The Impact of Mobile Devices on Survey Responses: Why Question Types Matter More Than Ever.

The Impact of Mobile Devices on Survey Responses
Image of the post author Jodie Shaw

With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, it’s no surprise that more and more people are completing surveys on their mobile devices. But what does this mean for marketers, product managers, and market researchers? 

In this article, we’ll explore how mobile devices have changed the survey landscape and why it’s crucial to design mobile-friendly surveys. We’ll dive into the various question types, discuss their effectiveness on mobile devices, and provide best practices for designing surveys that work well on screens of all sizes.

But first, let’s take a step back and consider how mobile devices have changed our interaction with technology. These devices have revolutionized how we communicate, consume content, and engage with brands in just a few short years. People spend more time on their phones than ever before, and this trend will continue.

As marketers and researchers, we must keep up with these changes and adapt our strategies accordingly. By understanding the impact of mobile devices on survey responses, we can design surveys that are more engaging, more effective, and ultimately more valuable for our businesses. So let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of mobile surveys!

The Mobile Survey Landscape

The mobile survey landscape is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and statistics is essential. According to Statista, in 2023, the current number of smartphone users in the world today is 6.92 billion, meaning 86.29% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. This means that a large percentage of survey respondents are completing surveys on their mobile devices.

While mobile surveys offer many benefits, such as increased convenience and accessibility, they also present some unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the limited screen size of mobile devices. It’s crucial to design surveys that are optimized for smaller screens, with clear and concise questions and answer options.

In a survey by Google, 94% of respondents reported using their smartphones to take surveys.

Another challenge is user attention span. Mobile users often multitask and are easily distracted, so surveys must be engaging and easy to complete. If a survey takes too long or requires too much effort, respondents will likely abandon it before completing it.

Despite these challenges, mobile surveys can be highly effective when designed correctly. In fact, a study found that mobile surveys have a completion rate that is 10% higher than desktop surveys. Additionally, mobile surveys tend to have higher response rates and lower costs, making them an attractive option for brands.


Understanding Question Types

Understanding the different types of survey questions is crucial to designing effective mobile surveys. Let’s closely examine some of the most common question types and how they work on mobile devices.

Open-ended questions allow respondents to provide their own answers and can be useful for collecting qualitative data. However, they can be more challenging to answer on a mobile device, as they often require more typing and can be harder to read on a smaller screen. In contrast, closed-ended questions provide a set of predefined answer options, such as yes or no, and are often easier to answer on a mobile device.

Multiple-choice questions are a popular closed-ended question type, where respondents are given a set of answer options to choose from. These can be effective on mobile devices if the options are clear and easy to read. However, if the options are too lengthy or complex, they may be difficult to read on a small screen.

Rating scales are another common question type, where respondents are asked to rate their level of agreement or satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. Rating scales can be effective on mobile devices if they are designed to fit the smaller screen size, and the rating options are clearly labeled and easy to select.

Research by Quirk’s Media found that surveys optimized for mobile devices are completed 30-40% faster than those optimized for desktops.

It’s worth noting that some question types, such as matrix questions or grid questions, can be challenging to answer on a mobile device. These types of questions require respondents to evaluate multiple items, which can be difficult to do on a smaller screen.

Best Practices for Mobile-Friendly Surveys

Designing surveys that are mobile-friendly is crucial to maximizing completion rates and gathering accurate data. Here are some best practices for designing mobile-friendly surveys:

  1. Keep it concise: Mobile users have limited attention spans, so it’s essential to keep survey questions and answer options short and to the point. Avoid using long or complicated sentences, and consider breaking up longer questions into smaller, more manageable chunks.
  2. Use clear formatting: Use a clear and easy-to-read font, with a font size of at least 14 points, to ensure the text is readable on smaller screens. Use plenty of white space between questions and answer options to help respondents navigate the survey more easily.
  3. Optimize for different devices: Make sure your survey is optimized for different screen sizes and device types. Test your survey on different devices to ensure it looks and functions correctly on each one.
  4. Keep answer options consistent: Make sure that answer options are consistent throughout the survey. This will make it easier for respondents to understand the question and select the appropriate answer.
  5. Provide clear instructions: Provide clear and concise instructions at the beginning of the survey to help respondents understand how to complete the survey. Include instructions on how to navigate through the survey and how long it is expected to take.
  6. Use skip logic: Skip logic allows respondents to skip questions that are not relevant to them, which can help to reduce survey fatigue and improve completion rates. However, ensure that skip logic is used sparingly, as it can add complexity to the survey.
  7. Test and iterate: Testing and iterating are essential parts of survey design. Test your survey on a small sample of respondents before launching it to a larger audience, and use their feedback to make improvements.

Key Takeaways

Mobile devices have revolutionized how people interact with technology, including completing surveys. To maximize response rates and gather accurate data, it’s essential to design mobile-friendly surveys.

This means selecting the right question types and optimizing surveys for different screen sizes and devices.

Key takeaways from this blog post include:

  • Mobile devices are an important platform for survey completion and should be taken into consideration when designing surveys.
  • Closed-ended questions, such as multiple-choice questions and rating scales, tend to work better on mobile devices than open-ended questions.
  • Mobile surveys should be concise, well-formatted, and optimized for different devices.
  • Best practices for mobile surveys include keeping answer options consistent, providing clear instructions, and testing and iterating.

Brands and researchers can create engaging, effective surveys that provide valuable insights into consumer behavior and preferences by using a mobile-first approach and following these best practices.

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