mobile research and how short attention span affects survey length

Thanks to smartphones, many people now have seemingly shorter attention spans than ever… which means that questionnaires need to be designed to keep respondents engaged and interested throughout a survey.

Digital marketers target those ‘micro-moments’ of when consumers pull out their smartphones to swipe and scroll, whether it is when waiting in line for a coffee before work or standing at a red light waiting to cross the street. News updates now come in tweets, and ads come in pop-up videos and memes to keep consumers engaged. With the advent of all of these short forms, questions for mobile surveys need to reflect this new reality.

While questionnaires need to be constructed in the most efficient and effective way they also should not shortchange the research needs in favour of brevity. How short and simple can we go while getting all the information we need? How short is too short? How do we make surveys as short as possible without sacrificing insights and data quality? How do we combine mobile research with traditional research to target a range of different audiences? How do we successfully capture respondent attention?

These are critical challenges as we move to an increasingly mobile world!