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Activity Design Best Practices

Written by Alida

Published April 22, 2018

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Running activities on an insight community requires a transition in thinking from traditional and ad hoc research design.

Since one of the goals is to develop an ongoing relationship with community members, engagement is critical.

Specific tips:


  • It’s a conversation not a science experiment. Don't talk like a robot and even use humor! Tip: Read the survey out loud to catch any strange or awkward wording.
  • Introduce the community manager to make it more personal. Sign off email and intros from a specific team member/stakeholder
  • Start fresh. Think about asking questions in new ways, don’t just go back to the standard questions you always ask.
  • Build Relationship Memory. Leverage what you already know and don’t ask questions to which you already have answers.



  • Be open and up front. Tell people why you're asking. Don't beat around the bush, ask more directly.
  • Shareback what you learn, decisions you're making, and business impact in email invites, intro pages, end pages, and your member Hub.
  • Recognize members. Share quotes, special contributions, member of the month, etc.
  • Give exclusive access. Sneak peeks and behind the scenes content, and "ask the expert" or "letter to the CEO" activities make people feel special.



  • Keep it short: Survey length should be 3-5 minutes. Split project up if it is longer.
  • Relevant. Ensure studies are of topical interest or concern whenever possible.
  • Diversify. Mix up the topics and project types to keep people engaged and maintain data quality.
  • Mobile first. Design with mobile in mind. Write less, minimize scrolling, remove tedious grids and overly complex questions.
  • Gamification. Consider more creative visual question types, trivia questions, etc. to engage members more in the process.
  • Be consistent. Launch insight community activities on a regular basis to maintain high engagement. Everyone should receive invitations at least once a month, unless you establish other expectations.
  • Adapt. Listen to what your members say about your studies and change to make them better.
  • Avoid Ambiguity: If your language isn’t clear to you, it won’t be clear to your audience. Any ambiguity will likely end up creeping into your results. Use clear, intuitive language and ask specific questions. (For example, don’t ask: “How much coffee do you drink? Be specific: “How many cups of coffee do you typically drink on a weekday?”)
  • Use a Comprehensive Answer List: Put yourself in the shoes of the person completing the survey and imagine if there’s at least one answer that every person can truthfully provide. If that’s not the case, include more answers in your list, add an “other” option, or provide an opt-out (eg: not applicable/none of the above). See more below:

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Download your copy of "Reasons Member Cannot Answer Question"