NATHAN ASHBY-KUHLMAN > Blog Entry

A poll packaging problem

The Chicago-area Daily Herald has a wording problem on its poll interface. Take, for example, this poll appearing on the site’s front page today:

Screenshot of Daily Herald poll, which reads: 'Who is more dangerous -- Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein?' The button you click to vote is labeled 'Answer'.

I’m sure many Americans would love to know the objective “Answer” to this question, but that’s not what you get if you click that button. The button is for submitting your subjective answer, and comparing it to other people’s subjective answers.

The Daily Herald should start following the Web convention of labeling submit buttons on polls “Vote.” At least this site has a prominent link to a disclaimer; too many other sites do not. News Web sites in general need to better explain that their polls are unscientific — and thus almost meaningless.

Comment by Julie, posted November 16, 2002, 9:03 pm

Agreed! I'd add that I prefer their link-to-disclaimer method to the paragraph of fine print that some sites use ... and that this particular poll would be infinitely improved if they just asked 'who is more dangerous?' rather than the redundant inclusion of the "answers" in the question.

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This page last modified on Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 4:05 pm