Re: Creating personas for WAI site redesign

Hi Gregg,

Thanks for weighing in.  As always, your observations are astute, balanced,
and valuable. This is not a scientific survey, however. It is an attempt to
get a snapshot of likely audience for the web site.  We are trying to
rebuild the creaky old WAI site with no resources using volunteer time and
labor.  The two brave souls who volunteered to manage the redesign project
- Anna Belle and James - asked for data.

I based the survey on usability study questions usually done in live
interviews and modified them somewhat for an online survey format.  If
anyone objects to any of the questions, they can be skipped. There is no
attempt to identify individuals.

We understand the constraints and that we will not have a scientifically
accurate demographic survey and will try to draw as accurate a picture as
possible with the data that we get.

Trying to improve the web site and avoid a circular firing squad, I am
sincerely yours,


On Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 9:37 AM, Gregg Vanderheiden <> wrote:

> *Gender in data collection. *
> This is a very interesting topic / question.
> It used to be that gender was always asked and reported in findings
> because almost all medical research was done on males only — resulting in
> very poor applicability to females in many cases.    So a balanced sample
> was looked for.    It was extended to age and other things.
> Today - asking gender is much more complicated (and can be pejorative)—
> and the rationale for it less clear on digital technologies - (though some
> say - and i have no knowledge either way - that random sampling of a
> population that is dominated by one gender has led to designs that are not
> balanced.)
> If we are asking about gender for that reason though -  we should also ask
> about age and digital literacy i would imagine as well?
> If we are talking about content there may be more of a case than if we are
> talking about hard technologies where gender or age or digital literacy
> etc. are not relevant.
> But the best approach i have always found to be
>    - Dont ask any question you do not have a specific need for - that you
>    don’t know exactly what you will use the results for - and they are
>    important.
>    - If asking a question that might be hard to understand - be sure to
>    explain purpose.   If it might be controversial - explain and have a very
>    good reason.
> If asking an optional question — then you cant really say anything about
> the balance of your data - so that makes it use questionable.
> If asking optional questions they should usually take the form of
> narrative informational questions that allow people to provide new
> information to you - where statistics are not involved.
> ALL multiple choice questions should have a “none of the above” choice if
> at all possible - and also a field to fill in a comment when the choices
> all dont quite apply.   More questionnaires gather false data because
> people fill in the closest choice even though it is not accurate (but gets
> reported as what people said).
> In this case - i would say that the question  - because it was optional -
> gives you little meaningful data  (and can lead to bad impression)
> Also gender today is not binary.  (actually never was but we are more
> aware today )
> Good luck
> *gregg*

Sharron Rush | Executive Director | | @knowbility
*Equal access to technology for people with disabilities*

Received on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 15:01:30 UTC