Mobile research gains in importance
Roughly 57 million people in Germany already use a smartphone.1
Although not all of them are “always on”, business activities as well as social communication and private transactions are increasingly shifting from the desktop to a mobile device. A mobile survey is therefore a survey that is optimised for use on these mobile devices, i.e. for smartphones, tablets, etc.
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Three times faster
A survey on a mobile device can be implemented quickly, shown quickly and answered quickly. Because it must be significantly shorter than detailed online questionnaires that can be edited in a desktop version. Such a survey can be completed wherever there is mobile Internet access. And this is often on the way, sort of “on the hop”. Typical places of application for these scarce real-time surveys are the following:
- In restaurants
- In means of transport such as train, underground train, etc.
- At event booths
- In the reception area of a company or a hotel
- Within the scope of product tests
A mobile survey, which the customer can access via a QR code, for instance, ensures that the target group can be reached immediately and that feedback can be obtained directly in the context of the subject of the survey. The temporal and local connection with a consumer or user experience allows direct and unadulterated feedback.
The following aspects can therefore be taken into account when conducting a survey on mobile devices:
- High response rates through direct reference to the subject matter and short questions
- Involvement of customers
- Real-time feedback of the target group
- Continuous improvement of customer satisfaction
The conceptual design, implementation and evaluation of a mobile survey are basically comparable to those of a desktop version; in the mobile version, however, user-friendliness is even more important. As already described, mobile users usually spend less time on answering questions. Besides this, a number of other challenges and demands have to be considered:
- Adaptation to the end device: Mobile optimisation for smartphones and tablets from different providers is absolutely necessary.
- Fingertips as mouse: The answer buttons must be accurate and easy to click, even on small displays.
- One question per page: Scrolling should be avoided – long pages quickly become confusing. Asking one question per page is therefore the best choice – provided that a short loading time is guaranteed.
- No graphics, pictures and videos: What increases the loading time also distracts from the actual content. The clearer and more straightforward the survey is designed, the more users will complete it to the very end.
- Short questions – short answers: All content should be kept concise. Thus, there are only few types of questions suitable in this context. Checkboxes that are easy to tap are a good choice; free text fields, on the other hand, should be used sparingly.
- Short processing time: The possible length of a mobile questionnaire depends on the context. Usual participation times range from 5 to a maximum of 10 minutes. For longer surveys, the desktop variant or the option for caching should be selected.
Recommended procedure: Mobile First
Do not optimise your questionnaires exclusively for participation via desktop. Otherwise you will risk increased dropout rates and thus lower response rates, which may affect the reliability of the data obtained. A simple trick is worth its weight in gold to ensure the highest possible usability and to exploit the high potential of short mobile surveys:
Always design the survey for the smallest possible display. Because what works in a small display format will certainly work on a large screen, too.
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