Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 Census

Finally got around to filling out my 2010 Census. If you received one make sure to fill it out as well. I will say I was surprised how short it was, I thought it would have a lot more questions. There are so many instructions and help hints and clarifications on the form I expected it to be more complex, I thought I did something wrong when I finished in about 10 minutes. Funnily enough, there was a note at the bottom of the form saying on average it would take about 10 minutes.

Thinking about it though, I can see why they had that much help embedded on the form. The Census is done by the Gov. to help determine the distribution of the population; and the results are used as the basis for policy decisions, budgetary allocations and government representation for the next decade. Making sure it's as clear and precise as possible is extremely important.

I do wonder how many iterations, focus tests, expert reviews and God knows what else was done to test the usability of the final Census form. Just the fact they had the 10 minute estimation means some of their testers had the same anxiety as I did...

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