Why Your Web Survey Software Should Use Responsive Web Design
Many people today use smartphones or tablets to read their email and to visit web pages. If you are doing web surveys, especially consumer-oriented market research surveys, you must consider how your surveys will display on these devices. Many, if not most, people who view your survey on one of these devices will quit, if the survey does not display well on their device.
2 Ways to Optimize Mobile Survey Design
There are two ways to address this concern. One is to optimize your surveys for mobile devices. The other is to use responsive survey design, where the web survey software will display pages differently, depending on the device used to view the page. The Survey System offers both techniques.
Surveys optimized for mobile devices, by using large fonts and appropriate graphics, will work on PCs, but will look odd. So we only recommend optimizing surveys for mobile devices when you know that most of the people taking your survey will take them on mobile devices.
Most often, it is better to use responsive design to dynamically adapt your survey pages to different devices (note some market researchers use the term “responsive design” to mean any kind of adaptation to particular users, such as skipping a question based on an answer, but we use the term here in the way web designers use the term). Since many mobile devices now have as many pixels as desktop displays, but in much smaller screens, surveys should adapt to these devices by using larger fonts, text boxes and input buttons. These can make the survey experience pleasant on these devices, while a survey designed solely for desktop PCs would be frustrating on mobile devices.
Other considerations include displaying questions that appear in grid or matrix form on PCs as a series of multiple-choice questions or drop-down lists on mobile devices and displaying logos appropriate for the screen size. Some ways of collecting survey answers, such as ranking items by dragging them and entering numbers or ratings using sliders might not work on mobile devices. These devices can interpret an attempt to drag an item as an attempt to scroll the screen. We recommend you do not use these techniques, if you think many people will take your survey on mobile devices.