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You are here: Home / MPRC People / Christopher Antoun, Ph.D. / Christopher Antoun Publications / Design Heuristics for Effective Smartphone Questionnaires.

C. Antoun, J. Argueta, and L. Wang (2017)

Design Heuristics for Effective Smartphone Questionnaires.

Social Science Computer Review,, 36(5):557-574.

Design principles for survey questionnaires viewed on desktop and laptop computers are increasingly being seen as inadequate for the design of questionnaires viewed on smartphones. Insights gained from empirical research can help those conducting mobile surveys to improve their questionnaires. This article reports on a systematic literature review of research presented or published between 2007 and 2016 that evaluated the effect of smartphone questionnaire design features on indicators of response quality. The evidence suggests that survey designers should make efforts to “optimize” their questionnaires to make them easier to complete on smartphones, fit question content to the width of smartphone screens to prevent horizontal scrolling, and choose simpler types of questions (single-choice questions, multiple-choice questions, text-entry boxes) over more complicated types of questions (large grids, drop boxes, slider questions). Based on these results, we identify design heuristics, or general principles, for creating effective smartphone questionnaires. We distinguish between five of them: readabilityease of selectionvisibility across the pagesimplicity of design elements, and predictability across devices. They provide an initial framework by which to evaluate smartphone questionnaires, though empirical testing and further refinement of the heuristics is necessary.

smartphone surveys, response quality, questionnaire design, mobile web surveys
First Published September 27, 2017

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