Anatomy of a SnapApp, Part 1: How We Designed Our Thanksgiving Assessment

December 3, 2014 | Dan Trefethen

Assessment Icon - Large.pngA basic assessment is one of the most popular types of interactive content around the SnapApp office. It’s a flexible format that works for product pickers, persona assignments, or feel-good personality tests, and gives us a chance to educate our audience while learning more about them. Asking relevant, insightful questions that yield personalized results builds trust, and keeps our prospects open to receiving more information through our nurture streams.

There’s a reason Buzzfeed quizzes are so popular – people love to be the star of their own story, and as Emma Roller wrote in Slate, receive “instant affirmation that we share some part of ourselves with other people (or cities, or David Lynch characters, or Bill O’Reillys) that we admire.”

But creating a great assessment can seem daunting. How many questions should I ask? What outcomes should I offer? How will it work with other parts of my marketing plan?

Today we’re letting you under the SnapApp hood and revealing our step-by-step process for designing and creating our Thanksgiving Persona assessment. Let’s dive in!

Step One: “What should we make?” Brainstorm Meeting

Before you start building any kind of interactive content, it’s critical to understand your goals and audience for the campaign. For us, we were looking for a feel-good way to engage our audience around the Thanksgiving holiday. Our goals were brand awareness and engagement (not necessarily lead generation), so we knew our SnapApp had to be fun and relatable. Our theme for our overall holiday campaigns is to share the “people” side of our company, so the SnapApp we built for Thanksgiving needed to have a personal touch. 

We decided on an assessment so our audience would relate to their persona assignment, and to get a viral boost from visitors sharing their results on social media. The “members of the dinner table” idea came from our focus on family and togetherness around Thanksgiving – and all the interesting conversations going on at the dinner table. 

Step Two: Start With the Outcome

Once you’re ready to start building the assessment itself, start with the results. We asked ourselves:

  • How many personas should we have?
  • What should they be? 
  • What are their characteristics? 

We cleared off our whiteboard and started listing all the Thanksgiving personalities we could think of, from crazy Aunt Mabel to the sullen teenager to the dessert-first pumpkin pie lover. Eventually, we arrived at six broad categories we felt most people would relate to. We wrote these six personas across the right-hand side of the whiteboard, grabbed some stacks of Post-Its, and starting brainstorming characteristics for each persona. 

Based on these characteristics, we wrote up short descriptions of each persona that would help us start to craft relevant questions for our assessment.

Keep it positive – remember, these are results you’re assigning to people. So even if you want them to be funny, make sure your audience is laughing with you and not feeling made-fun-of. 

Step Three: Questions

Asking the right questions is key to a successful assessment. Each question should get visitors closer to their persona type without being too obvious. You also can’t ask too many questions without testing your visitors’ patience. 

We settled on six questions, with the original intention to map each question to the corresponding persona. When we made our way through the questions, though, we realized they were too obvious. We went back and changed up the questions so each result would be more of a surprise and less formulaic. 

Step Four: Weight Each Answer

In order to assign the right persona, you have to weight each answer to the corresponding persona type. Because we only had 4 answers to each question, some answers counted for multiple personas. For question 6, “Cleaning up and chatting with my family” counted toward the Ultimate Host and the Sentimentalist (and a tiny bit for the Life of the Party). “I’ll be on the couch…” counted for the Football Fanatic and the Food Lover. 

Thanksgiving SnapApp - Question 6.png

If any answer strongly shifted the scales toward a single persona, it got a lot more points. “Black Friday…duh.” could only be the Black Friday Shopper, so this answer put mega points toward that persona. 

Step Five: Double-Check the Descriptions

Pro tip for descriptions: keep them general enough to get at the spirit of the persona, without referencing anything specific in the  questions you asked. In our case, it was possible for visitors to be assigned the Food Lover persona, even if they answered “no sweatpants at the dinner table.” Our description specifically mentioned the Food Lover wearing sweatpants… so there was a misalignment. We updated our description to leave out the bit about the sweatpants. 

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.35.20 AM.png

Step Six: Design

You can design an assessment any number of ways – repurposing existing assets, keeping it simple with different font colors and backgrounds, or using in-house or external design resources. We kept our design light and simple, with plenty of holiday touches. 

Step Seven: Set it Up in SnapApp 

Once we had the final design, we built everything into SnapApp. This is where the question weighting came in and where we started our first round of testing. Which brings me to… 

Steps Eight, Nine, & Ten: Test, Test & Test Some More

Once you have all your questions weighted and descriptions finalized, it’s time to test. Have at least a few people on your team or throughout your company test the assessment and give you feedback on the process and results. Test for every persona, for a random selection of answers, and for not getting a certain persona. When you think you’ve tested it as many times as you could possibly need… test it again. 


There you have it – the ten-step process to designing our Thanksgiving Persona SnapApp. We went into the process with a solid road map, outlining our goals early and keeping our brand voice and audience in mind throughout. 

As a finishing touch, we included a Call to Action to download a white paper all about interactive content. Stay tuned next week for Part 2, where we’ll dig into the promotion and results of this SnapApp. 

Curious how you could build your own assessment to connect with your audience? Give us a shout


What Interactive Content Type Is Right For You?
Tell us a little bit about your campaign. Is it…

Around a specific topic?

Around a specific date?

Around your service or product?
What is the primary objective of this campaign?

Generate new leads

Move current prospects further down the funnel

Engage existing customers
Is your campaign tied to a particular event or promotion (e.g. upcoming tradeshow, new white paper release, etc.)

Yes, event

Yes, promotion

Yes, other and/or both

Are you looking for evergreen content or is there a set end date to your campaign? (For example, a tradeshow has an end date)

Evergreen – I want to have lasting content

My campaign has an end date

Either works
Do you have some metrics and data that you want to share and/or collect with your audience?


Through which channel(s) will you promote this campaign?





Is social sharing an important part of this
particular campaign?



Assessment or Knowledge Test

Through a series of questions allow your audience to identify with a particular persona, determine their strengths or weaknesses, or benchmark themselves.

Deliver customized results based on responses and present
result-specific downloads, links, or videos.

Great for:
· Generating leads at top of funnel
· Nurturing prospects mid funnel
· Upselling existing customer base
· Educating, profiling, and scoring

Interactive White Paper or Interactive Infographic

Educate your prospects by presenting information in an interactive format. Ask one or many questions to gain your audience’s insight, feedback, and opinions.

Let users see how others answered the same questions and use their specific results to deliver targeted follow-on content and result-specific downloads, links, or videos.

Great for:
· Mid and late funnel education
· Scoring and profiling
· Collecting insights and feedback for future outreach


Host a photo, video or other contest. Conduct a giveaway promotion or sweepstakes. Use your own content or encourage your audience to upload entries. A great way to interact on mobile devices or to generate buzz before an event.

Let users engage with your brand and create fun, easy interactions to capture leads and drive traffic to a specific download, landing page, or other asset.

Great for:
· Generating leads at top of funnel
· Creating buzz and branding around an upcoming event or milestone
· Encouraging sharing on social channels

Don't get left out. Subscribe to our blog and always be in the know.

Fresh Off The Press

Don't get left out. Subscribe to our blog and always be in the know.