Have you ever wondered what you should pay attention to in your survey visuals when your respondents are answering on their smartphones? No? Well, here’s the blog post for you!
First and foremost: quality of visuals directly impact how many people will complete your survey AND the quality of results. So it's crucial to learn this stuff so you can overall improve your respondents' user experience.
And regardless of your sampling methodology being through static panels or programmatic sampling, you should know that it is very, very likely that your online survey is taken from a smartphone: 47.74% of all online traffic in the US came from a mobile device in Q2 2021 [Statista] and already in 2018, Toluna estimated that 33% of online surveys were taken from a mobile device (back then only 39.22% of all online traffic came from mobile devices, so if we estimate the growth rate of mobile survey completion to follow the same trend line, it should be around 40% now).
So, without further ado, here are my top tips for your mobile survey visuals:
If I had a nickel for every time this happened... Let’s take a package design test and say we’re testing 10 different designs. Make sure the quality of each design is uniform, because of course the respondent will naturally be drawn towards images that are higher quality. For example, don’t have 1 slightly blurry picture of the package design A, and try to compare it with an HD image of design B and expect to get honest results. All the images should be consistent in quality.
Images can include all types of visuals: product images, ads you are about to test, etc. Most survey platforms handle standard formats like PNG & JPEG format best. That means if your image is uploaded in either of those two formats, your respondents will see your image with the right colors and the right dimensions.
As with any picture uploaded to anything, you should also care about the image’s size. Here you need to weigh the needed resolution against file size but a good rule of thumb is using the same file size as you would use for a digital advertising campaign or on your website, i.e. no more than 1 Mb per image and preferably smaller.
When you (or your digital design department) work on your visuals in Photoshop, it looks great to have some spacing around the image. However, when your image is uploaded to a survey platform, the platform will add its own spacing around the image placeholder. That means what you're actually trying to show the respondent is at risk of becoming very, very small. In other words, if your images are e.g. product images, let them be entirely product all the way to the image border to make sure your respondents get the best possible view of your product.
Furthermore, it’s a very good idea to have a background color on your image. E.g. white. That way you avoid your product being visualized with the survey platforms background graphics. This may sound obscure, but there are survey platforms with very elaborate background graphics and that does not only confuse the branding you are trying to showcase; worst case scenario it might even bias your survey results.
Last, but not least: keep it vertical if possible.
That’s it for my image tips. Next we have videos:
Most platforms want your video to be in mp4. The reason is simply that it is the most common file format, and the reason for its popularity is that it is lightweight: video is a heavy medium, so going for a file format that will keep your file size small eases load time when creating your survey. Another benefit is that the video quality is good for mobile devices. In short, use mp4.
Including videos in your surveys are a great way to test your advertising or branding ahead of your campaign launch.
However, as with anything else, your respondents’ attention is the most expensive asset. To raise the probability of respondents to see your complete video clip, I generally recommend videos to be a maximum of 30 seconds.
Although smartphones do take up a lot of our pocket space, screens are still relatively small. Think about this if your video includes text that respondents should be able to read. Your font size needs to be mobile-friendly and there shouldn’t be too much text.
That’s it, those are my tips. Do you know any more tips you want me to include? Then feel free to send it over in an email.