Japan’s ‘Creative Survey’ proposes a prettier online questionnaire


There are more than a few online survey tools on the market these days, including the likes of Survey Monkey and Typeform. But I was curious to discover a new competitor from here in Japan when I attended the recent Techcrunch Tokyo event. It’s called Creative Survey, a name that reflects the services positioning strategy among the competition.

There’s currently a four-person team working on Creative Survey, a sort of mini-unit operating within FourDigit, a web solutions and design studio based in Shibuya. The team had been running on a design research product for corporate customers since 2011, but they found they were receiving lots of demand for a lighter, more affordable solution that anyone could use. That prompted them to launch Creative Survey last month, and so far they have 1100 users, experiencing good growth out if the gate. They hope this can continue, with a sort of Dropbox-like referral system among free users, which they hope will kickstart those who can pay.

But the challenge ahead will be a difficult one, with stiff competition not only from Survey Monkey, which has about 65,000 users in Japan, but also from market research giant Macromill, which just launched its own online survey tool, Questant, last month.

How does Creative Survey plan to thrive with such stiff competition? The project’s leader Ryo Taguchi emphatically says that they will excel with better design. They showed me some examples of surveys that really made use of their custom background image support, typically with an interface to match. Transitions between questions are really slick, and they are easily viewable on any mobile device.

Automobile survey, slider response

So how does this differ from Typeform then, I wondered, which is another very eye-catching survey solution. Ryo says that while Typeform is a great tool, it cannot really do the kind of high level question logic that Creative Survey can do. I’m a little skeptical that the demographic for this lighter solution will require such complexity, but for those who do need it, it’s good to know that it’s there.

The Creative Survey team has some interesting things in store for the next year, including plans to push their service overseas, likely in the spring of 2014. So stay tuned for more from them in the coming months!