Beyond text: audio and visual responses for online surveys

12 May 2022

In an online survey world that’s reliant on text responses, do you ever wonder how much you might be missing? Especially for questions which invite free-form answers. When you have respondents who struggle with typing, or articulating thoughts via written words, or for whom the survey is not in their first language.

To solve this, we need to think beyond text. We need to see what other possibilities are out there. We need to be inspired by behavioral changes, such as the increasing popularity of using WhatsApp for voice messaging instead of text messaging.

Voice messaging benefits both sender and recipient by allowing more information to be communicated, in less time, without the effort of pre-organizing thoughts. It also facilitates an extra layer of expression through tone-of-voice. And it’s a convenient solution for young and old alike.

Audio recorded survey answers

Enabling audio answers in online surveys can therefore open up a whole new world of quality research, from a wider range of respondents. Respondents will share more information, including their emotions, and explain themselves better.

But how do you handle voice responses, to extract all the information they contain? Do you need extra resources, people and coding? Yes and no. There are already solutions which can intelligently transcript audio recordings into text and analyze tones-of-voice to identify emotions. However, humans will probably still be needed to ensure proper understanding of more in-depth messages.

Video recorded survey answers

To take your market research on respondents’ emotions to the next level, you can even consider video answers. Have you ever thought about how much information is revealed by a person’s facial expression?

According to research1 published in 2020, there are 16 universal facial expressions2. Imagine what you could learn about how a respondent instinctively feels, if you could capture their facial expression when they see an advertisement, poster, news story or new product.

Or what about their behavior when encountering new packaging design, how they use your hand soap or how they pour your drinks? Having these moments recorded can provide much more information than asking for conscious descriptions.

Figure 1: How many emotions you can identify?

Worried about the overhead? You needn’t be. Professional emotion recognition software is able to analyze and interpret captured expressions.

How to integrate audio and video responses in online surveys

To find out how to integrate audio and video recordings in Nfield Online surveys, see our post about to set this up this with Pipe.  Also check out Phebi AI for voice emotion analysis.

1 Sixteen facial expressions occur in similar contexts worldwide
How to Read Facial Expressions
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