A growing percentage of respondents access surveys using their mobile devices, but most surveys are not designed to display legibly on these devices. This leads to frustration, poor data quality, survey dropout, and eventually panel attrition. Lightspeed GMI is taking a proactive approach to survey design to help ensure today’s surveys are compatible across devices. The best way to do this is to design surveys with mobile display in mind, ensuring they will render adequately on the smallest screens. Based on our extensive research on research we have identified 10 guidelines to make a survey device agnostic:
1. Keep survey length under 15 minutes to reduce dropouts and keep respondents’ attention focused.
2. Keep grid/matrix questions that require scrolling to a minimum and use drop-down boxes or dynamic grids.
3. Limit number of open ended questions to two.
4. Don’t use Flash tools since Apple devices cannot display Flash content.
5. Carefully pretest any audio/video streaming on multiple devices to ensure there are no technical issues and also allow respondents to restart on another device with streaming, if necessary.
6. Make sure images/concepts render quickly and legibly across devices as well allowing image to be enlarged.
7. Use short, concise question text to make it easier for mobile respondents.
8. Limit or even eliminate the number of questions with eight plus answer choices.
9. Limit horizontal scales to seven scale points and test display on multiple devices.
10. Utilize responsive survey design so text/material adjusts automatically to screen size.
Following these guidelines helps guarantee survey readiness to be displayed across all devices, including mobile phones. Look for future blog postings with more detail on survey length and grid questions.