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Behind the Scenes: Redesigning the Survey Creation Experience

Behind the Scenes: Redesigning the Survey Creation Experience
new surveymonkey create experience

Hey everyone! My name is Phill Ludwig and I am the Principal UX Designer here at SurveyMonkey. A few weeks ago, we were excited to release a public interface demo of our new survey creation experience. I’d like to take some time now to share with you some of the thinking behind our new design.

A Better Survey Creation Interface

One of the challenging aspects of this project was that it was already pretty easy to create surveys in SurveyMonkey. Millions of happy users can attest to its ability to get the job done,  so we knew that whatever we built couldn’t disrupt that expectation. The last decade plus has also shown us that your survey creation needs vary widely across categories and customers: from market research, customer satisfaction, education, human resource, to fun polls and more. Our aim was to design a survey editor that makes powerful functionality as accessible as possible, without being overwhelming.

In the new Create experience, you’ll see that we decided to start with a “wizard” (or step-by-step) approach to help you stay focused when creating your surveys. When you click the “Create Survey” button from anywhere on SurveyMonkey, you’ll be taken directly into the wizard where you’ll see clear indicators of where you are in the survey creation process:

**Step 1** is where you choose the type of survey you want to create.

new surveymonkey create experience

**Step 2** is where you design your survey.

New SurveyMonkey Create interface preview

**Step 3** is where you’re given your survey link and where you can edit your collector settings.

New SurveyMonkey Create experience

Since what we released to the public is just a demo and doesn’t actually save to a database, you’ll notice that instead of the collector settings showing in Step 3, we’ve decided to provide test drivers opportunities to give us feedback about the design.

Discovery Through Playful Design

There was one more factor that we wanted to introduce—a sense of play. Yep, that’s right, play. Surveys and play might seem like an unlikely pairing, like bacon and chocolate, but we felt that the two actually go well together. Our theory is that:

– If we can create a product that you enjoy using, you’ll actually use it more and be happier throughout the process
– A playful design will encourage exploration and experimentation, and open up possibilities
– Once you feel more comfortable using SurveyMonkey, you’ll create better surveys and get greater insights

We’ve Come a Long Way

Web technologies and user experience practices have evolved a great deal since SurveyMonkey was first developed. We wanted to take advantage of the latest standards to give you a fresh, while still simple, survey creation experience. You’ll see animated effects, nested menus, and drag & drop functionality in our prototype—each one is used to make the process more intuitive.

new SurveyMonkey drag to add create

We tried to balance each of these goals while keeping SurveyMonkey simple and powerful, and ensuring that you will continue to gather high quality insights quickly. So far, we’ve already had thousands of people go through the new prototype, and the data and reactions we’ve gotten so far have been both positive and informative. Currently, we’re working on the next iteration of the prototype based on your feedback and we’re hoping to share those updates soon. Until then, keep your comments coming! We want to make the best survey creation experience possible, and we know you guys are the key to making that happen. If you haven’t tried out the new create, you can try the prototype out at

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  • K

    I have a free account, but I cannot access the new user interface you are designing. Is it necessary to upgrade?!

    • Kayte K

      Hi K! Thanks for the question. This new user interface is still in the works with our Product team- this post is giving you a ‘sneak peek’ but you can test drive the new interface by clicking this link:

      We hope you enjoy testing it. 🙂

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