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InfoQ User Survey Results

by John-Paul Grabowski on Mar 18, 2010 |

Back in January, InfoQ published a User Survey and asked for people to take a few minutes and fill it out. Our reasoning for doing so was pretty straightforward - we wanted to know how we could improve the InfoQ experience for you, the user.

We were pleasantly surprised that within a few days of posting the survey we had received several thousand replies. Not only did people take the time to complete the questions but most people also left comments and even their email addresses if we wished to follow up with them. That really meant a lot to us.

The Data

Below are a few graphs showing some of the data we received from the survey. What do you think? Does anything here stand out or are the results what you expected?

What languages have you programmed with in the past year?

What Frameworks/Technologies have you worked with in the past year?

Which Agile-related practices do you use during development?

Are you planning or implementing either of these Cloud Computing options?

We also received a lot feedback from the form of comments. Two things came through loud and clear; you really like the content we put out and want to see more of it, and you really, really want the video interviews and presentations to be downloadable.

We're glad that you enjoy the content we put out because we enjoy producing it. We're always working on bringing new writers on board so you can expect the content quality to continue and the amount to increase.

We also heard that a lot of you are not terribly enthusiastic about the site layout and would like to see a redesign. Many people said it was too crowded, it "felt like reading a newspaper", and that the website felt like an "endless series of columns". The good news is that we are working on a redesign; the bad news is that it originally involved adding more columns:

 

Because of this feedback we've gone back to the drawing board and are committed to involving you, the reader, from day one. Here's a quick mock-up that someone at InfoQ put together as an alternative to the "let's add more columns" design, purely for conversation purposes (Note: this is NOT even close to a mockup, it was made by our CEO using MS Paint and Publisher just to show what might happen if we remove the left bar):

We still have lots of work to do on this and still have a lot feedback to collect so you can expect to hear more about this in the coming months as well as some surveys regarding how you use the site. Our plan is to create a variety of potential site mockups and to offer them to interested users to click around in, so that the pros and cons of each design is better understood. We will then continue to iterate towards a final design for InfoQ.com, and will eventually apply the selected design to the main site. Of course we're always open to comments and suggestions. You can always reach us at feedback@infoq.com and on Twitter @InfoQ.

What's Next

So there you have it, the results of our survey. After reading through this, do any of these replies surprise you? Do you agree or disagree with any the feedback we received?

We want you to know that while we'll be asking for you feedback from time to time on specific topics we want you to feel free to talk to us anytime about anything. Did you like (or dislike) an article that we posted? Do you have a suggestion for a new feature? Just want to say hi? You can say all that and more to us through one of the following feedback channels:

This will be something that's ongoing for us now. You can expect to see user surveys running every so often so keep an eye out for them as we're using this information to make InfoQ what you want it to be. You'll also see updates every so often from different people at InfoQ about what's going on behind the scenes; what we're doing, why we're doing it, and how you can help.

Speak up, we're listening.

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Current design is OK for me by Volkan TUNALI

Current 3-column design is simple and easy to follow for me, and maybe I'm accustomed to it too much. Also, layout design is not of top importance, I'm interested in the the articles and quality of content. I totally agree that videos and presentations should be downloadable.

Layout by Shimon Amit

I also like the current layout. I don't read into most of the articles, so I like to see more headlines/topics on the front page than elaborate text below each. A short blurb is good enough. The new new alpha layout looks too wordy.

Keep up the good work!

Re: Current design is OK for me by Senthil Kumar

I am OK with the current design. But I think I will prefer the two column layout because I hardly used any of the options on the left most column. Maybe, sign-in, sign-out and preferences can be moved to the top and remove the left most column so that we get a better utilization of the real estate. InfoQ is one the sites that I visit regularly(read daily). Most of the articles and video presentations are very informative. Thank you very much.

Re: Current design is OK for me by Senthil Kumar

Looking at the second mock-up closely, I see that the ads are now placed between the content. If that is the case, I would prefer the existing layout where ads don't interfere with the content. (i.e) I would prefer a three column layout where ads are separated from the content than a two column layout with ads and content mixed together.

Re: Current design is OK for me by Adrian A.

Fully agree.

Don't make the errors of TSS.
Their new "design" is not TSS anymore - looks almost like an IBM mockup but with more ads.

Readability is very important and a gray background in your mockup above wouldn't help at all.

Mock ups by John-Paul Grabowski

I just want to thank everyone for the feedback so far.

One thing I would like to point out is don't focus on the new mock up the was posted. That was just a quick mock up that was made in as an alternative to our current, and planned, multi-column layout. The actual site redesign is still in the very early stages and nothing has been set in stone so don't worry if you're not fond of what was posted here :)

Switching topics, I'm also interested in hearing if anyone had any feedback or questions about the user survey that we ran.

on video downloads - not ready yet by Floyd Marinescu

I just wanted to add that while we have heard the requests for downloadable video, we are still debating the issue internally and are not yet ready to implement the feature. There are a lot of pros and cons about taking this step but we will let you know once we have some resolution. If anyone is interested in discussing it they are welcome to comment on any of the feedback mechanisms mentioned above.

thanks all! :)

Floyd Marinescu
InfoQ Co-founder / CEO

Charts by Rene Saarsoo

Speaking on another topic... These charts are pretty bad. The blue bars are ordered by... hmm... random?

It would be so much better if they were ordered by the percentage values.

Re: Mock ups by Volkan TUNALI

It's interesting to me to see that Java is at the top of programming languages. Is this because there was a great participation from the Java community to the survey, or Java is really more popular than I think it is. And also it is interesting that percentage of other languages is rather low; nobody here programming with Delphi, VB6, ASP, etc. anymore?

Re: Mock ups by Bill Burke

You are correct, Ruby is the most overhyped technology and language of the past few years. ;-) You'd think with all the hype it has gotten that Java has gone the way of the COBOL dinosaur. You could say the same of Java EE, that it was a long dead dinosaur and yet, 60%+ say they use it, with the rest falling under scripting and .Net frameworks.

Re: on video downloads - not ready yet by Ievgen Lukash

Actually video streams are downloadable as flv files if one really wants. Is it some copyright issues?

Re: on video downloads - not ready yet by Ryan Slobojan

Hi Eugene,

One of the biggest challenges by far with our presentations is that the vast majority of them were recorded under an agreement that said that we would only offer them for online viewing, and that they would not be downloadable. That poses the biggest hurdle for us just opening up our presentation archive. Interviews are another matter since those are more like "InfoQ original material", so when downloadable video is implemented, we wouldn't need to worry about licensing and agreements for those.

Another consideration is that, right now, we have synchronized slides for our presentations and a time-indexed transcript for our interviews (click a question to seek to that point in the video). I'm not aware of a way offhand to offer these with a downloadable video (apart from finding some creative/hacky way to merge them into the video stream, with the likely result being a doubling of download size), but suggestions/ideas/comments on this are always welcome.

Thanks,

Ryan Slobojan
Chief Editor, InfoQ.com

Re: Charts by John-Paul Grabowski

Hi Rene,

The blue bars are ordered that way becuase that's the order the choices were originally presented in.

Re: on video downloads - not ready yet by Kumarasamy Mani

Hi Ryan,

It's still OK, if we are not able to download the videos, we look for frequent updates on the topics and education content columns.

Thank You.

Iphone app by Gabriel Klappenbach

Iphone app where you could watch the seminars and switch to slide view at will would be awesome. Development could be financed by paying for the app, or though ads interjected in the seminar, much like spotify.
I would like to be able to watch the seminars and interviews on my way to and from work everyday.

RSS video feed would be great for media centres by Russ Freeman

InfoQ is a great site and my homepage for engineering stuff.

Two wishes from me: -

It would be great to have an easily-accessible RSS feed of the videos like MS Channel 9 does so that the feed can be easily added to media centres as an IP TV feed (I do this in Plex (www.plexapp.com) on my Mac mini - fantastic).

Also, it would be really useful to have a playback layout such that you have the speaker video on the left and the slides on the right, only (ok, ads on the bottom if you have to). On wide screen TVs it's possible to watch both side by side.

Slides from Video presentations by D F

One suggestion: would be great to have access to the slides in video presentations.
Right now, I need to invest time to watch the video to see the slides --
would rather get a quick sense of the presentation by looking at the slides first, then watch the video if I want to see the details.
BTW, the transcripts of talks is great! another way to survey and assess the info in a very efficient way! Thanks for providing great content!

Survey Responses by Robert Brown

I'm surprised at the lack of .Net responses. I'd be curious to know if this is representative of the development demographic, or if placement of .Net articles further down the page gives the appearance of a Java-focused newsletter, .Net folks just get their info from other resources, or some other cause.

For the record, I like the current design and selection of articles. Keep it up!

The first mock up is much better than the second by Dmitry Novoselov

The first mock up enables to see many headlines which is good for choosing an interesting article. So it's much better than the second one, and, perhaps, better than current layout.

Re: RSS video feed would be great for media centres by Floyd Marinescu

Hi Russ, great idea on the RSS feed, it is something we are considering. On the side-by-side layout that is actually slated for development in the short term as well. :)

Re: Slides from Video presentations by Floyd Marinescu

One suggestion: would be great to have access to the slides in video presentations.
That is on our backlog, thanks DF.

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