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Survey Monkey

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In: Reviews > Product Reviews

By Ken Westin

Published on August 22, 2005

Don’t let the odd name fool you—this is one monkey you could use on your back. Survey Monkey has been around for quite a while, but hasn’t received the exposure that it deserves.

Ease of Use

Survey Monkey is an easy-to-use tool for the creation of online surveys. Its primary strength is its intuitive Web interface, which makes it easy for even non-technical folks to create surveys and export collected data. It has advanced features, like the ability to branch questions based on response and exporting to different formats, including HTML, CVS and SQL.

Free vs. Cheap

Survey Monkey offers a free limited account that stores 100 responses. The “Professional” subscription ($19.95 per month) allows 1,000 responses. If you exceed that amount you’ll pay $.05 per response. With a Professional account, you may create unlimited surveys with an unlimited number of questions.

List Management

Survey Monkey also helps get people to your surveys. You can create email lists with custom invitations. Again, the interface is easy to use and allows you to either add names and addresses by hand or import them from a text file. You can also track an individual’s identity through the survey. With the free account you are limited to 100 names.

Improvements

Although Survey Monkey has some great features at a decent price, there are some areas that could use some work. Since I started using Survey Monkey two years ago, there have been few new features or updates. Some might say the application is fine as-is, but I think there are some areas that could be improved.

I would like to be able to customize the interface even more. It would be nice to be able to remove or change the appearance of buttons and checkboxes, and apply my own style sheet.

Even with a Professional account, you are limited to one user. This can be a bit of a pain if you have more than one person who needs to create surveys. You end up with everyone using one account—each with access to all surveys on that account—or forcing users to set up free accounts and move their surveys over to the central account. It would be nice if there was an “Enterprise Monkey” account for multiple users, customizable roles, a “shared” area for surveys that all users can edit as well as “private” areas accessible only by survey owners.

Conclusion

Overall, Survey Monkey is a great product for the price (especially the free account!). By distributing survey authoring, it can save Web managers and teams a lot of time.

It’s easy to use and very flexible—especially when creating questions and accessing survey results. Before jumping into a Professional subscription, I would suggest using the free account to get used to the interface and features. Once you are comfortable with how it works, upgrade to the Professional account for the additional features, if you need them.

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Ken Westin is based in Portland, Oregon and is currently the Founder and CEO of GadgetTrak, the provider of mobile security and theft recovery solutions.

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