Lightspeed Blog

How Long is too Long on a Mobile Device?

Posted by Stefan Kuegler on Apr 7, 2015

Recently, we’ve been receiving inquiries from our clients around the world on the length of surveys. With increasing numbers of respondents accessing surveys via mobile devices, one of the key questions is how long is too long on a mobile device? To address this question Lightspeed GMI has conducted research in Australia, China, India, and the United States. Respondents were assigned to one of four cells:
SurveyLength

There are a number of learnings from this research:

  1. It generally takes longer to complete a survey via a mobile device. On average mobile increases the length by 20-30%. China is the one exception. Many in China access their PCs in internet cafes which may lengthen the interview time.SurveyLength1
  2. The longer the survey the higher the dropout rate. Regardless of device the longer survey length results in a higher dropout rate.
  3. Dropout rates are higher on mobile devices. Dropout rates for the long survey are double that of the short survey.SurveyLength3
  4. Dropout rate is higher for young adults via both PC and Mobile devices. Young adults are more likely to access surveys via mobile devices so it is very important to optimize survey design so they have a good experience on their mobile device.SurveyLength4

Previous research conducted by Lightspeed GMI indicated a maximum survey length of 20 minutes, but that work was done via PC only. Since surveys take longer to complete via mobile and more respondents are opting to take surveys on mobile devices, Lightspeed GMI recommends keeping the survey length below 15 minutes. This minimizes the dropout rate and increases the likelihood of getting young adults to complete the survey thus resulting in a representative sample.

Topics: Mobile, Survey Length

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