my world of work and user experiences

May 31, 2012

Just asking our users with a SharePoint Online survey

Filed under: SharePoint,Usability — Tags: , , — frederique @ 22:55

From time to time, we just need to ask the users what they think of our intranet. A survey is a nice tool to get some answers. We don’t aim for scientific accuracy, but for a sense of the intranet’s usability, what works for the users . In a previous post, I discussed a survey we set up when we started developing a new intranet. That survey was implemented in a standard survey list template of WSS2, the SharePoint version 2003.

Standard survey in SharePoint Online

Now we wanted to ask some follow-up questions. And by this time, we have entered the cloud. So we created a survey using a standard list template in SharePoint Online. And that is definitely better:

  • The survey questions open in a dialog box, so that the user concentrates on answering them, instead of getting distracted by the context and risking to lose their answers when they leave the form.
  • Branching depending on the answers the user gives, so that you get different follow-up questions when you answer that yes, you do us some section of the intranet
  • Better exports to spreadsheet of the results
Respond to survey

Respond to the survey, in a dialog box

Linking to the survey

Once we had set up the survey, we wanted to invite our users to respond to the survey and explain to them what it is about and why their feedback is important, in an invitation e-mail and an article on the intranet. With a link to start the survey right away. However, that was not as easy:

  • The direct link leading to the questionnaire form (/ResourceSurvey/NewForm.aspx) opens it in the context of the list

    O365-Survey in list context

    NewForm opens in the list context

  • Adding ?IsDlg=1to the url (/ResourceSurvey/NewForm.aspx?IsDlg=1) removes the background, but now the survey form looks lost and when the users has finished the survey he actually is lost: he ends up on a blank screen.

    O365-Survey no context


  • It does work if you put it in a script:
    <a href="javascript:var options=SP.UI.$create_DialogOptions();
    options.height = 400;void(SP.UI.ModalDialog.showModalDialog(options))">
    <strong>Start the survey</strong></a>

    However, if we put this on a news article page, SharePoint automatically strips out the code.

So we put the code inside a Content Editor Web Part on the news article page, so that the script remained intact and worked!

By the way, this method implies that we had to use a news article rather than a blog post, because we could not insert a web part in a standard SharePoint blog post.

Powered by WordPress