Editor's note: If you're an end-client researcher and interested in participating in a Q&A with Quirk's, please e-mail me at emilyk@quirks.com.

My educational background is in psychology, which nurtured my fascination with understanding why people think the way they think. At the start of my career, I was naturally looking for opportunities to tap into that background and curiosity. 

My first professional role was at Mattel, where psychology, especially child development, was critical in how we conducted research and interpreted findings. This was a particularly formative experience, as we had to develop new approaches and methodologies for a unique audience – children – where many traditional market research techniques, often optimized for adults, were simply not feasible. 

To this day, my passion still revolves around understanding why people think the way they think, and how that translates into why they do the things they do, why they buy the things they buy and why they watch the things they watch.

I encourage researchers to adopt a more human-centered approach when thinking about survey development. Imagine a survey as a conversation with a consumer. What language would you use? How would you ask questions? Can the language be more colloquial and less clinical? 

I’m also a big fan of infusing more derived questions – not just stated questions – into a survey. They could be trade-off questions, bipolar scales, discrete choice, conjoint, etc. And what if we took inspiration from the projective questions or exercises often used in qualitative research and translate them into a survey? Could that be more insightful and feel more engaging for survey takers?

Of course, survey platforms are part of the equation; I encourage researchers to experiment with platforms that have a more natural and engaging UI for traditional questions. Bonus points for platforms that are not just mobile-...