Engaging an audience: mobile surveys



The importance of keeping surveys concise cannot be overstated. A long and tedious survey is unlikely to maintain a respondent’s attention. Keeping surveys short is even more vital considering the impact of mobile phones on society.


The number of smartphone owners in the UK has been steadily increasing. In early 2014 mobile devices finally overtook personal computers as the most used way of accessing the internet. Today around 69% of the population own a smartphone. In a recent poll we asked our panellists about their use of mobile phones. 41% said they have used these devices to take part in surveys.

The majority of respondents dislike long surveys. As a result the engagement and data quality is greatly reduced. Extra incentives can help but more discipline and better practice is urgently needed. Mobile phone users are more likely to switch to something more entertaining when faced with extensive questioning.


There are several areas we can look at when it comes to keeping surveys shorter:

  • Training ourselves to think of questions as a finite resource
  • Avoiding questions like brand awareness in a branded survey
  • Using interactive questions in place of long text-based ones

These considerations help keep surveys shorter while asking questions that will get the most valuable feedback. Removing questions that do not serve as much purpose can heavily cut down on the time respondents have to set aside.



Survey length is not the only issue when it comes to mobile phone users. A grid like the example below is not just daunting for respondents. Mobile phone screens are bigger and higher definition than ever but large grids will still be unclear. Tview’s question types are designed to be mobile-optimised so that we can appeal to a growing market.



When considering mobile optimisation it is vital to think about what you use your smartphone for on a daily basis. Mobiles have made accessing the internet almost instantaneous even when on the move. When writing surveys we need to ask ourselves if we would have the patience to do a 20 minute survey on our phones. Innovative question types remove the need for long text-based sections.


David Rees is the Community Project Manager at MindMover Consumer Insight. To find out more about MindMover Connect and other research communities run by MindMover, email our team at hello@mindmover.co.uk or call 44 (0) 203 176 0729