A Higher And Higher Percentage of People Are Taking Surveys on Smartphones Every Year
A higher and higher percentage of people are taking surveys on smartphones every year. By some estimates, it is already over half. This means that your web survey software must be able to create surveys that good on mobile devices. Since many people do still take surveys on desktops, your questions must look good on them as well.
To be able to display well on both kinds of devices, your solution must use responsive design. It is a technique that senses what kind of device someone is using and adjusts some aspects of the page accordingly. This usually includes using different sized fonts on different kinds of devices. It may also include using different images as well. We have discussed this technique in an earlier post.
When designers first started working on techniques to adjust their pages to adapt to different devices they initially optimized their pages first for PCs, since they were predominant. They then had the responsive design make adjustments for smartphones and sometimes separate adjustments for tablets.
Now that more people use smartphones or tablets than PCs, it may make sense to optimize your design for mobile devices and then have responsive design make adjustments for PCs. Of course, while it is true that more people use phones and tablets than PCs overall, that might not be true for your particular target universe. For example, if you are targeting business people, rather than consumers, you may be targeting people that still use PCs often phones, particularly if you’re invitation reaches them while they are at work. On the other hand, in many parts of the world smartphones are even more predominant than they are in the US. Knowing something about the people you want to survey is always important.
So what makes a design mobile first? One aspect is to not use margins that diminish the available width of the screen. Another is to choose images that look good on phones. You might want an image at the top that goes edge to edge. A big part of it is just how your pages look on a smartphone. So you should preview your survey on one or more phones, even though that takes more work than previewing it on your PC. You will usually have to upload your pages to a server and then have your phone go to the page. Your hosting site should make this easy. If not, you don’t actually need the survey to work in terms of saving data or moving from page to page to see how the pages look in most cases. You could just send one or more of the pages up to any server, along with any images used on pages, to see how they look.
In any case, your web survey software should make designing and mobile first questionnaire easy.