Developing Great Questions

Nothing brings engaged community members to your MindMixer site better than compelling, sharable content. That’s why we've compiled our best advice across our most engaged sites to share with you. 

Inspiration

The first thing you should ask yourself when composing a question is, “Why are we asking this question?” Is it because:

  • We need to know the answer?
  • Our community members are talking about it?
  • We can act on or respond to the answer?

Every question you post on your MindMixer site should fall under at least one of these categories. The best questions fall under all three. 

Hierarchy

Different questions inherently have different levels of focus. Some topics dig deep into an issue that is important to your community. Others are easily answered with a “yes” or “no.” When writing content, aim for a mix of questions that are:

  • Social – Of interest to the community at-large
  • Conceptual – Open-ended and encourage visioning
  • Functional – Addresses a specific issue that constituents deal with day-to-day
  • Technical – Complex and most specific; usually dealing with a policy or project

We recommend beginning with social, conceptual or functional questions that are the most inviting, and ending with more technical questions once users are familiar with your project goals. These question types often lend themselves to a particular question format (see below).

Format

Finally, you should include a variety of different question formats. Each of these encourages different levels of engagement from your participants:

  • Open-ended: Idea Submission, Challenge (often conceptual, social or technical)
  • Closed-ended: Instant Poll, Survey (often functional or technical)
  • Photo share (social)

It is important to include different formats because we have found that certain users may only be interested in answering polls for example, while others may only want to submit their own unique ideas. Including a mixture of formats in your follow-up questions is also recommended to keep community members interested throughout the lifespan of your project.

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