It’s always important to consider when and how respondents will complete a survey. In 2018, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones – so there’s a good chance that some of your respondents will be completing the survey on a mobile device. This can make it easier to reach your respondents wherever they are, but it also has implications for how you design your mobile survey.
Whether you’re sharing a survey link for respondents to complete on their own device, or you’re asking them to give feedback at events using kiosks or mobiles – we take a look at mobile survey design best practice.
Key mobile survey design considerations
Keep it simple
- Asking complex, long-winded questions is never a good idea, but even more so in a mobile survey – a respondent’s attention span is going to be short and they’re easily distracted.
- Don’t ask too many questions; ideally your survey will take less than five minutes to complete.
- Use routing in your survey so that respondents only see questions that are relevant to them, based on the answers they give.
- Stick to one topic – a mobile survey is a great way to gather immediate feedback but trying to fit in too many topics will put respondents off and lead to higher drop out rates.
Make it engaging
- Avoid open ended text questions, and stick to questions that require a short, specific answer or offer multiple choice suggestions.
- Use engaging question types that are easy to complete on a mobile device.
- For multiple choice questions include the most common responses and use an ‘other’ text box, or use a drop down instead of a long list of options.
- For other interactive questions consider their usability on a mobile avoid questions types that take up a lot of space on the screen.
Other mobile survey considerations
If you’re conducting a multi-mode research project then you need to ensure that your survey can adapt to any screen size or device, from smart phones to desktop computers. Use survey software that allows you to produce adaptive surveys so that you can give respondents a consistent survey experience.
Timing is everything
The best time to distribute your mobile survey will depend on your target audience – whether they’re consumers or businesses, and then it will depend on the industry, their working hours, and a number of other factors. For a mobile survey gathering feedback from an event, you need to catch respondents while it’s fresh in their mind. As with any survey, it’s essential to tailor your survey distribution, and monitor and test the best times for your particular audience.
Survey software for mobile surveys
Snap Surveys software can produce adaptive surveys that are easy to complete on any device, and the responses can be combined as part of a multi-mode survey project including mobile, online and paper surveys. For conducting mobile surveys in the field, Snap XMP Offline Interviewer is an offline survey app that allows you to collect and store responses securely until an internet connection is available to sync the data.
This post was originally updated on 2/10/2014, and updated 17/09/2019.