Documentary :: User – Testing

Something I forgot to do initially in my design phase was user testing. So yesterday I set up a survey on the free online survey supplier Survey Monkey.

So far it’s been a great help to see some outside opinions on certain aspects of my project I’ve been dwelling on. It’s also great because it’s an anonymous survey, so you really know people are telling the truth and being brutally honest which is good to hear at the best of times.

Here’s the list of questions I asked.* (click image to see bigger)

Click here to take survey

Survey questions

Does the user play music?

Another important aspect to see was if the people taking the survey were musicians or non-musicians. My target audience isn’t only musicians but people who have a passion and love for music too even if they don’t play themselves. So I thought it would be an important part of the survey to see this.

Here’s the results so far:

Musician or not

Attention Span

One of my main worries was peoples attention span today when watching videos online especially with regards to my final year project as I’m making a documentary so it will most likely be longer than your average video you watch online. I phrased the question in a scenario way, saying:

What’s your normal attention span when watching a Documentary online?

The feedback so far has been better than expected, there is till hope for modern society! I was really worried that the majority of people would say 3-5 minutes but so far (what I was hoping for) people are saying they will watch a documentary between 15-20 minutes. This is a weight of the shoulders cause I really thought people’s attention spans today was much lower, especially when watching stuff online. My set target for the finished documentary is somewhere between the 15 to 20 minute mark so if people are telling the majority of people will watch the whole film.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 12.58.39

Will people watch if they don’t know the people?

Another interesting point I had been dwelling on was would people watch the documentary if they didn’t know any people involved?

So far the results have been quite positive with the majority of people saying they’d watch it whether they knew the people involved or not. I asked this out if curiosity more than anything. So far I have two well known songwriters set to interview but that may not be the case for the others I interview but so far the results give a good outlook on what people think.

InterviewsHow many Interviews is enough?

Through my research of watching documentaries on various different topics I sometimes found they would spend little or to much time on one person so this was a test to see what people think is the right balance.

I asked the question in a scenario case relating it back to the set target time of my finished project, saying:

For example in a 15 min documentary would you prefer only a few people were interviewed (4-5) or a wide range of people (5-10)

The results to this are also what I hoped for aswel. After watching some documentaries where they interviewed to much people I found it hard to take on board every one’s opinions preferring a doc with only a few people interviewed jumping between their different views.

Here’s the results:

How many people


The last question on the survey was if anyone had any suggestions on what people would like to see covered in a Documentary on the process of songwriting. I included this at the end to see other peoples views and ideas on what they would put in a film on this topic. I’ve been really surprised at the brilliant feedback and suggestions people have given me.

I’m going to bullet point some of the best suggestions that people said later this week.




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