Mobile surveys are standard web surveys completed by the respondent using a mobile device rather than a computer or laptop.

Features of mobile survey for smartphones and tablets

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have a different input system than computers. You interact with the device simply by tapping on the screen instead of moving the mouse, and you type text via a virtual keyboard instead of a real keyboard.

Another noticeable feature is a smaller screen size in mobile devices.

Creating cell phone surveys requires considering these aspects to provide the respondent with an intuitive user experience and to make the survey completion easy and enjoyable. This also results in a lower dropout rate.

The user’s attention span is much lower with mobile devices than with computers because of the number of potential distractions present in mobile devices (notifications, phone calls, etc.) and from other external distractions that can easily collapse the time spent on a web page.

Why mobile surveys?

When designing a questionnaire and choosing a target, you can’t determine whether the respondent will answer questions from a computer or a mobile device. However, some data give us an interesting insight.

  • In 2022, more than 60% of web traffic was generated from smartphones, nearly 3% from tablets, and the remaining 37% from desktop computers.
  • In 5 years, the time spent on smartphones has grown by 25%.
  • In 2022, 50% of B2B inquiries came from mobile devices.

These data show that people use smartphones and tablets more than computers, an unstoppable trend destined to grow further.

In addition, one must consider that if you post a survey link on social media or you send it via SMS, the percentage of respondents who will use their smartphones will be much higher than 63%.

Therefore, it is now essential to create surveys for smartphones and tablets rather than generic online surveys.

Create a mobile survey by following these guidelines

A cell phone questionnaire must have specific features to guarantee an easy and pleasant interview completion and minimize the dropout rate.

Below you will find guidelines for creating cell phone surveys:

  • Be concise: question texts should be clear and brief, without unnecessary details that may tire the respondent.
  • Short interviews, lower dropout rate: this rule – also valid for desktop surveys – is even more important for mobile surveys.
  • Limit open-ended responses to the bare minimum: asking the respondent to enter text (even if short) using the awkward virtual keyboard of a smartphone or tablet can cause frustration and increase the dropout rate.
  • Avoid long open-ended responses: Long text questions involve long and articulate comments. This may be too much to ask for most mobile respondents, who are prone to distractions and spend considerably less time on a page than desktop users.
  • Use user-friendly questions: When creating mobile surveys prefer rating questions such as stars, smilies, etc., rather than the classic Likert scale questions or radio buttons. This ensures a more pleasant compilation and lowers the dropout rate.
  • Limit matrix questions to the bare minimum: Small screens develop vertically. Inserting a matrix with many columns requires the user to scroll horizontally to view all items. This procedure is not optimal for mobile devices, where users are accustomed to continuous vertical scrolling. Some survey software, such as IdSurvey, allows a clever solution to this problem by proposing each row of the matrix as a simple question.


IdSurvey performs this “conversion” automatically only when the respondent’s device is a smartphone or tablet with a small screen.


  • Multiple questions on the same page: Mobile users are accustomed to scrolling through a web page vertically with the simple gesture of the thumb sliding upward on the device screen. It may be strategic to put many questions on a single page. The choice of software is crucial: it must allow for the inclusion of display conditions processed in real time rather than at page change, i.e., it must calculate whether or not to show questions and conditional response options immediately upon each respondent’s response selection, even to questions on the same page.
  • Responsive graphics and layout, mobile-first: it is impossible to determine whether a user will respond to the survey from a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. But we know that most will probably do so from smartphones. The software must be designed to automatically adapt the layout of the questionnaire to smaller screens. IdSurvey, for example, is developed with the “mobile first” paradigm, that is, the interface is first designed to work seamlessly on mobile devices and then adapted to desktop computer screens and input devices.
  • Ability to resume the interview later: As we have seen, the attention span of mobile users is shorter, and the time spent on a page is much lower than desktop users. The user should be able to resume the interview at another moment, perhaps after receiving an SMS or email reminder.
    The choice of the software is also crucial: it must provide email and SMS campaigns to send invitations to the survey and reminders only to users who have not yet completed the questionnaire.

How to choose the right survey software to create cell phone surveys and questionnaires

It is now time to talk about the tools and features needed in the software to create cell phone surveys.

Although we have seen that the use of smartphones and tablets is now greater than desktop computers, we should not forget that a web questionnaire can be answered from both computers and mobile devices.

Smartphone surveys, tablet surveys, computer surveys, and in general online surveys are part of the same methodology, the CAWI ones. All we have to do then is to use strategies and tools to comply with all the points described below.

So here are the features that your CAWI survey software must have.

Email campaigns

The software must have an integrated email-sending system that allows you to schedule massive email dispatch to thousands of users. It is also important to choose a system that allows the automatic sending of reminders to only those contacts who have not yet completed the interview.

IdSurvey survey software also offers the ability to schedule multiple campaigns for the same survey, set filters and sending limits, monitor the statistics of each campaign, and SMART campaigns that allow intelligent email sending automation.

SMS Campaigns

SMS campaigns are another important requirement. Using this distribution method generally results in a higher response rate than email.

SMS campaigns should include automatic reminders, filters, and the other features mentioned in the previous point.

IdSurvey allows the creation of SMART campaigns for SMS as well, and the customization of the sender number or name.

Authenticated link distribution

This feature is critical for linking the interviews to the list uploaded into the system. Each contact must be matched with a unique link that corresponds to their interview.

IdSurvey allows multiple link creation, the creation of unique links from URLs, and integration with external panels and tools.

Links on social media

You can manually post your survey link on social media but some software – such as IdSurvey – allows you to track the origin of each interview and post different links on multiple platforms.

User-friendly questions

Questions with a user-friendly interface make compilation more enjoyable and lower the dropout rate. IdSurvey provides rating questions with stars, smilies, and likes, drag & drop questions, standard or comparative slider, photo, video, and audio questions, carousel, buttons, etc., all designed with a “mobile first” perspective, so that all users’ experience is pleasant and straightforward.

Automatic conversion of matrix questions into multiple single questions

This feature is essential. Users accessing from mobile devices see a set of simple questions, while desktop users see the entire matrix. Due to the “mobile first” approach.

IdSurvey has this feature enabled by default and does not require any configuration by the administrator. In addition, with IdSurvey you can create carousel questions, perfect for replacing matrix questions.

Display conditions on the same page

This feature is not common but essential to allow surveys with a logical flow, even without separating questions into different pages. Multiple questions can be inserted on a single screen, so the user can answer and scroll to the next one with a simple gesture, while following the logic of the questionnaire, regardless of its complexity.

IdSurvey fully supports this functionality, with no special configuration or settings required. Unlike other software, IdSurvey automatically recognizes the display condition and seamlessly handles them on the same page or separate pages.

Responsive layout

Last but not least, the layout must be perfectly compatible with mobile devices and computers. From the layout of the questions to the size of the text, the spacing between answer options to the size of the buttons, everything must be suitable for mobile devices but also perfectly suitable for desktop computers or tablets with large screens.

Some software requires the design of a separate layout for mobile users. IdSurvey has always proposed a “mobile first” layout with no extra setup.

So what are you waiting for? Now you have all the information you need to create an efficient and effective smartphone and tablet surveys.