How many times you are stucked in the survey form that asks various stupid yet hard-to-choose questions, such as how do you like your wife: a little, somewhat, more or less, normal, very, extreme…
To be frank, I almost reject every survey form except when those from my close friends. I know I will answer the questions randomly if I take it, which, however, makes me fell guilty.
In most times, the survey form wants us to distinguish something that we cannot tell clearly; Feeling, emotion, for example. Mostly we just have a feeling but are unable to quantify. Therefore grading our feeling does not make much sense.
But instead, we can attach those feelings with some sort of color, especially smoothly changing color. Well, then I have an idea: why don’t we just use a gradient colored box to represent our feelings, so people could just use the pencil to mark a line in the spectrum to show the strength of their feelings.
In the following figure, the top one is what I am thinking of, the middle one is when you mark a line to make your choice, and the bottom one is the usual survey form question.
There is yet another advantage (although not to survey takers but to the survey designers)): they can actually acquire a continues survey data, because the new gradient color forms could provide a continue number representing the feeling, for example 1.2, 3.4, and etc., unlike the classical one which has only 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 five numbers. This has some subtle statistical benefits.