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[Tutorial] How to make a good poll

ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
edited December 2017 in Site Resources

I would like to give you some hints and
ideas of how to make good poll here.

Want to know how to set up a poll in the first place?
See post below.

A word of warning:

A poll summarizes thousands and thousands (and more) of ideas and opinions
in 10 (or less!) different options. As a result the options will most
likely be polarizing and general. Which is the main ingredient for flame wars.

Before making a poll on sensitive topics,
which may add even more fuel to a potential flame war,
please consult a moderator and ask for advice.

In short - TLDR version

The options of a poll should be
- clear
- short
- precise
- easy to understand
- unbiased
- not overlapping
- make everyone feel being represented
- "Other" and "I do not care" as options
- neutral: without insult or praise
- make private poll if you feel a public one would influence how people choose

Finally: Do not misuse your poll to prove something.

Long Story

Don't make the "optional description" mandatory in order to understand your poll.
You cannot be sure everyone reads it. There are people who just drop by to vote.

You can start with your own opinion as an option. Then the exact opposite.
And then all the shades inbetween. Think outside of your own box.

Only use short, precise answers to your question as options.
If you ask a yes/no question then do NOT add reasons
to your options, unless you offer a great scope of reasons,
that can represent almost all people.

Put "Other" and "I do not care" as options.
Thus you can get feedback, whether you have chosen good options
and if people are interested in that topic at all.

Do not misuse polls

Do not set up polls when you want to prove something!
The thought of setting up a poll to prove that "the majority"
thinks what you think might be tempting.

In this case you already know what result you want your poll to show.
There is a great chance that this influences you when setting up a poll.

Most likely people will notice that your poll seems to
"favor" certain options. Or that other options are missing.
Maybe some options contain subtle compliments or insults
for the one who votes for it.

People will feel like they are manipulated to choose one certain option.
They will notice and complain or not participate in the first place.

You should set up a poll only, when you honestly
care about what other people think independently from what you think.

Post edited by Shandyr on


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