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Survey Results

These are the results of the Romance.ucam.org survey as of 26th April 2001. Thank you very much for your responses. We have had 89 so far....
Where possible, we have answered the issues you raised. If you would like to comment on this, especially if you have some ideas for what we can do, please tell us.

Who are our members?

Male Seeking Female (49) ********** ********** ********** ********** *********
Female Seeking Male (33) ********** ********** ********** ***
Male Seeking Male (11) ********** *
Female Seeking Female (4) ****
Undergraduates (72) ********** ********** ********** ********** ********** ********** ********** **
Postgraduates/Fellows (20) ********** **********
Other (2) **
Scientists (42) ********** ********** ********** ********** **
Humanities (52) ********** ********** ********** ********** ********** **
What best describes your computer expertise ?  
Email/Web Occasionally (13) ********** ***
Competent/Confident (37) ********** ********** ********** *******
Install your own software (19) ********** *********
Programmer (25) ********** ********** *****
How do you usually access RUO ?  
Own computer (70) ********** ********** ********** ********** ********** ********** **********
Public terminal (26) ********** ********** ******

[NB There is a bias in these numbers. The actual numbers at the moment are:  Total = 547, Male =  385, Female = 158; Neuter =  5. Approximately 10% of these are MSM or FSF.  Interestingly, quite a lot of the programmers use public terminals to access RUO ie the use of a public terminal does not imply a lack of one's own computer.]

How long ago did you join us?

Today (21) ********** ********** *
A few days ago (20) ********** **********
A few weeks ago (15) ********** *****
2 months ago (9) *********
Last term (5) *****
6 months ago (3) ***
A year ago (6) ******

[Please note that this gives an inaccurate picture! Firstly, these are as of when people filled in the survey, so do not give an accurate picture of the "age" of our members. Also, time has elapsed since the surveys were filled in (also at different times).]

How did you hear about us?

Flier in pigeon hole (25) ********** ********** *****
Recommendation of a friend (27) ********** ********** *******
Posters (7) *******
From one of the founders (6) ******
Newspapers (Varsity/TCS) (5) *****
College Newsletter (5) *****
CUSU (2) **
Boat club (2) **
C.U.Radio (1) *
LoveWeb (1) *
Magsoc (1) *
USENET (1) *
KCSU LoveIn (1) *


What you think of us?

[The scale is 0-5, with 0 being dire, and 5 being first class]
Attribute Graphical Representation
(* = 0.2, * denote 1 standard deviation)
Mean Standard Deviation n
General opinion of RUO ***** ***** ***** ***** *******  3.80 0.83 91
Ease of use ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 4.13 0.83 90
Documentation/help ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 3.56 1.24 87
'Fun factor' ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 4.08 0.93 91
Potential to make new friends ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 3.38 1.19 90
Potential for a fling ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 3.17 1.40 93
Potential for a long-term relationship ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 2.22 1.29 91
Security/privacy ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 3.41 1.28 85
Publicity ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 2.67 1.44 89
Your enjoyment of the site ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 3.88 0.97 90

Fonts: 35 of you preferred the existing font, Comic Sans MS, whereas 13 would rather we change to Trebuchet. 38 don't really mind either way. So, we're sticking with Comic Sans MS - I think it's more fun anyway!

Photo scanning: To include a photo in an ad, you can either email it to us (as a jpeg), send a physical photo (which we'll return), or link to a photo of yourself elsewhere. 51 of you were aware that we offer to scan photos for you; 38 were not. Well, you are now...!  Seriously, we are quite surprised how few people do include photos - lots of people do want to see them.

Invite System: Most of you have looked at this - which is great. Do consider using it (or the LoveWeb) to have some fun, especially now Valentine's day is over...   (64 aware, 19 not).

HTML: 62 are aware that you can use html in ads/messages; 15 are not. It is really very easy to do....

What do you like Best about Romance.ucam.org ?

[Note: multiple instances of the same comment means that it was made by several people. We have answered some of your points by using [ ].   ]

A great idea, well implemented, good way to meet new people, and lots of fun. Every town should have a website like this!

It's what Cambridge has been crying out for, and has been of seriously major benefit to many single students round town. And it's free (unlike other meeting facilities).

It's the only thing like it specifically for Cambridge students.
It's specific to Cambridge
It's based in Cambridge - much nicer to know that you can actually meet the people if you want to.
Simple, effective, and exclusive to Cambridge
It's Cambridge based

Makes me aware of humans other than my existing friends
I made quite a good friend after a couple of months
Easy way to meet new people
It allows you to meet people you'd otherwise never have come into contact with.
Fun way to meet new people
Give the chance to meet people you probably wouldn't otherwise.
A real chance to meet people whom I might get along with, but probably wouldn't otherwise have met.
It's a very mixed bag.
Meeting new people
I've met loads of wicked people.

The success that it gave me!

A clear, embarrassment-free way of finding out who there is in Cambridge, and what they are looking for.
Easy to be upfront about (and find someone who also wants) the type of relationship you want.
"Can exchange messages, work out what they are like, and then just ignore them without feeling guilty about it"

Most of the users are students here, so I feel safer meeting people from the site than if I were to meet someone from, say, a newspaper equivalent (which I don't think I'd do for safety reasons).
The security thing.
It's nice and anonymous I guess - this is especially useful for gay people.

I've met 2 really nice girls who are NOT Mingers.

Very simple to use
That it exists! It's a really good idea and well implemented
It's a fun and much needed service
It's great!
It's really funny
Its existence
It seems like a good idea
It is Fun
Exceptionally funny!

"I got laid within 5 hours of joining - hurrah!"
Having sex with people you meet
I might get a date !!
I had a couple of flings, and went out with one seriously.

"Sooo rude...."

Generally inviting - looks fun and not too serious

Kills time and indulges Day Dream

"Slightly Sleazy...Grrrreat"

It's very handy to have the Stealth Mode.

<blink> tags

The Email Notification System

Free chocolates

What is the Worst thing about RUO, and how can we improve?

It needs wider promotion
Get more people to sign up - need more publicity
Try to get those who wouldn't normally do such things to sign up
Not enough users yet. More publicity needed.
Need more publicity!! There's a lack of girls...
Need more people.
[Answer: Yes, we know! If you can help, please do....]

Male to Female ratio (but still quite good as these things go)
Not enough girls.
[Answer: Sorry - we try our best! If you have any good ideas, we'd love to know :) ]

I don't much like necessarily having to be displayed as logged in.
[Answer: Sorry about that! We take your point, but for most people, the banner is much appreciated for realtime chat.]

It's slow to let you know you have a new message when you are logged in.
[Answer: your message status is updated each time you request a new page, eg by clicking a link. You can also refresh the home page by clicking the RUO logo on the top left.]

When I get email to say "you have new messages", why doesn't it go straight there when I click the link?
[Answer: if you did that, it would bypass you entering your password. That would compromise security.]

I've had a couple of really revolting messages, but there's nothing you can do about that. They don't really bother me anyway - they are generally a source of amusement for my friends for a few days, then they get deleted.
Annoying members with strange fetishes.
[Answer: Please try not to be offended! We don't want to censor what people write, but we do expect them to be courteous. If anyone has a serious complaint, tell us, and we will act on it. We already try to catch offensive ads if we can.]

Not enough older students
The users :-(
The other men
Some of the blokes are sad
Cambridge students are fundamentally boring people
[Answer: Miiaaowww! Go somewhere else then!]

Crass ads and bogus characters. [If you suspect anyone is a phoney, tell us, and we will investigate.]

<blink> tags

Where are my free choccies?
[Answer: Did you place an ad and give a delivery address, are you FSM, and in Cambridge? If so, please ask me again, if not, sorry, no chocolates for you!]

When sending long messages, my connection times out and when pasting, I get lots of spaces/paragraphs.
[Answer: The time-out is set to half a day! When you copy text, make sure there are no line feeds in the source. We automatically insert line breaks in messages where you type "return"; if you just keep typing, the line will wrap on its own.]

Most features look rather like a stalker's toolkit.
[We disagree.]

People sometimes appear to be online for a long time after they have actually logged off. [Actually, this only happens if people do not log out.]

I think there should be a mandatory information sheet to fill in, including college, subject etc and a description.
[Answer: we don't want to coerce people into placing an ad, but it is in everyone's interests that they should do so. Personally, I agree.]

It's sad, isn't it.
[Why...? How can we change that?]

Do more fun stuff
[Answer: on it's way....]

A bit slow

I can't discreetly reply with other people in the room looking over my shoulder.

[Answer: see the FAQ on security. We think it's pretty good.]

Pinkness and hearts
[Answer: see discussion of Aesthetics.]

Get rid of blatant liars!

Nicknames - what do you call yourself? They aren't actually necessary.
[Answer: Yes they are, unless you want to go by a user ID number! There's nothing to stop you using your own name if you like.]

Someone told me "all gays should be killed"
[Answer: the victim complained about that at the time, and we did track down the offender, only to discover that they had (obviously) already deleted their account.
In the end, this one turned out to be a very distasteful practical joke, but we won't tolerate such behaviour. If we had been asked to pursue it further, there are legal mechanisms for identifying the sender and seeking redress. We act as fast as we can on complaints such as this, so please do report them. Thankfully, such instances are rare.]

What do you think about the aesthetics of the RUO website, and how important do you think it is?

Very pretty - just right
Very clear, no annoying backgrounds or typefaces
Important. Needs to be fluffier
Very good and very important
Aesthetics are great and it is important.
Fine - nice looking page, easy to use.
Really good for getting you in the mood for some sweet lovin'
Cheesy - fair enough
A bit pink
Quite kitsch... very appropriate!!!!!
Rather nice. Simple
Seem very good to me. Not important to me, but I imagine they are, especially to the fairer sex.
It is good, and very important
They're good - don't spend too much time changing them - spend it on new features/promotion
A little simplistic, but very easy to load. Not overwhelming, nor too simple - maybe it's just right.
Sets the mood nicely.
a bit pink, but good
Not important, but good.
It looks fine - don't worry about it.
Well set out and fun to use.
Looks pretty. You should have some nice buttons in the left hand frame.
Not too bad - very important.
Very important, and the site looks good....I like the Stealth Mode so I can get away with logging on in the library and it not being too obvious.
Stealth mode - GREAT idea - essential for pblic computer rooms!
Luvly - keep them as they are.
Fine - "pretty" without being nauseating. But how many people have image loading enabled?
Good layout/appropriate colours.

The Flowers are cheesy
Too much pink and flowers
Awful - lose the flowers
Too many flowers, not enough bears
Bouquet is tacky
Drop the flowers
A bit cheesy
Too cheesy
Too fluffy
looked a bit lovey-dovey pink to start with
Not discreet enough.

I'm not interested in the website; I'm interested in the people who might use it.
[This is a little short-sighted, surely? ]

I can't see the images from Lynx. (Text only browser) I am pleased that the site is entirely usable in this fashion!

Very important. Maybe a bit too plain.
Very important.
Very important
I think it's fairly important
It's OK and very important to get it right.
Pretty important, OK

Not important, but Stealth mode is appreciated.
Not that important - lose the roses
Not very important.
Not very important - stealth mode is good.
Aesthetics are not very important
Aesthetics aren't important; ease of use is.
Stealth mode is useful
Don't care

[It seems that by and large, we are getting it right, which is good :-) Most of you agree with us that the aesthetics do matter.
Surprisingly, it isn't as clear cut as we expected that "girls like hearts/flowers; men do not" - nevertheless, that is the general tendency.]

How does the Image of RUO come across?

Good fun - just another diversion in this crazy Cambridge life.
Tacky, kitsch but very funny
As good as a dating service can be.
Needs jazzed up a little. [How...? We want your ideas.]
Professional in organization and in programming. Just a few things in the aesthetics that could be improved a little (in my humble opinion).
Almost professional
Well run...good idea
Very professional
Fun and friendly - a laugh if nothing more!
A bit of fun and a good laugh.
Very Good
A caring grandparent sort of thing.
A useful service for it's purpose
A very useful dating service for people who want to use it.
A fun service with a serious edge.
Fine-not sleazy
Absolutely hilarious - a good laugh.
Slickly produced
Very well indeed
Secure (hopefully)
Friendly and approachable

Soppy/scary [How can it be both?!!!]
A bit sad
Fun - shouldn't be taken too seriously.
Hmm. A bit of fun I guess. Some people might have a stigma, but they don't matter.
Ok if you are up for a laugh.
Perhaps a bit sad - a problem with computer dating agencies in general. [Surely not in this day and age? :) ]
It looks well organised and run, although I'm a little cautious of the site security

Fondue...hot cheese
More taboo than it should be
Make it more sophisticated.
Could be more sophisticated.
A bit amateur
Rather nice. A bit lonely somehow.

It's just a website

Any Other Comments?

Keep it up.
I've had a hard time convincing some of my friends, but most of them think it's harmless fun and quite a good laugh.
I hope this bloke isn't a nutter !
My email notification doesn't work [See FAQ on this].
Need more females
If we had more members, the opprobrium of joining might vanish.
I have just had the best and most adventurous weekend of my life - Thanks!
Well done generally - it's a great idea, and I think you are doing a fab job.
Great work guys. Kudos for thinking it up in the first place.
This is fun!
Good work, thanks muchly :)
Much better now we can read our sent mail.
Why not mail the whole uni about Romance. [Isn't that illegal - spam?]
I Like the FAQ
Keep up the good work, boys!
Well done John Surcombe :) haha
Keep the good work up
What happened to the squash?
There is a reasonable chance of a long term relationship, but, like they say, you've got to kiss a lot of frogs first.
What about bisexuals?

If you could have a single feature added to RUO, what would it be?

There are some brilliant ideas here - we'll keep working.....

Live chat
Chat room
Chat Room
Chat Room
Chat room
Direct Chat
Interactive chat room
Chat room
Chat room
[Ok, Ok, we get the point!! This is not easy to do - but we've done it now...enjoy!]

More females
More MSM
More publicity
More "desperate girls"

A "show me what they really look like" button
Encourage more photos
Compulsory photo

Stalker friendly address tracking service.

My dream bloke
[Answer: you have a pretty good chance....]

The bloke I have a crush on
[You could always invite him...]

Links to new members/old members who have changed their ads.
Some indication about how long the adverts have been on the web.

Blind dating service
Blind date

Personality surveys with results linked to ads.
Surveys such as the Purity test

Optional facility to give real name/email. [Well, you can. Just put it in your description!]

Quoting message in reply.

Chatterbox feature.
LoveWeb without notification.

Romantic tips

Automatic logout

Other Mail folders

Members success stories [Look at the testimonials page.]
Success story from one of the couples. [That's a really good idea! We need YOU to tell us how you got on!  ]

Ability to respond to messages directly via email [A bit tricky]

Sort feature by age

Frames [A bit of a pain for some browsers, though]

A forum where everybody can leave their impression on the last date, and recommend it (or not) to the others. [Possibly rather open to abuse?]


We still want to know from you...

Why a substantial number of you do not display profiles.

Why there are not very many photos included.

How we can re-balance the Female:Male ratio