How to collect surveys on iPad and Android tablets

iPad and Android tablets are naturally great for collecting responses to surveys. Their lightweight form factor, portability and ease-of-use mean they can easily replace paper surveys. For many, this is a no-brainer, but the question is how do you effectively use tablets for surveys. We have several customers using iPads and Android tablets as survey kiosks, so we have assembled a list of things for you to consider when doing your next survey.

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating and negative feedback in survey, poll or questionnaire. Sad and dissatisfied man giving review about service quality. Bad user experience.

An interface for fat fingers, not mice

There’s a plethora of web-based survey tools out there. You could try a different tool every day for a year, it seems. However, most survey tools were created for browsers on the desktop. Using a tablet requires a survey that works well on a tablet, with users making selections with fat fingers instead of a more precise mouse.

You may have certain requirements that limit your choice of tools, but don’t let those trump a beautiful mobile experience. Users expect a fast, easy-to-use interface and an experience that has not been optimized for a mobile browser just won’t deliver.

There are about as many native mobile apps to administer the survey, which is really the ideal approach. With these apps, you can create and manage the survey online, then push it to one or more devices. If you don’t have a survey platform, QuickTapSurvey is really a great option. They even allow you to turn the device into a light kiosk (not quite as robust as Moki Launcher can).

If you want to go Web-based, one of our favorite web-based survey tools is PopSurvey. They have the most beautiful mobile experience we have seen and it’s really easy to build your list of questions. You can then use MokiTouch as the kiosk app and manage it remotely with Moki Total Control.

Getting your results

The whole point of a survey is to collect responses and then analyze them. But, believe it or not, viewing the results can be problematic with some survey tools. Many native-only solutions simply email you results and you have to assemble them all together. Some will only let you view the results on the iPad itself. Most web-based survey tools make it easy to view and analyze your results.

Generally they will provide you with an overview of the responses you receive and even let you download all of them to CSV or Excel file.

Controlling the experience

Once you have your tool picked and survey built, you need to get the survey in front of users. Some people physically hand the iPad to a user, others mount it to the wall or desk. Either scenario requires that you lock down the iPad or Android tablet and control the experience.

A few things you need to consider:

  1. The home button on the iPad – Whether intentionally or accidentally, the home button will close down your survey and users most likely won’t know how to get it back. There are some enclosures that will physically cover the home button, but they aren’t a really reliable way to keep people from finding a way to push it and exit out of the app.
  2. The navigation bar on Android – similar to the home button, it makes it easy to jump out of an app and get to anything on the tablet, the navigation bar on Android is ever present. Since it’s part of the OS, however, means you can’t just physically cover it. That’s where our Launcher app comes in.
  3. Multi-touch and notification center – Even if you have covered the home button with a case (or in the case of some users cut it out with a dremmel tool!), users can get out of your app and cause problems with multi-touch gestures or by dragging down the notification center.
  4. Safari or Chrome = the whole world wide web at a user’s finger tips – If you’re using a web-based survey tool, many people assume they can just open safari and enter the URL for the survey. The problem is users can quickly and easily go to any website, including malicious sites and leave it for the next person to see. Also, if someone starts a survey and walks away, Safari isn’t built to reset back to the start of the home page.

Each one of these issues can be solved using our suite of device management tools.

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About the Author: Michael Girdley