Inside Rakuten Insight – Mobile device compatibility

Compatibility & Adaptability

The species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.
Charles Darwin


Folks at Rakuten Insight have previously called for surveys to recognise the reality of the mobile phone usage & make all surveys more mobile compatible.

If you are in a desert, be a camel!

Our own research on our Japan panel found that in a period of just two years panel members have become more mobile oriented across all age-groups and those answering surveys on a mobile are likely to be more curious & engaged.

Not surprising you may say but interestingly whilst only 1% of Rakuten Insight’s domestic surveys are PC-only, our analysis shows that 45% of our global clients still prefer PC-only surveys in Japan.

One explanation could be that global clients are not recognizing the current reality of the prevalence of the mobile device as much as the domestic clients. They need to make more surveys more compatible to mobile phone usage.

However, becoming compatible is only the first step. The game-change comes when surveys are properly adapted to the phone usage in the market. As such, Rakuten Insight conducted research & analysis using their own proprietary panel in Japan comprising of approximately 2.2 million members. Largely owing to our place within the wider Rakuten Group Eco-system the panel in Japan is experiencing increasing feasibility in the numbers of monthly active users. The objective of the research was to find out exactly how the smart phone is used whilst responding to surveys.

The results were crystal clear. A huge majority of 97% of respondents in Japan held their smartphone vertically (91%) or almost vertically (6%). With only 1% holding it either horizontal or more towards horizontal. There was more division in the use of the auto rotation function with 59% responding to surveys with the auto rotation function turned off and 31% having the auto rotation function switched on.

Surveys therefore need to adapt to the small screens of smartphones being held vertically. In this knowledge, Rakuten Insight investigated further and found surveys need to adapt in the following ways:

1. Be in readable font size (14pt): Facebook, Twitter & others employ this font size
2. Twitter achieved worldwide notoriety for the 140 characters rule. Rakuten Insight would recommend the following character rule
– Options: within 1 line & total of 19 characters
– Questions: within 3 lines & total of 57 characters
A rule of 57/3 for questions & 19/1 for options may be less catchy than Twitter’s but it is most effective
3. Fit within 2 scrolls per question. 2 scrolls would offer a maximum of 26 options

So recognizing the reality of today’s mobile world is a great first step but then are you adapting your surveys to actual smartphone usage enough?

By making all your surveys compatible & adapted to all devices will offer higher feasibility and higher quality data from a more curious and engaged consumer.

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