Using images in a survey, a picture is worth a thousand words

January 22, 2016 by Dr. Jian Huang

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is believed to have first been coined by Fred R. Barnard in a newspaper advertisement around 1921. The point of Barnard’s message was to emphasize that using imagery in advertisements would yield better results than words alone. There is a simple truth to this statement which has been quoted time and time again when speaking to the impact imagery can have when there is a need to convey a fair amount of information quickly or succinctly. Sometimes a picture is just better at telling a story.

It stands to reason that collecting feedback through the use of imagery can be a powerful tool. Some online survey tools offer the ability to add images as responses to a multiple choice question. This can be helpful but most tools fall short of allowing the images to be tangible, interactive objects - this is where Survature breaks away from the pack.

Survature’s unique AnswerCloud question type is a modern take on the the traditional survey matrix question. It can collapse a matrix of questions with identical responses into what appears to be one question with draggable, sortable answers. It’s a new take in the online survey market that increases engagement with participants. Better yet, it captures the process data associated with the participants interactions. Survature uses this data to derive the priorities that participants place on their responses. It’s a game changer that adds another layer of insight to the surveys results.

Along with simple words as responses in the AnswerCloud, Survature supports the use of images as responses, making it the ideal platform for gathering feedback on anything that is best conveyed in a visual, pictorial manner–like assessing corporate branding elements, retail packaging, product design, and more.

Pictured below is an example that showcases how images can be used when conducting requirements gathering for a workplace design project.

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Jian Huang is the Chief Executive Officer at Survature providing the vision for reinventing the way the world experiences surveys. He is a professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee (UT) researching data analysis, visualization, and human-computer interaction. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Interior, Intel, NASA, and UT-Battelle. Jian received his PhD from the Ohio State University.