Designing an impactful mobile friendly survey is quite challenging. Unfortunately, many market researchers take surveys designed for a desktop and let an automated system format them for mobile. This leads to a terrible experience for mobile respondents, who now make up a sizeable portion of most quantitative online surveys. In order to design an effective mobile survey, you have to think about the mobile experience as a completely separate survey whose data will need to work with your desktop data. Here are some simple rules that can serve as a starting point.
1) A happy respondent is a helpful respondent.
Make the experience as intuitive and user-friendly as possible; respondents will be much more engaged if the UI is clean and simple. With mobile, this means more time and effort adjusting the experience across platforms and device types, but this is critical if you want respondents to stay engaged.
2) Less respondent effort = more researcher payoff.
Confusion about what to click or where to scroll can lead to a frustrated respondent, which could lead to inaccurate data. Make sure the design is optimized for mobile, which often means a significant reduction in scope. Simple copying and pasting long attribute batteries into a mobile program will not work.
3) Streamline it!
Find opportunities to make the survey short and simple and the interface should be as intuitive as possible. Make sure there is consistency across questions with layout and key interaction elements to keep the respondent moving as quickly as possible.
4) Clarity is key.
Give the respondent clear instructions and make sure it is obvious how you want them to proceed. On some platforms, the answer choices may not show up at first with the question, so if an action is needed to display the choices, make sure the respondent has clear instructions.
5) There's no place like home – so tell ‘em when they're close.
A big, bright progress bar that seems to make big jumps with each answered question makes the respondent feel accomplished.
6) Pre-testing is valuable insurance.
In the current climate of "I need results yesterday" it is easy to skip some of the more laborious quality control practices. Pre-testing on mobile can be very insightful, especially given the multitude of device types available. The improvements you can make with some simple pre-tests are well worth the effort.