Demographic Survey 2016 is now available until October 8th. Thanks as always for your assistance!
This may be an over-reaching criticism of a demographic survey, but here goes. Why not expand the survey to provide strategic information to improve foldit?
Foldit is designed by a collaboration of scientists and gamers, but it's user community is much broader. If the goal of foldit is to create new and strong folding solutions by casting a wide crowd net, the survey could be probing to find out what elements of the user community are correlated to successful solutions.
If the team only does this once a year and invests even marginal effort in the survey, it should obtain really useful data. The survey could capture crucial information to move foldit design in the direction of stronger solutions. Focusing on biochemistry, biology, chemistry and computer science is self-limiting. It omits various engineering expertise as well as other professional backgrounds. Why not simply ask about professional background? There may be correlations to philosophy or currency trading, masonry or music. There are myriad areas to explore and expand - estimation of the number of online client hours per week, and the number of scripted client hours per week might be helpful. Or does the player use other resources like netsurfp? Does the player belong to a foldit group? Does the player have dedicated hardware? Does the player have more than one username? What is the first language of the player? Etc.
+ mean hours hand fold per puzzle (or per week)
(I suspect that a minimum is required, combined with many hours recipes)
We do of course, try to keep our scope to what information is already (and consistently) the most useful to the team, but at the same time doesn't over burden our community with too many questions (or give them a "too prying" feeling), or too often. Still, if the community is willing to provide more information like that and doesn't mind more surveys, or surveys that may include some demographic information but have a different purpose/scope, we will certainly give these sort of suggestions strong consideration.
As you can see from our electron density thread, we're definitely don't hesitate to drill down on interesting results when we find them!
Thanks for the feedback!