OpenCollection Pre-Workshop Questionnaire

Allison Bloodworth abloodworth at
Wed Apr 23 19:15:18 UTC 2008

Nice work Erin!

In doing survey design, there are a few big principles I try to follow:
* Ensure the survey isn't overwhelming
* Ensure the respondents will understand the questions (and don't use  
* Ensure the questions aren't leading, and don't result in responses  
that have been influenced by your assumptions
* Ensure the response options will allow respondents to accurately  
express their thoughts/opinions

This is a pretty long survey, so I'd give users an idea in the  
introduction of how many questions there are and/or how much time it  
will take to complete it, as well as what the benefits are to them of  
completing it. It may be that your users are so invested in this  
project that they won't mind taking a half hour to fill out the  
survey, but I'm guessing this may be a lot to ask. To alleviate this  
problem, you could put the most important questions at the beginning  
and make sure that your survey system saves responses even if a  
survey isn't totally complete.

One way to ensure that people understand the questions and can give  
you an accurate response is to pre-test it on someone, get their  
feedback, and then modify the questions and answers based on that  
feedback. I'd always recommend doing that with real respondents, but  
if you understand the domain well enough in a pinch you can do it on  

I think that some of your questions below won't allow for all  
possible responses, and a lot of that is reflected in my suggestions  
below. There is nothing more frustrating in a survey than thinking  
"what I want to say isn't here!" So I almost always provide an open- 
ended (e.g. "Other") response on every question.

Some question-specific feedback:

Doing just a quick read...

I'm thinking that if you want to use the "CMS" abbreviation, you  
should probably introduce it at some point. E.g. "General Questions  
About Collection Management Systems (CMSs)"
Often I think people would read CMS as "Content Management System."  
Then later on you call it "this program" and I would probably just  
stick with the CMS terminology if that's what you're going to call it  
(to be consistent).

You may want to explain what you mean by tagging here: "Are you  
familiar with tagging?" and allow for comments. Or are you more/also  
interested in finding out whether they would like to use tagging in  
the CMS?

These questions assume that they do these things. I'd re-write them  
to ask if they are done and then ask "How?"

How do you use controlled vocabularies in your workflow?
How do you link objects that are related?
Next question you're assuming that they'd like it to be compatible  
with another system, but they may not want that. I'd re-write that  
question as well:
Is your CMS compatible/interoperable with any other museum systems?
Yes, with ____
No, I'd like it to be compatible with ____
How? Why?
Looks like for this question you need an "other" response:
Is your CMS compatible/interoperable with any other museum systems?
How do you create a new record?
Fill out the pre-defined fields
Allow for multiple formats here:
Do you create reports from within your collection management system?
Yes, in ____ formrat
Allow for a more open-ended answer here:
Are you able to create all the reports you need within the CMS?
No, I use other applications (e.g. excel) to convert reports
What applications do you use?
No, I request them from a programmer
On Apr 22, 2008, at 9:59 AM, Erin Yu wrote:

> Hi,
> The second OpenCollection Workshop in New York is going to focus
> primarily on User Experience. We created a questionnaire for the
> participants to fill out before they come to this workshop to learn
> about their experience with the current Collections Management System:
> +Questionnaire
> Many of the questions are inspired by our Contextual Inquiry guide
> questions and modified for the context and for its "survey" purpose.
> I'm going to finalize the questionnaire and put it up on Survey Monkey
> tonight/tomorrow morning. I'd really appreciate any feedback.
> Thanks!
> Erin
> _______________________________________________
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at

Allison Bloodworth
Senior User Interaction Designer
Educational Technology Services
University of California, Berkeley
(415) 377-8243
abloodworth at

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the fluid-work mailing list