Online Technology for Research & Insight

Research Blog 11 September 2017

Top tips for making your surveys more mobile-friendly

More and more survey responses are coming from smartphones – in many cases our customers are finding over 50% of respondents are now submitting on mobiles. In particular, surveys aimed at younger people need to be optimised for mobile usage, and they need to be shorter and snappier to fit in with mobile users who are always "on the go".

Optimising your survey for mobiles is therefore imperative in order to improve your response rates. All Demographix surveys are fully mobile-compatible and you will never need to create a separate mobile version. However, there are still some general tips you can follow to make the survey experience a more rewarding one for mobile users.

  1. Keep your surveys short and snappy: Make your survey as concise as you possibly can, keep your questions, answer options and other explanatory text short and to the point, and use routing to tailor the survey experience. Imagine your respondents travelling on a bus or train – ideally you want them to complete the survey before they get off, otherwise they may abandon it altogether.
  2. Plan your survey structure carefully: Everything needs to be in bite size chunks for today’s busy respondent. We recommend no more than three questions per page, or a single matrix question on one page. This means less scrolling for the mobile user. It also means they can easily find their spot in the survey if they get momentarily distracted.
  3. Favour more touch-friendly question types: Single and multiple choice questions are easy to navigate on mobiles, but other question types are even more touch-friendly - such as card sort or image hotspots. Matrix questions are reformatted for mobiles, with each row shown as a separate question, so try to avoid long matrices.
  4. Minimise the number of write-in questions: Typing lots of text on a mobile is more time consuming and predictive text mode can create ambiguity. You may get inadequate or misleading data if you have too many open-ended questions.
  5. Keep an eye on the file size of your survey: This is particularly relevant if you have a survey with numerous images or other multimedia files such as video or audio clips. Large file sizes will significantly slow down the survey’s load time. If you need to include a lot of images, consider using thumbnails which can be enlarged if required.

We recommend testing your survey on a mobile device before you publish it and email out invitations. If you are finding it difficult to navigate, chances are your respondents will too, and they may not complete it. The tips above will help optimise your survey for today's growing army of mobile respondents.