Redundancy is Stupid.

This is such a minor thing, in the grand scheme of everything, but I might as well start somewhere.

The Harris Poll web panel studies are actually generally pretty well done, but they’re by no means immune to bad practices. Recently, I’ve noticed they tend to ask your country of residence … followed by your state … (sometimes) followed by your county … followed by your zip code.

I know I’m just a cantankerous pain in the ass with things like this, but that drives me nuts. If this level of detail is important, why not simply ask me just my zip code, with the option to enter “00000” if I currently live outside the United States? The (presumably) few who live in other countries can then get the country picker (which, incidentally, is correctly implemented, placing the United States at the top of the list. Hopefully, they ocalize this, putting the country the respondent’s IP address suggests they’re most likely located in up at the top of the list, and not always displaying America first.)

Assuming that I do enter a zip code, congratulations: you now know my state and county as well, without having had to ask me three additional questions.

Alternatively, the web being a distinctly visual media, you could always display a world map, allowing me to click on the general vicinity of where I live and then zooming in to let me pick a  more specific area if needed, though I think the single zip code question would be more efficient.

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1 Comment

Filed under redundant questions

One response to “Redundancy is Stupid.

  1. Wonderful web site. Lots of useful information here.
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