Ask more, know more, do more

Five Tips on Optimizing Your Surveys for Smartphones

Five Tips on Optimizing Your Surveys for Smartphones

Surveys on the go!You’ve got one, your friends each have one, heck, even your tween-aged cousin has one. What are we talking about?

The smartphone.

These devices have not only made life easier but quick access to information is now just a mere finger tap away.

Watching the Olympics and need to know why a triple axel got fewer points than the triple-lutz-triple-toe-loop-jump combo? Just check your phone. Want to whip something quick and tasty up for dinner tonight? There’s an app for that. There’s practically an app for everything and anything you can think of nowadays.

Smartphones have truly become a regular part of most people’s daily lives. As the number of smartphone ownership has increased, the kinds of activities that people engage in with their phones has followed suit. This includes an activity near and dear to our hearts of course–taking online surveys. The number of people taking surveys while on the go is definitely on the rise. For example, about a fifth of the millions of people currently answering a SurveyMonkey survey are doing so on mobile devices.

If you think that a significant proportion of your respondents might be taking your survey on a mobile device, then you need to make sure their experience is easy, quick, and above all else, designed to give you the best possible data. In addition to the tips that Kelsey mentioned in her blog post, here are five more ways to help you optimize your survey for smartphones.

1. Stick with the default–one vertical column is best.

When formatting your response options, keep them vertical. For response options that go across the screen horizontally, the text wrapping may make it difficult to read the answer choices. Also, drop-down response options are harder for respondents on mobile devices to read because they require them to click AND scroll to see all the options. This means respondents may not see all of the options you’ve provided them, or scroll through them too quickly, which could bias the responses you get.

Mobile Tip

2. Split up your questions.

Scrolling is hard on the respondent and someone might inadvertently click on the wrong response option while trying to reach questions towards the bottom of the page. So if at all possible, try and limit the number of questions per page to one or two so that smartphone respondents don’t have to scroll too much to get to the next question or to return to a previous question.

3. Use small logos or avoid using them altogether.

Logos can take up valuable screen real estate, so for a survey that you expect lots of people to complete on their smartphone, take out the logos or use ones that are small so they don’t overwhelm what is really important–the actual survey question.

Mobile Tip #2

4. Beware of bandwidth issues.

Videos load in a snap when you’re connected to an Ethernet cable or a fast wifi connection, but often mobile survey respondents are relying on cell phone networks to load data. A video that instantaneously plays on a laptop or desktop could take an eternity to load on a smartphone. These respondents may get frustrated, so you might want to consider limiting the amount of multimedia to make it a good survey experience for your mobile-survey takers.

5. Put yourself in the respondent’s shoes.

The final check in any survey is to test it out in order to catch any typos and confirm you’ve properly programmed your skip logic. Also, don’t forget to test out your survey on BOTH your desktop computer and your smartphone. By experiencing the survey experience in the mobile environment, you’ll be able to see first-hand which questions or pages require excessive scrolling and identify the questions that aren’t ideal in this platform. This allows you to make changes before you start collecting responses and not after. Doing this will gain you any valuable data you would have lost because you had to edit your survey after collecting responses, and also lowers the chances of respondents dropping out.

So with these tips in your back pocket, you won’t have to worry about your smartphone outsmarting your surveys!

As always, don’t hesitate to leave your questions or comments with us below and thanks for reading.

Get the Feedback eGuide

Tags: , , ,

2 thoughts on “Five Tips on Optimizing Your Surveys for Smartphones

  1. Thomas Hockey says:

    Are there any plans to make your surveys completely mobile responsive?

    1. kaytek says:

      Stay tuned here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Inspired? Create your own survey.

Make your own survey

Sign In

Sign up to get started

PRO Sign Up 
Sign Up FREE

Latest Features

Curious about what we’ve been working on?

View New Features

Get expert survey help

Get expert survey help


Best practices for planning expert surveys

Planning makes writing your survey easy.

Download eGuide

How many responses do you need?

Use our sample size calculator to find out!

Calculate now

Analyze survey data like a pro

Learn to slice and dice data using the Analyze tool.

Download eGuide