Here are some examples:
- What if every day was the same? GROUNDHOG DAY
- What if a nun was made to be a nanny? THE SOUND OF MUSIC
- What if a really smart innocent person went to prison? SHAWSHANK REDEPMPTION
- What if dreams & reality were inter-changeable? MATRIX
- What if there's more to life than being ridiculously good looking? ZOOLANDER
Building a survey around a great question
Here are a couple of examples of a simple question that you could build a survey around:
“What is the secret of a really good shampoo?”
From the off, you immediately know the purpose of the survey and you can imagine taking participants on a journey through a series of questions that mine their viewpoint on this topic. You can tie all the questions into this e.g. first of all we would like to establish which brands you have had experience of using, what do you think about these different brands, which are the best in your mind and why? If you were going to sum up what you are looking for in a perfect shampoo what features would it have….etc.
“In a life of hair washing what have you learnt?”
Again this question has an in-built story structure, you might ask people from the outset to think about all the different types of shampoo they have experience of using in the past and what they thought of them, and what brands they have built some affinity with. You could then get them to think about their experiences of good and bad hair days as a result of using certain types of shampoo etc.
It’s interesting how once a good central question is established, the rest of the questions you ask can flow out of this easily and fluidly. Have a go next time you are planning a survey and you will see!
Narrative structure: the key to good surveys
The trial narrative
The build a new future narrative
The journey narrative
Making the respondent the hero of their own story
This can be a tremendously powerful conceptual construct to really draw out more thoughtful feedback from respondents. They need to feel that what they are doing is important, has meaning and that you care about what they have to say. What you have to allow them to do is tell their story and give them room to do this by asking questions that place them in control. Rather like in a film you let them enter an imaginary world where you set them challenges to overcome. Like this example below.