Mobile Compatibility: Are you listening to your respondents?

Determining Data Quality
December 5, 2014
Mobile Compatibility Part 2: Behavioral impact of not allowing devices
March 2, 2015
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Mobile Compatibility: Are you listening to your respondents?

Mobile Compatibility:  Are you listening to your respondents?

Can listening to your respondents improve your feasibility, representivity and help fill those tough quotas?  EMI recently conducted a study among 5,800+ respondents across 23 sample partners, looking into survey device usage by respondents.  We are aware that a lot of clients do not allow certain device types for a variety of reasons:  survey is too long, too many grids, concern about images or video quality, etc.  While some of these may be legitimate reasons to exclude devices, we need to have a good understanding of the potential impact of blocking mobile devices.

We optimized our study for all device types allowing respondents to take the survey on the device of their choice, resulting in 20% of our research completes on mobile device (13.4% from a Smartphone and 6.3% from a tablet).

Device type used in this survey was relatively consistent across gender and income but there are some important differences in Age and Ethnicity.


It isn’t surprising that the younger the respondents, the more likely they are to use a mobile device to take a survey.  At the same time, we know that it is becoming more and more challenging to reach the younger population.  Limiting device types will further intensify that problem, particularly for those under the age of 24 and increasingly for 25-34 year olds.



At the same time we see that non-white respondents are more likely to use a smartphone when taking a survey.   Again, this is a population that researchers are having an increasingly tough time attracting to surveys.

EMI strongly recommends optimizing every survey for mobile devices and at least giving respondents the choice of device on which to take the survey.   When sample providers are honest and accurate with respondents regarding LOI and what is expected of them, the respondent can choose how to take the survey.  Listening to your respondents will improve your feasibility and representativeness and help fill tough quotas!