Using Google forms for surveys … (almost #23thingscity )

This week on 23 things City we are looking at Office 2.0. two of the things are Google Docs and Survey Monkey. I felt this was a good point to mention how I used Google Forms in Google Docs to do a survey as part of my MA Film Studies.

I used Google Docs because it allowed unlimited questions unlike the free version of survey monkey, otherwise it was similar to survey monkey in that the link was easily distributed (via Twitter and Facebook). Google Docs allowed me to enter unlimited questions and direct people to particular questions based on the responses to a question which was a great asset, although for some people this functionality didn’t work which annoyed some respondents, I have a feeling it was to do with their browsers because it worked when I tested it.

When I got down to the analysis and I discovered Google Docs does a lot for you. For example you get a lovely summary which includes graphics, percentages and counts.

favourite type of film
Click on image to see it bigger

The data summary meant I had more time to get on with the more detailed analysis, such as looking at gender differences in the responses and the free text answers. It was possible to limit the size of the free text responses but these provided a lot of information such as “I find watching rom-coms relaxing and uplifting. They make me think that not all men are immature pigs. They are also good fun to watch with your friends and family (usually female or gay male ones). The humour in them is usually more subtle than comedies with a broader focus (i.e. ones aimed at young men).” (Female, 20-29)” and “”I don’t have any because they are all rubbish. Sometimes I am forced to watch them by my wife to be.”” This respondent felt that enjoyment was only to be had by “”Short viewing time and numerous phone calls to interrupt it. Failing all of that a packet of jammie dodgers to eat” (Male, 30-39)” (this same respondent thought Die Hard 2 was a romantic comedy).

Comparison between the sexes was easy with the way google forms puts the data into spreadsheets (see image below). For example it was easy to find “50% of men believe the hero’s reactions and feelings towards people and events are somewhat like theirs and 36% of women appear to agree.”

The form I created is still available so if you want to have a look here it is. (It’s based on a particular study which is why with hindsight some questions would be different).

Google forms is great if you are undertaking complicated research and even for simple surveys I think it provides a great alternative to survey monkey with more functionality for free. Although it has to be said the survey monkey part of this week’s things is causing far more hilarity than expected and more on that will follow at a later date.