Thank you all for your Fat Finger improvement ideas. We received more than 240 suggestions, the most common of which are listed below in order of most requested.
Include more options in the answers or have ‘other’ as an option. True we won’t always cover all respondents’ possible choices (either from intellectual or imaginative deficits) but we will be more cognizant of trying to cover all bases and including ‘other’ as an option going forward. That said there are times we don’t want to cover every option because we are trying to ascertain a preference of a vs b. For instance many commented on the fact they don’t trust Bill or Hillary Clinton, and didn’t want to have to choose one. We were aware of that, but the point is we were trying to see the preference even among those that don’t like either Clinton (and those that like both). Choosing the lesser of two evils is legitimate polling and a fact of life– there will be times when you have to choose between options and you’re preferred option isn’t available. If that weren’t the case none of us would watch ‘Maid in Manhattan’.
Sharing your views/overall results. In the upcoming release you will be able to email your choices and overall results to each survey as you complete it with a ‘forward to a friend’ button. You will also be able to share your choices and overall results on Facebook and Twitter. We strongly encourage you to use these and engage your friends. We hope that your friends will appreciate the same experience—getting a chance to voice an opinion, see how others feel, and perhaps affect policy in the process.
We also humbly request you rate our app in its respective stores. The more ratings, the more likely we are to gain additional participants.
A chance to opine on the questions. Several people asked for ‘don’t care’ as an option, or more write-in questions, or the ability to comment in general. First, there is a comment button in the ‘information’ area. That said we are considering making commenting on each question easier. We may include ‘don’t care’ more frequently as an option, though it does impinge the value of the results so it won’t be included on all questions. And we are considering adding the ability to write comments on the results screen, akin to the comment feature on online articles.
Longer surveys/more questions. We think that a short survey once a day is the right amount given our consistently high response rate. However since a number of people asked for more questions we may give the ability to opt in to more questions in the future (and those that don’t opt in would still receive no more than 1 survey of at most 3 questions a day).
Rewards for participation. The reason we did not offer rewards from the start is we believed there was a value in sending people thoughtful questions , giving them the ability to express their opinion and see how the rest of the country feels in an instant. In other words, participating is its own reward. That said we are considering lottery-type prizes in the future.
Results broken down by categories—political affiliation, gender, location. It’s heartening to see how clued in our users are, and we expect to offer the ability to break down results on your phone in the near future.
Back button. I regret to inform those folks that while we appreciate their interest in getting their responses ‘correct’, we are equally interested in getting unvarnished views. There are times that the subsequent questions in a survey may cause a person to want to change their earlier answers at the expense of true feelings. So for now we respectfully decline to add a back button. You can always change a response before you hit submit.
What happens with the information gleaned from user answers? First, they are informing all of us as to what national opinion is on matters of the day. Many of us can live in a bubble and not be aware of overall opinion. We think the app is valuable even if only those participating are seeing the results. Further, we share results with ‘interested parties’—for instance journalists who may have written on a topic without knowing public opinion or with politicians and others in a position to affect policy, political or otherwise.
User-generated questions. We are all for it! You can send them currently using the existing comment screen (found via the information page), or you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us @fatfingerfinds. Questions that will be of the most interest to users have the greatest chance of being issued. For instance, our interest in Akitas has been balanced by the knowledge that not very many people own these dogs, preventing us from asking repeated questions on why they behave the way they do.
There were many unique one-off suggestions, (add pictures, or let the screen rotate, the ability to see your own selections on the results screen, etc…) that undoubtedly make for a better experience, but can’t all be added at once. Of course the order features are added is determined by a combination of value added and difficulty in implementing. Apologies if your item is added on the later side to be implemented.
Lastly, plenty of people asked for things that already exist, so here is a brief reminder of three of the current capabilities on the app:
You can see the results to all past questions on the blog (www.fatfingerblog.com), which can be accessed by a button at the bottom of the results page on your phone.
You can access updated results on your phone to the most recent mini survey by opening the app at any time. If you have already answered the mini survey it will show you the real time results. (If you haven’t answered you will get the opportunity to do so upon opening, and when you’ve completed the mini survey you will see the results.)
There is a comment button within the information area, which itself can be located by using the ‘i’ button on the upper left.
Thank you all again for your suggestions and ongoing participation, and please don’t hesitate to tell us your thoughts going forward.