We’ve written blog posts before (like this one or this one) on how to optimize your survey for mobile respondents, but these have never come in handy more than right now. SurveyMonkey has just launched a Mobile SDK that makes it easy for anyone with an app out there to collect super relevant, in-app feedback from your users in real-time.
You’ll always want to make taking a mobile survey just as much of a cinch as using any mobile app. So, ready for the tips part of this post? Good.
7 tips for in-app survey design for the SDK and beyond
- Keep it short. Every time your respondents have to scroll or click to a new page, they will have to wait for the page to reload. That can be incredibly frustrating, and will lead to drop-outs. When collecting feedback using the mobile SDK, we recommend limiting yourself to 2-3 pages, with no more than 5-6 questions total. Check out our Mobile App Feedback Template, and pick the handful of questions that would work best for you.
- Keep it simple. Logos, photos, big blocks of text, or special formatting can often clutter up your survey. Feel free to use your company’s preferred colors, fonts, or general design aesthetic, but remember to keep your users focused on the app experience and not the way your feedback survey is designed.
- Limit your open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are not ideal for in-app surveys, so limit yourself to one or two at most. You might notice that the open-ended questions we included in our Mobile App Feedback Template are a little different than typical open-ended questions. They’re much more specific, and they ask questions that can be answered in just a few words. Typing out responses on even the best smartphone is hard, so it’s a good idea to stick to open-ended questions that only ask for short replies. In-app surveys are not the time to ask for detailed feedback or require comprehensive answers. If that’s what you’re looking for, consider sending a follow-up survey via email instead.
- No big matrix questions. Most matrix questions will be too large to display on a mobile screen without scrolling. We recommend avoiding matrices, or at least keeping them to a manageable size (think 2-3 columns and 5 rows max). Preview and test your survey on different brands of mobile devices if you have any uncertainty about how it will appear to your respondents.
- No landscape mode. Keep your response options oriented vertically, as horizontal orientation requires more scrolling from left to right. Mobile devices have much less surface area to work with compared to desktops or laptops, and you want to design your survey to fit smaller screens.
- Ask at the right time and place. Set a prompt for in-app feedback at the time or place that you most need it. For example, if you notice users dropping out of your checkout screen, you can ask them why in real-time.
- Use what you’ve got. You probably already have a fair amount of information about your users at your fingertips. Maybe you asked for some basic demographic information—such as age and sex—when they first downloaded your app, which you can easily append to your survey results with a custom variable. Other metadata—such as device type or geographic location—might be readily available to you through your existing data. If you already have that data, there’s no need to re-ask it in your survey.
There you have it—an expert’s guide to optimizing your surveys for the mobile world. Whether you want to reel in helpful feedback from your app users with SurveyMonkey’s Mobile SDK, or just want to learn the ropes of survey design for the small screen, keep these rules in mind to make taking your mobile surveys a breeze.
Questions? Let us know below!