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You’ve seen them before: the little pop-up boxes that appear on websites you visit, inviting you to take a survey of some sort. Depending on your availability, interest in the site, or desire to procrastinate, you may have taken the time to fill one out.

If you’re like most people, that’s where your experience will end. But, what happens with all of that data? We’ll shed some light on what is happening behind the scenes when you see that survey invitation, or “site intercept”, and why you may consider taking advantage of a site intercept for your next project.

Here at Catalyst, we’ve used site intercept surveys for a variety of reasons, but we’ve seen two common scenarios for using this methodology:

First, site intercept surveys are a great jumping-off point for larger research projects. Clients often have an idea of the types of people who are visiting their site and what those people might think of the current experience, but these assumptions haven’t been validated or validated recently.

The survey data can be used to uncover critical insights about visitors such as demographics, satisfaction with the site, and impressions of the brand. Armed with this information, researchers can make more informed decisions about where to focus more rigorous lines of inquiry and use the insights to drive design strategy.

The second scenario for using a site intercept survey happens when researchers need to validate design changes through “benchmarking” metrics. By launching surveys before and after a site redesign, we can gauge the success of the redesign and even identify areas for improvement.

Benchmarking surveys commonly include questions aimed at understanding visitors’ satisfaction with the site, ease of use and perceptions of content. By using the same questions on both the pre-and post- redesign versions of the site, researchers can track whether the design updates moved the site in the right direction.

Site intercept surveys are an increasingly important tool in the UX researcher’s toolkit because: 

  • Researchers are able to target current customers / site visitors in real-time
  • Researchers can elicit feedback from hundreds of users instead of just the 10-12 participants that might participate in a lab study
  • (Bonus:) All this can be done for a fraction of the cost of most research techniques

If you want a more in-depth look at site intercept surveys, stay tuned for the webinar Catalyst is hosting on the topic in May!

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