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Yale alumni questionnaire inquires about income, wealth

The Association of Yale Alumni recently asked graduates of Yale to update their entries in the alumni directory. The questionnaire also had optional items about income and wealth, information which "will not appear in the directory," possibly to the regret of our more competitive graduates. Theoretically requiring information from a few alumni accurate to 8 significant digits, the categories offered are not modest:

-- Edward Tufte

Yale alums with negative net worth? How about a recent Yale graduate struggling to pay back their Yale tuition on a teacher's salary...

-- Philip Flip Kromer (email)

Interesting. Yale may be the province of the best and the brightest, but its questionnaire designers still clutter their work with unnecessary asterisks, fill-ins instead of check boxes, and meaningless strings of parenthesized numbers (convenient for the few analysts, clutter for the many respondents).

So: Yalies may enjoy high income and the ease that brings. But they are not spared the pain of poor design. Conclusion: Poor design, like McDonald's, is an agent of democracy. ;)

-- Susan Grodsky (email)

Threads relevant to analytic design:

Seeing Around: New ET essay published

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