Maybe it’s just bad luck on my part, but I have started to encounter an inordinate number of sites that ask me to complete a survey about their site. Typically, it happens when I open the first page, but on occasion I’ll get it while part-way through exploring the site, usually when I’m in the process of trying to find some information. Being greeted by a dialog that I have to dismiss to be able to reach the site the first time is annoying enough. Having it pop-up in the middle, when I’m concentrating on information with an intent to purchase something, is infuriating. All it does is make me want to leave the site, not help improve it.
Do you want to improve the browsing experience? First, STOP ASKING ME TO TAKE SURVEYS. Stop trying to get me to help you for free. If you really care about the browsing experience, contact an organization like Nielsen Norman Group, and they can help you. They can evaluate your site, conduct controlled user studies and generally help you make a better site for your customers. Yes, they cost money. But if your site is that important, then you should be prepared to invest in it. And if you really do care about your web site, you’ll stop annoying your visitors before they’ve even had a chance to look around.