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Implications for Survey Administration and Technology

The following lessons were learned in administering the survey of White House document recipients.

  1. It is often difficult to convey developers' model of the system to the public, but there is a crucial need to give the public using an interactive system clear instructions. Developers and administrators need therefore to make the model of the system explicit or to find a useful metaphor.

  2. People will often get procedures wrong or to use a wrong procedure (often one which worked in a different situation). On the other hand, many people are quick to recover from errors or to quit using the system.

  3. Surveys, even those built on close-ended multiple choice questions, can be a rich source of data, even if they do not fully capture people's feelings, affects and thoughts.

  4. Computer network environments enable a fine grained collection and analysis of data, that might enable new methods of data analysis and render obsolete standard statistics as a necessary tool for data reduction.
Sun Jun 5 21:21:16 EDT 1994