Let's face it, creating online surveys can be a real pain, especially if you want those surveys to be hosted on your own server and integrated directly into the existing framework of your own website. You would either have to build the functionality from the ground up or use an existing product and either hack it into your site or build a new skin to create the illusion of the surveys being seamlessly integrated with your overall design. There had to be a better way. At least, that was the thinking of Matt Ward, designer, developer, DesignM.ag contributor and creator of a new product called Survd. “I've had to create surveys in the past myself,” says Ward about the creation of the application, “and it's always been a process that I felt took much longer than it should have. I also haven't been all that impressed with the interfaces of some of the survey products that I've tried. So, I set out to create a better solution. That solution is Survd. “Basically, the intention was to create a product that was as close to being plug-and-play as possible. I envisioned a self-hosted solution that could be uploaded, installed quickly, and which allow users to start setting up their surveys pretty much immediately. That was the vision, and I think that the initial release does a pretty good job at reflecting that.” That it does. Once you've purchased your license, Survd does install quickly and easily. It's just a matter of filling in some basic information and you're all set.
As designers, I've found that we spend a lot of time and energy talking about and discussing something that we commonly refer to as inspiration. We see it all over the design community. There are countless different galleries showcasing some of the best work being produced, and list posts that fulfill a similar function, though usually with some commonality that thematically binds all of the designs together. In another article, entitled “The Myth of Inspiration,” I have discussed some of the problems that I think arise out of this understanding of inspiration, which tends to commodify the entire concept, turning it into a product that can be acquired (usually for free) from whatever site happens to have accumulated the best collection of representative works.
I would guess that, today, more people are entering the broader world of design through web design than any other facet of the larger spectrum. In large part, this is likely due to the accessibility of the web. It's right there in front of us, and most of us probably spend at least a few minutes (if not hours) on it every single day. It's also relatively easy to get started with designing for the web (which is not to say that it's easy). I started creating my first sites with Windows Notepad and a freeware copy of Paint Shop Pro. It's certainly not the most ideal setup, and if I was starting again, I would probably be using Gimp and some sort of freeware coding app. Regardless, web design is relatively immediate, and while there are many different areas that need to be considered, there is still the sense that we are very much in control of what we are doing. Designing for print is a bit of a different story. First, while we can do a lot of work in Photoshop (and probably Gimp too), somehow this kind of design feels somewhat more inaccessible. That's not to say that it's difficult or complicated, but rather that it's probably not something that as many people would just sit down and start doing because they're bored and sitting at their computer one evening. Designing for print is generally much more intentional and purposeful.