Five Steps for Creating the Ultimate Friends & Family Quiz

Published: 14th September 2020

There are quizzes, and there are quizzes, and after months of lockdown many of us have become quite the expert on what makes a ‘good’un’.   

From confidently answering 'what's the world’s largest land mammal?', to straightening your imaginary glasses and declaring to all on camera what ‘Zn’ represents on the periodic table, we can all say we’ve certainly learnt a thing or two during this fairly crummy 2020.

In fact, despite the world slowly starting to reopen, plenty of us are still keeping to our lockdown ritual of replicating the Thursday night legendary pub quiz from our homes. Those endless video calls (complete with the 45 min reminder to jump off and on again and the endless shouting of “you’re on MUTE!”) have only become more appealing, with the competition for most imaginative round or trickiest question hotting up. 

So now it’s your turn to host; the gauntlet has been thrown. How can you beat Auntie Sharon’s infamous ‘animal anatomy’ picture round while still keeping the quiz entertaining, enlightening and leaving your audience begging for more?

1. Keep it Simple 

Look, no one likes it when the mega boffin mate prepares the mega boffin quiz; someone invariably ends up feeling like the village idiot.

2. Make it personal

Our ultimate suggestion for choosing the perfect set of quiz questions is all about knowing your audience and making it personal. Choose topics that tap into a shared history, culture or time period of your participants. You know, those juicy tidbits almost forgotten until pulled from the dark and dusty recesses of your mind e.g. the names of all characters in the Raccoons or that ‘missing verse’ from the Fresh Prince theme tune.

The best quizzes in our humble opinion make your players go either “Oh my God yeah” or “Oh my God, what was that?? Arghhh!” – if you hear those shouts, you are definitely on the right track.

To really go all out, why not choose topics based on your family’s or mates’ shared experiences and then use them to pick a theme for each round. Naturally, the more personal the questions, the better, i.e. a round on that Zante holiday in 2002, complete with photo evidence. 

As Quizmaster, knowing your audience is vital and too many specific questions for a niche audience can alienate anyone who wasn’t there, can take time to explain, and some things are, well, better left unsaid (what happens in Greece, stays in Greece?!) so choose wisely!

3. Give them a chance

No one is saying anything about making your quiz easy, but we are suggesting that you give your players an opportunity to get a question right – even if Mistress Luck is very heavily involved. Multiple choice questions are particularly important for the more brain-tickling sections of a quiz. 

Even better, stick the multiple choice round in early and you’ll make our unknowing players feel like they’re actually in with a chance (…even if you know you’ll be separating the wheat from the chaff by round 4!).

Remain cunning in your selections too. Throw in some good curveballs related to the subject matter. I mean, Eddie Murphy’s character in Coming to America is correctly Prince of Zamunda, but Wakanda (Black Panther), Zoolander (Blue Steel) and Zubrowka (from The Grand Budapest Hotel) are all similar enough to make even the most ardent cinephile second-guess their selection.

4. Keep it fresh

Right, if you are really going to attempt to ‘go for it’ with the Quiz of all Quizzes then put in the time to vary the styles of rounds. No-one wants to scroll through endless paragraphs of laborious questions.

To really style it out, we’d suggest the following:

  • Support all written rounds with ‘hint’ images (yes, even the multiple options rounds).
  • For a mid-game round, is absolutely your friend. Liven up the quiz after multiple static rounds with a perfectly timed ‘Name the programme’ round with a gif of Kenny about to meet his end. Again.
  • If you intend to share your quiz with the masses and may want to reprise it again at a later date, you are best to stick to rights-free images – and there are bags of them. With a bit of thought, images from sites like Unsplash can be very effective. For inspiration, check this quiz out.

5. Pick your weapon of choice  

After weeks of hosting quizzes for friends, family, old uni mates and even the local Beavers Troop we’ve become familiar with a lot of quiz styles and platforms. Each promises to make setting up, hosting and sharing a quiz simple, but none have quite come up trumps like

All we asked for was:

  • The ability to quickly and easily create and host an interactive quiz on the spot without knowing the ins and outs of HTML or coding.
  • Access to a library of ready-made, easy-to-customise quizzes to play when we’re short of the time or patience to come up with our own.
  • Options to customise our quiz with an array of multiple choice, free text answers and picture questions.
  • A way to see who is playing, and how they’ve answered each question to avoid those… erm, less than honest contestants on the self-marking rounds.
  • The option to host on our laptops or phones with some snazzy quiz master controls so we can truly own the experience.

After working our way through a lot of tools, we loved the simplicity, price and look of DOOZY. The existing quizzes are fab, and we appreciate that they can be customised without having to do any actual manual lifting, like that pesky copying and pasting.

Right… so… we are Romeo done (name that song?). Your ultimate DOOZY quiz is only a few clicks away. You can’t go wrong from here, surely?

By Gem

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