devices.

Survey gamification example #2:  Replace the grid with a Word Search Meta game. The word search slows the respondent down, and ensures that they actually read each item (because they had to find it in the word search first). This leads to more thoughtful answers, as respondents consider each item individually. It breaks up the monotony of answering the same question repeatedly by giving variety to the activities. Specifically, it distributes the questions throughout the game, alternating between finding a word and answering a question.

Open-ended questions

Open ended text questions can be intimidating. They remind people of essay questions on tests or college applications–activities that most people would not classify as fun. They also slow people down. If there are too many of them, responses get shorter and less meaningful. Too many open-ended response question cause many potential respondents to exit a survey early.

Survey gamification example #3: Replace open-ended responses with a chatbot to simulate conversations. Allow respondents to engage using natural language, and respond appropriately with follow-up questions that match the sentiment of responses.

Rank order sorting

Preference ranking can be tricky, especially when there are lots of attributes. The more options there are, the harder it can be for people to rank them. This is precisely why rank order methodologies such as Max-Diff scaling exist. When dealing with lots of attributes that need to be ranked, it is easier for people to handle them in smaller subsets. But these ranking methodologies can often be long and tedious, with repetitive questions.

Survey gamification example #4: Using the MaxDiff Rankifier or Prefer! Datagames make rank order sorting a much more enjoyable and engaging experience. These card-based games can replace multiple repetitive questions in a survey flow to get an accurate relative rank order of attributes. Respondents report higher satisfaction and enjoyment from studies using the MaxDiff Rankifier game over respondents taking a traditional MaxDiff survey, and more respondents complete the exercise, too!

Use Datagame for survey gamification

Datagame is a DIY insights gamification platform that makes it easy to apply good gamification practices to any survey. Replacing parts of your survey, or run a standalone Datagame to supplement other research. Sign up for a free account to start gamifying your surveys today.