How to persuade, simplify, and engage
In the Travel Survey, participants answer questions about their travel habits and are asked to record a travel diary of journeys made in one predetermined day. A journey is defined as traveling from one place to another outside the immediate vicinity of one’s home. The Travel Survey is not a research on public transport, however – the aim is to collect information about all modes of transport. This is why the survey needed its own brand, one that would not be affiliated with HSL and clearly communicates that all modes of transport are equal objects of the study.
A particular challenge for recent surveys has been a decrease in the response rate, as participation is voluntary. Providing a clear, easy, and engaging experience was key when designing the customer experience. The transition from getting the invitation letter to logging in to the online survey needed to be as smooth as possible. It was also important to ensure that participants would complete the whole survey, and that it would be fun and rewarding to record the travel diary.
We created a simple and fresh look for the survey, in which different modes of transport are pictured with colorful illustrations. The illustrations were also essential in expressing key terminology like journeys, departures and returns, and tours. The copy needed to be clear and understandable. From iterating the order of the questions to selecting the right wording, special care was put into making the survey easy to complete.
The survey’s structure, how the interface guides the user along, and the transition from the paper invitation to the digital survey were all tested with users, first with paper prototypes and later with a trial study. Experts at Frantic and HSL also tested the survey app multiple times, while the researchers’ own interface was designed in cooperation with the actual persons doing the research interviews.