Trash Take Out Research (quick 1 minute, 5 question survey)

This is just a little supplemental research I’m doing to beef up a past project (don’t look at my portfolio link until after taking the survey). Please take the brief survey, it’s only 5 questions.


  • Cameron

You may want to revise your survey, for instance you ask if “I” take out the trash, what are you learning from that? that someone may take the trash out sometimes. Did you want to know who was taking it out? Maybe some demographic information?

Also your word choices lead respondents to choose the answers you would like them to. For instance, do you use a “cheap” , or is yours “nicer” these loaded terms can possible skew your results.

I guess the only question I really cared about was how long people delayed trash take out, since my design addresses that aspect of it. It seems to me there is an unaddressed need in that area, and that the focus needs to be on making the take out easier rather than the disposal.

I didn’t catch that this was a past project, in which case you would want to guide the respondents to answer in a way that would justify your previous decisions. Nothing wrong with a little propaganda once in a while, its like marketing.

mmm, ya- past project or not, i’d raise a caution flag on less than useful survey questions. for example-

Q. 1
How often do you take out the trash in your household compared to others?

  • you don’t even ask if there is more than one person in the household (who would obviously answer they do it all the time). result= answer meaningless.

Q. 2
Which type of trash can do you keep in or near your kitchen?

  • as mentioned, the adjectives used are very leading in nature. what about other options? a cheap metal bin? an nicer plastic one?

Q. 3
Where do you keep your kitchen trash can?
Ok, fair enough. but doesn’t really explain much. maybe they dont have a space under the cabinet? maybe they have another cabinet?.. just saying.

Q. 4
How long do you wait to take out the trash after noticing the trash can is almost filled to capacity?
doesn’t this have to do with the garbage collection services? ie. if you live in a condo, there is only pickup from a central bin at certain frequencies. this might affect when it is taken out.

Q. 5
Which is the most important factor when deciding what kind of trash can to buy?
OK, pretty straight forward.

I don’t mean to pick on you or make an example of you (realizing this is after the fact), but I’ve seen lots of student survey that in effect do more harm (miseducation, leading the design to what they want to do, etc.) than good. From my perspective it’s a huge issue if designs are built upon this shoddy kind of foundation, and the reason, perhaps that so many products in the market seem ill-advised. Marketing, sales, design people do a half-a$$ed survey, focus group (dont even get me started on focus groups), and come to a “certain” conclusion.

It’s just a sorta pet-peeve of mine, and while I certainly do value research, I almost always object personally to poor research and would just rather have a designer say they “think it should be this way” than trying to justify it with pseudo-science.

Sorry about hijiacking the thread. Just felt the need to vent. Still, i’ll do your survey on your terms :slight_smile:


Thanks for the feedback Richard, I agree with all of it. Question #4 was really about taking your kitchen trash bag to the outside bin when it’s full, that was the real basis for the survey. I guess I either should have only had one question, or put in more time for a more meaningful survey. I’ll see what happens and rework it in the future.

Thanks again.

I agree with RK, the language used in a survey is important and should be kept neutral. There is truth to the cliche, garbage in, garbage out (no pun intended :slight_smile:).

As for question 4, it is ambiguous, “…almost filled to capacity?” If the garbage is almost filled, why would you take it out? I would assume most people take out their garbage when it is full, but then again, that is something I would ask in the survey instead of assuming to know the answer.