Txting Makes Us Stupid & Other Implications for Survey Design

Texting makes us stupid & Other ways mobile is impacting survey designA recent linguistics study found that people who regularly text are less likely to accept new words compared to those who read more traditional print media (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.). While I'll save the sociological discussion about what texting may or may not be doing to our society for another day, this should be a major concern for everyone involved in writing surveys, whether you're creating surveys to measure convention center advertising effectivenvess, meeting planner questionnaires or guest satisfaction surveys.

Survey best practices dictate you should always avoid jargon (aka internal or industry language most of your respondents aren't familiar with) when writing survey questions, the findings of this new study make it even more important particularly if you have a tech savvy audience. However, avoiding jargon shouldn't be your only concern with the rise in smartphone adoption. More and more people are beginning to access surveys via their mobile phones. This trend is extremely prevalent among business travelers and meeting plannres. As such, it's more important than ever to make sure you're paying attention to mobile trends. As Laura has pointed out with her Smart Scanning series, mobile should be a top consideration for hospitality marketing teams. It's not a matter of if you include mobile into the hospitality marketing mix, it's how and how fast?

When it comes to creating mobile-friendly surveys, start by thinking about your email communications. Are they mobile friendly? If they're not, then the rest won't matter. In most cases, email is what's going to drive survey responses. Creating a skinnier email (between 350 pixels and 550 pixels wide) with larger fonts is the easiest way to start. Limit the use of images and you'll be good to go. 

Then move on to the survey itself. Even the best designed email will not result in survey responses if the survey is difficult to respond to on a mobile device. In a nutshell, the right technology makes this a walk in the park. I outlined several best practices for mobile survey design on the Cvent Web Surveys blog, which include:

  • Removing images to reduce load time
  • Considering color contrast since many people adjust their screen brightness to save battery
  • Using appropriate question types that are easy to respond to. The right technology will adjust question types automatically, but if your survey tool doesn't do this make sure to avoide interactive question types (such as drag and drop or sliding scales) as well as a lot of open ended questions
  • Thinking about page breaks and overall survey length. If it's 20 pages long because you decided to only put one question per page, it's going to seem like it takes forever to complete because of the page load times.
  • Testing the survey on a mobile phone (multiple if you can) before launching. This will help identify any areas that are particularly cumbersome to answer or difficult to read.

Creating a survey that is mobile friendly doesn't need to be difficult. Register for an upcoming demo of our Web Surveys solution to see how easy it is to launch a survey to deliver business results you need. 

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