Get More Mobile Completions
Get More Mobile Completions

Today’s trend shows that customers, employees, partners, and audiences will take all surveys using whatever device that is the most convenient to them at the time of being asked to take a survey, be it through email, an online intercept (through dynamic websites, Facebook, Twitter etc.) or an in-person intercept. In order to increase participation, surveys must be optimized on PC/laptop, tablets, as well as mobile phones.

A mobile optimized radio button question

Survature handles device detection and offers device optimized views for all questions in your survey. Simply by not forcing a desktop experience on a mobile user you can avoid one of the easiest ways to induce survey fatigue in your target audience. Better yet, the custom survey themes available to enterprise users optimize automatically regardless of the devices used by the survey takers. The following shows on an example questions would look on mobile using Survature’s default survey theme.

With the technological support in place, there are also some “best-practice” ideas that survey authors should keep in mind when drafting a survey that can further improve participation and help collect the highest quality result data.

1. Concise Question Text

As the survey creator, your number one priority when optimizing for mobile is to be concise in your question wording. Long question texts can be cumbersome when navigating on a mobile device. You do not want a survey taker to need to scroll back and forth between the question and answers, as this leads to survey fatigue. Ask your questions as you would during conversation and try not to relapse into “researcher speak.”

2. Concise Answer Text

Similarly, it is imperative to have short and concise answer text. This also applies for desktop surveys, but on mobile it is especially important. Limited screen real estate means that using as little answer text as possible is the best way to engage your survey respondents. For AnswerCloud questions, we suggest limiting your responses to 1-3 words. This ensures a proper mobile experience. If you find yourself needing to add response texts longer than what we recommend, then consider rewording your question to make the job easier.

An inappropriately long response wording

3. Limit Open-Ended Questions

Fully expressing a thought through an open-ended question can be an exhausting task on mobile devices. Limiting the number of open-ended questions you include in your survey will go a long way towards reducing survey fatigue.

4. Keep the Survey Focused and Short

When optimizing for mobile, determine a few key metrics you want to gauge from a survey, and stick to them! Asking 30 minutes of someone’s time is far more intrusive than 1-2 minutes. On mobile, survey takers have even less patience for surveys which drag on. Limit the number of questions you ask. Create targeted surveys designed to answer specific questions. Make your audience feel they are in control of offering their opinion to you instead of feeling as though they are taking an exam. For ideas on designing shorter surveys, please refer the help topic: The One Minute Survey.

5. Test, Test, Test

Use the survey preview feature to make sure that your survey displays well! Preview your survey from your mobile device to judge exactly what your survey takers will experience. Don’t make the mistake of alienating such an important audience segment.

Following these suggestions will help maximize the number of responses you get, return higher quality data, and engage your audience for the long run.

Dr. Jian Huang
Dr. Jian Huang
Jian Huang is the Chief Executive Officer at Survature providing the vision for reinventing the way the world experiences surveys. He is a professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee (UT) researching data analysis, visualization, and human-computing interaction. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Interior, Intel, NASA, and UT-Battelle. Jian received his PhD from the Ohio State University.

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