Online Surveys - Mobile Compatible or Mobile First?

Lots of surveys are mobile compatible, but given the popularity of smartphones should we start designing surveys primarily for mobile devices instead of computers?


We think the answer to that is a resounding “yes,” and we have some solid research data to suggest this.


In a recent online survey, we captured data about the survey takers’ device and operating system.  

  • Over half (56%) of the participants took our survey using a mobile device.
    • 30% used an Android device
    • 26% used an iOS device
  • Those taking the survey on a laptop or desktop amounted to 44% of the overall sample.
    • Windows machines dominated, with 39% of machines using this operating system.


What does this mean for online research?  We need to publish surveys with the smartphone user in mind.

  1. Question wording must be optimized for mobile, i.e. simple and brief.
  2. We need to consider the UX and usability of different question types, e.g. drag and drop questions work great on a computer, but not on a mobile device. Grid-type rating questions are extremely efficient on a computer, but the opposite on a mobile device.
  3. We will need to evolve the types of survey we can distribute. E.g. how effective is mobile for reviewing concept video?
  4. We must acknowledge we do not control the participants environment. In the past, we could assume the participant was at a desk, at work or at home.  Now they could be anywhere!


We can now reach people at any time and in any place which has huge practical implications for the types of research we can do.   The future of quantitative research is mobile, and that’s an exciting thing. 


Notes About The Survey        

Survey Source: Evolve Research

N=1,100 gen pop, Oklahoma state, balanced by age and gender


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Posted by EvolveKev

Kevin is all about research. Qualitative, quantitative, UX, you name it. When he's not researching, he's to be found laying down beats in his studio and hanging out with his dogs (and wife). Woof.

Topics: Research, What We Do