How Super Simple Survey is cashing in on user experience

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The online survey space is crowded, very crowded. You’d have to be batshit to enter a market filled to the brim with competitors and fat cats like SurveyMonkey which recently raised US$794 million for a US$1.35 billion valuation.

When Super Simple Survey popped up on our radar, honestly, we had to summon the office’s fancy new espresso machine to instill the traces of zeal we’d need to take a closer look at yet another survey creator.

So then, how bad is it? It turns out, Super Simple Survey is quite possibly the best looking and most intuitive survey creation tool on the web. Cape Townians Nick McCreath — the product guy — and Kevin Rademan — the dev guy — built something really special. So special in fact, that Thomson Reuters and the world’s most beloved crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, have created Super Simple Survey, erm… surveys.

McCreath and Rademan got the idea for a more intuitive online survey tool while employed at a major South African internet service provider. “We saw how frustrated marketers were getting when creating surveys and always required geek assistance, we knew it could be done better hence the core focus on UX. We reckon even your mom would be able to make a pretty sweet survey for her book club with Super Simple Survey”, says McCreath. Usually we wouldn’t print PR-sounding guff like that, but McCreath is dead on.

Super Simple Survey’s pièce de résistance is its user experience. In this case, the UX is not employed just to craft a pretty face, it’s what McCreath considers a “core businesses strategy” and permeates the survey builder’s function. The Super Simple Survey user experience makes building a handsome survey refreshingly intuitive.

Super Simple Survey isn’t perfect, however. The site crashed when we signed up, and we managed to submit one of our surveys that had an empty required field. Rademan and McCreath were also unable to woo the judging panel at Startup World last year — yup, it’s hard to convince investors of your new startup that goes where many have gone before. Innovation in user experience is perhaps one of the more challenging features to pitch.

It’s possible to argue that user experience is largely subjective, and given enough time, anyone can master the intricacies of a system, no matter how complex. Granted, but there’s also the issue of pricing. Super Simple Survey works on a tiered subscription model that goes up to US$99 per month. A free, “basic” tier with a full feature set, but sharp limitations on the number of surveys you can create, is available for sampling purposes. The pricing structure compares well to the likes of SurveyMonkey and Wufoo, but there’s also the red, yellow, green and blue coloured elephant in the room, the completely free Google Forms.

Super Simple Survey is able to compare favourably with the paid options, because of McCreath and Rademan’s vision for the service. “We’d like be on the same scale as some of the larger international players. But not necessarily for the money, but more for empowering people who need to make use of a survey service, but can’t currently due to the complications in getting a survey setup,” says McCreath. In a blog post McCreath also outlies some of the strategies that went into building a business on a budget. The project was bootstrapped and built on top of Amazaon Web Services.

McCreath tells us that the majority of the service’s users hail from North America and Australia. Built to be “agnostic of area” from the start, Super Simple Survey is a world-facing product with billing that can be catered for in any currency.

And the future? The duo is looking to innovate with some of the new technologies coming out – “we have some pretty cool ideas around this,” hints McCreath.

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