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Creating Surveys Optimized For Mobile Devices


It’s no secret that most of our screen time is spent on mobile phones and tablets. In fact, over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Professionals in healthcare and B2B industries are often on the go and using mobile devices to complete day-to-day tasks. Today, businesses need to put phone and tablet users at the forefront of their research efforts and optimize their surveys accordingly. 


Surveys play a crucial role in acquiring feedback from consumers, who are now spending more time on their mobile devices, making it imperative that companies properly create and optimize any digital surveys they send out for the small screen. Read on to learn how to ensure your surveys are correctly written and optimized for mobile devices below.

Why Should You Optimize Surveys for Mobile Users?

Surveys that neglect to consider mobile users before launching have disproportionate drop-off rates on mobile devices, preventing a full view of the market for researchers and businesses. Data from these surveys often under-represent groups like tech-savvy consumers, app users, and early adopters.

On the other hand, preventing mobile device users from entering the survey presents challenges to representation and feasibility, particularly with younger and lower-income respondents.

Why Should You Optimize Surveys on Mobile Devices?

Since 2015, mobile device website traffic worldwide has increased by over 20% on average to nearly 60% of all users. That is why it is so critical for companies to consider tailoring their marketing efforts toward mobile users. Mobile users are less likely to drop from a survey if it is easy to navigate and complete on their preferred device.

Businesses that only target desktop users in their research efforts risk neglecting a large portion of their consumer base. Only considering desktop users in a survey would likely mean excluding many customers who spend most of their screen time on their smartphones and tablets. Not optimizing your surveys for mobile users could negatively impact your response rate and yield inaccurate or incomplete results.

Improve Response Rates

The average American spends almost five and a half hours on their smartphone daily. Therefore, effectively delivering surveys on mobile devices can help businesses reach customers where they are and improve their overall response rates.

By using mobile surveys, you can extend your reach by asking respondents to share it on social media and professional networks. To ensure you get the most out of your mobile surveys, you should offer different question types such as multiple choice, single choice, and open-ended questions to make responding easy and intuitive.

Increase Customer Engagement

Mobile surveying presents an opportunity to get creative and find fun ways for customers to participate. For example, retailers with brick-and-mortar locations can use QR codes in-store and offer customers a small percentage off their next purchase for participating in the survey.

Leveraging technology like QR codes can increase customer engagement since customers can take the survey then and there. Using mobile surveys, customers can avoid waiting to get home to type in a URL from a receipt they have likely thrown away; instead, they can give businesses valuable feedback immediately following their shopping experience.

Gain Helpful Feedback in Real-Time

With mobile surveys, businesses can gain helpful feedback in real-time. Consider launching one during your next company-wide event or product launch. In doing so, you can gather valuable insights and feedback from your audience. These insights can influence and inform follow-up activities.

Mobile surveys offer a quick and easy way to collect data from attendees or customers, allowing you to get a pulse on their thoughts and opinions in real time. By asking targeted questions, these surveys can gather valuable insights to help you understand how your product or event is being received and what areas require improvement.

What Are Mobile-Optimized Surveys? 

Mobile-optimized surveys are surveys that can be easily completed on mobile devices. People who prefer to browse the internet on their phones and tablets must be able to navigate your surveys with ease. Before the survey rolls out, you should test it on various mobile devices to ensure functionality. Mobile surveys for phones can have different appearances and issues depending on the device utilized.

Properly optimized surveys should be easy to scroll through on smaller screens and responsive on touchscreen devices. Easier maneuverability is the key to optimizing a survey for phones. Neglecting to optimize a survey for mobile devices could mean losing important feedback from core customers and clients.

How to Optimize Your Survey for Mobile Devices

Since 2015, mobile device website traffic worldwide has increased by over 20% on average to nearly 60% of all users. That is why it is so critical for companies to consider tailoring their marketing efforts toward mobile users. Businesses that only target desktop users in their research efforts risk neglecting a large portion of their consumer base.. Mobile users are less likely to drop from a survey if it is easy to navigate and complete on their preferred device.

Best Practices to OptimizeSurveys for Mobile Devices

Generally, mobile-optimized surveys should be succinct and easy to navigate. Properly optimized surveys avoid using long sentence-like descriptors on answer options. They also avoid using too many images and graphics because these elements quickly take up (or exceed) screen real estate. Try to avoid open-ended questions where possible, as it is challenging to type long-form responses on a small touch screen. If you plan to create a survey for mobile users, consider the following recommendations.

1. Keep Your Mobile Surveys Short and Sweet

Remember that most mobile phone screens offer only 5% of a standard computer monitor’s available real estate, therefore, it’s best to create shorter surveys that are well-defined and cut to the chase. Users are more likely to become impatient if they have to scroll through large amounts of text and wait for items to load. As a general rule of thumb, each page should contain one to three questions to avoid long load times.

IntelliSurvey’s platform configures most surveys to have one question per page to ensure that surveys load efficiently and are easy to fit on the screen. Surveys that utilize IntelliSurvey’s “single page” configuration also benefit from having the loading occur upfront. These features ensure a smooth experience for all users answering your surveys from their mobile devices.

 2. Mobile Phone Surveys Require Easy-to-Read Text

Along with using fewer words to get the job done, make sure you choose fonts that are easy to read and understand. Try to avoid using cursive and fonts that are too small and difficult to read. Sans-serif fonts like Arial and Verdana are ideal for online reading because they are known to be more legible than serif fonts like Times New Roman. Solutions like IntelliSurvey’s online survey platform optimize each survey to ensure they are legible and easy to read for respondents.

3. Avoid Using Distracting Graphics

Graphics with large file sizes can increase load times and force mobile users to exit a survey before they begin. Videos and images load fast on laptops connected to WiFi, but phones relying on mobile data plans can take more time to load resources. Since mobile users work with less screen real estate, try to avoid using cumbersome images when creating surveys.

4. Make Answers Easy to Select

Keep multiple-choice questions in one column on the screen, and make sure the answers on your survey are easy to click on and select. Avoid using overly large scales and scales with long textual descriptions on mobile surveys, as they can make it difficult for users to answer accurately. For example, if the user can’t drag the bar across the scale on their touch screen, they will likely give up and exit the survey.

Mobile surveys that utilize user-friendly question formats are likely to have a higher completion rate and yield better results. Question layouts like IntelliSurvey’s Mobile-Friendly MaxDiff format feature question inputs that are buttons for a larger clicking area, so almost all survey content can be shown to and answered by respondents on phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. 

5. Choose Effective Question Formats

Typing on mobile devices can be challenging and time-consuming for users; that’s why, whenever possible, you should limit the use of open-ended questions on your mobile phone surveys. Users may grow impatient filling out many open-ended questions because they are constantly editing typos. 

If you must use open-ended questions on your survey, make sure to implement a larger text box to give users space to type and edit their responses. Some ways you can help ensure your questions are engaging and easy to follow are:

  • Shorten text wherever possible 
  • Move longer tangential descriptions into mouseovers 
  • Avoid long paragraphs above questions that push content down
  • Choose from IntelliSurvey’s engaging question types, including mobile MaxDiff, star ratings, sliders, and carousel tables

6. Test Your Mobile Phone Survey on Different Devices

Finally, and most importantly, you should test your survey on mobile devices. Thoroughly test your mobile survey on multiple tablets, phones, and any other mobile device you can find. Be sure to test it in both landscape and portrait modes, since users can use different screen orientations on their devices. Don’t forget to test on different mobile browsers, as information can render differently between Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and other mobile web browsers

After you roll out your survey, pay close attention to the mobile and tablet conversion rate, which is the rate of respondents who take the survey on a mobile device. If this number is low compared to the overall conversion rate, or respondents, this could indicate that your survey is not properly optimized for mobile users.

How IntelliSurvey Can Help

Mobile surveys offer numerous benefits that help researchers and businesses obtain valuable insights and data. With the increasing use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, mobile surveys have become an effective and efficient means of reaching a wider audience.

IntelliSurvey's market research software features a mobile-first respondent interface design to help provide a seamless experience for respondents, no matter what device they’re on. Our intuitive interface includes features like tables that choose a render format based on the user's device and single-select questions that automatically move onto the next screen upon being answered to help keep the respondent moving forward. IntelliSurvey's features are adaptive and take the guesswork out of creating mobile-friendly surveys. We can help optimize your surveys for a better mobile user experience. Contact us today for more information.

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