SurveyMonkey Rewards

Company: SurveyMonkey
Role: Product Design Lead
Released: March 2018


The SurveyMonkey Rewards App was a go-to-market project to launch a brand new mobile survey panel respondent experience app for participants on our Market Research Panel. The business had a fresh outlook on engaging with our B2C market to supplement our existing survey panel (SurveyMonkey Contribute) by capturing a younger demographic data set while leveraging the real-time messaging capabilities and geotargeting capabilities of native devices.


The GM approached me to start the discovery for this project with a very small tiger team; a contract PM, 1 borrowed internal Engineer for consulting, and myself. We had high-level business goals, but were starting from ground zero - research, competitive analysis, product market fit, requirements, experience design, and branding, as well as sourcing & hiring an external agency for the app development, since we did not have a dedicated team. Essentially, for the first 9 months, we were operating like a small startup within the larger organization.

Project Goals

Expand our survey respondent panel: Create the largest and most diverse market research panel in the US: drive panel growth, improve panel engagement (active users), and expand into a younger demographic set, thereby reducing dependency and cost of 3rd party panel suppliers.

Improve our value proposition: Enable enhanced survey respondent profiling and targeting based on a combination of explicit (profiling) and implicit (geolocation and other) data to ask the right questions, to the right people, at the right time, increasing our foothold in the Customer Feedback market.

Create a sticky and delightful consumer experience: Engage users with a nod to SurveyMonkey's core brand, but with a B2C approach to tone and messaging.

Target Metrics: A higher survey session completion rate than the existing (Contribute Panel) experience and 75K downloads/year.

Discovery Phase

Market Analysis, Competitive Analysis, User Research, Personas

We created a war room within the office to hang up all of our research related to competitor products, inspiration, and I even scheduled a call with the leading Behavioral Economics expert BJ Fogg (Author of Tiny Habits) to get his input on our compensation model and the notion of gamification. We had concerns around pivoting from a donation-based compensation to a cash payout model, we could potentially attract a new type of user we didn't want; those solely taking surveys for money and not contributing to high-quality responses. Ultimately we landed on a duel-compensation model, so users had a choice. If they chose to collect money to donate to a cause of their choice, they earned twice as much per survey, to help attract and retain the intrinsically motivated user.

Define: Brand Attributes, Design Principles, and MVP Requirements

Brand Attributes

Although our team was given permission to drive our own branding for the app, I engaged our internal Brand team for their blessing and alignment on the vision, and also secured team member resources for illustrations, iconography, and motion. There was still some convincing to be done internally to move away from our B2B minimal palette of white backgrounds with green accents. This new app needed to consider the new, younger audience and be inclusive of an appropriate tone and style for that user base. We needed to create an extension of the core brand and design system, so we analyzed and aligned on which brand elements needed to remain (fixed) and where we could deviate and evolve the brand to be more consumer-friendly (flex).

Design Principles

Bringing the focus back to the product team, I led the cross-functional team through a series of workshops to define the User Experience attributes that would guide the user experience design:

Give Users Control: Allow configuration, options, and views into the data so users feel a sense of ownership as well as being active participants.

Small Wins Equals Large Reward: Make the user feel good about their successes.

Transparency: Be trustworthy; never be misleading or deceitful.

Get to the Chase: Respect users’ time — brevity wherever possible; be seamless, optimize for speed, and remove barriers.


MVP Requirements & Functionality Validation

Permissions & Privacy

By leveraging device geotargeting capabilities, we set the foundation to target users with more personalized surveys as to where they have recently been (retail, restaurant, etc.) and their personal experiences interacting with brands. We also planned on implementing a dual incentive model, which expanded upon our SurveyMonkey Contribute model. However, first, we wanted to make sure these approaches were viable — to reduce risk and confirmed product market fit. We did so by surveying prospective users on incentive preferences and privacy concerns, and in addition, user-tested low fidelity flows to gather feedback on both comprehension of & potential hesitancy around allowing GPS location services to be running in the background on their phones.

Ideate: App Name, Illustrations, and Animations

I led the art direction, timeline, and schedule to guide and align the team on the creative direction and then shift us quickly into execution mode, as we were working backward from a secured app launch date. In parallel, the creative director & content strategists on the marketing team worked to research marketing positioning and determine the name of the app, so that it would work within our house of SurveyMonkey brands.

Thanks to Taeho Chang (illustrations), Michael Dulin (motion design), Boramee Seo (iconography), and Neda Salamat (content) for their creative collaboration, and for Creative team oversight from Moe Hung.


The app surpassed our predictions and became so popular with users that survey respondents completed 3x the number of surveys than our original panel (SurveyMonkey Contribute). We were also tracking to beat our original goal of 75K downloads a year by the app being downloaded 10K / week from organic optimizations and the migration strategy (moving users over from the Contribute platform).

Due to this, the original follow-on work shifted from acquisition (downloads & installs) to retention (keeping up with survey demand). It's currently available on both Google Play and iOS Stores. The marketing landing page with more info is at SurveyMonkey Rewards.