Friday, July 5, 2013

7 Tips To Improve Your Online Surveys in a Mobile World

1. Define why you're creating an online survey
Defining your need to create an online survey is the first thing you need to do before getting started. Anything done well requires a bit of planning. Identifying the reason(s) you need to create a survey will help you write questions to collect the data you need. When creating your survey use the Survey Title as a 30,000 foot view of what you want to accomplish (e.g., Customer Satisfaction Survey for My Business) and use the Survey Description to detail the thing(s) that are most important for building this survey (e.g., Collecting feedback to improve the checkout process). This will keep you focused on writing only the necessary questions to keep your survey straight to the point.

2. Build a micro-survey because they are meant for mobile devices 
People don't have time to answer your 10 page, 45 question survey, really long survey, especially if they are on their mobile phone. People usually take surveys when they have some downtime or a few minutes to kill. Your surveys need to be 7 questions and nothing more. Using a survey tool like SlimSurveys will force you to write better questions in this micro-mobile world where people have less time and shorter attention spans.

3. Simple questions require less thought
When you ask complex survey questions most people turn off and will abandon the survey. Write simple questions that don't make people think. Limit every question in your survey to a specific character count and you will be forced to write better questions because every character counts. 

4. Use closed-ended questions whenever possible
If you are looking for high completion rates make sure to use closed-ended questions in your surveys. The reason you want to do this is because the majority of people answer your surveys will be on mobile devices. This means try to avoid using textbox questions. If you need to have someone provide qualitative feedback it is best to leave these question types for the end of your surveys to prevent a high abandonment rate. Question yourself when you decide to use a textbox question. Do you really need it? And if you have the option to use question types that are easy to answer on mobile devices use them. Questions types like this are Multiple Choice, Star Rating, Vote, Comparison and Dropdown, all which are available in the SlimSurveys survey builder.

5. Use images any time you can
Having worked at a photo-sharing company before starting SlimSurveys we know a thing or two about images. Images are great to engage the audience taking your survey. Everyone loves images so make sure to use them any time you have the opportunity. When your surveys use images they don't feel like work. They add an element of fun and are a good way to avoid writing a bunch of text in your question. Remember an image is worth 1,000 words! Over a handful of the question types at SlimSurveys allow images.

6. Be consistent, it will create less confusion
Consistency is really important when creating a survey. A simple example of this is when you need the respondent to rate multiple things in your survey. You will need multiple questions and it’s important to stick with all Multiple Choice questions for ratings and type out the answers OR stick with all Star Rating questions. Mixing between the two confuses the survey respondent. Be consistent, not tricky!

7. Question ordering matters
When you create a micro-survey you have 7 questions to ask your audience. Start your survey asking broad questions and ask narrow questions at the end of your survey. Save questions to collect email addresses or contact information for the end.

Get started with a free SlimSurveys account and build your first micro-survey today!

Bonus Tip! Review your surveys before distributing them
The review process allows you to check your survey and make sure it doesn't have misspellings, consistent throughout, questions are ordered properly, looks good and is easy to answer on mobile devices. If everything checks out you're ready for distributing them across the web and into the email inbox of your audience.