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Six Questions To Ask Before
Using Mobile Devices for Surveys

With more and more people acquiring smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices each day, many companies are considering using the devices to administer short surveys. What factors should you consider before launching surveys on mobile devices?

Advantages of Surveys for Mobile Devices

  • Use surveys for mobile devices when you want real-time or local input, such as feedback from field service technicians reporting on repairs to downed wires. Also use mobile surveys for point-of-sale feedback at stores or other locations where people use your products.
  • Use mobile surveys to boost survey response rates as people can complete the surveys without access to a computer.
  • Use mobile surveys to reach groups that prefer mobile devices, for example, 18-34 year olds.

Disadvantages of Surveys for Mobile Devices

  • Mobile devices are not suitable for lengthy questionnaires or complex questions.
  • Open-ended questions are harder to handle on mobile devices.
  • Surveys completed on the fly may not receive respondents' full attention.
  • Currently, surveys for mobile devices may be more expensive to administer than other types of surveys.
  • It is harder to reach older people as they are less likely to use mobile devices.

Six Questions To Ask Before Posting Surveys for Mobile Devices

  • Who is in your target group? Is this the best way to reach them?
  • Can you achieve your strategic objectives by asking just six to eight basic multiple choice questions?
  • Have you prepared a multi-mode survey that is optimized for cell phones, smart phones, tablets, and PCs?
  • Is the typeface easy to read on a variety of devices?
  • Do the questions load quickly enough?
  • Are you using software that can issue an invitation to participate and then tabulate, analyze, and report results?

Before launching your survey, test it on different mobile platforms. Is the survey easy to load and easy to read? Can you easily respond to the questions? Then, respond to the survey several times, answering the survey questions in different ways. As designed, will the questions provide the information you need?

Copyright 3/12 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.

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