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  • Writer's pictureBruce Crandall

Think Mobile! when designing surveys.

Check out these pictures people took with their mobile device when taking our latest survey! This should help you form a mental picture of reality when designing your next survey...

We wondered how often people use their smartphones when taking their surveys. To find out we conducted an online survey among 1,600 U.S. adults. We found that people typically employ the easiest-to-use, most portable devices (usually laptops and smartphones) and comfortable locations (almost always at home, from the comfort of an easy chair, couch, or bed, under blankets or covers, and often with their TVs turned on in the background) to access and complete their surveys.

Interestingly, those under age 45 are highly likely to use their smartphones. Surprisingly fewer than one in ten use a tablet (or would prefer to use a tablet) to take surveys overall (and that number is even bolstered among middle-agers and matures). Clearly, smartphones are the device of choice among Millennials to take surveys.

Obviously surveys should be designed with smartphones in mind, especially since studies not designed to work intuitively on mobile will be a problem for over one-third of respondents. As you do research be sure that surveys are intuitive, simple, and fast for respondents, since they’re often in a very relaxing environment and moment when taking them.

We did another interesting piece of research for AARP. We found that smartphone usage is even higher among mature/senior Hispanics in the U.S. (45% among those 45+ years of age), with usage among Hispanic females (50% vs. 41% of Hispanic males) being even higher. Designing for smartphones may be even more important for multicultural studies.


These findings come from MDI’s BrandCategorySurvey™ conducted in October 2019 among the general U.S. population. Sixteen hundred (n=1,600) adults (+/- 2%), ages 18 and older, participated in the online survey.

If you want any help designing a smart mobile survey, please reach out!

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