Love them or hate them, open-ended questions are often a component of market research studies. With many different device options for taking online surveys, Branded was curious if the device a panelist uses most often to take surveys impacts their opinion of answering open ended questions. Typing out thoughts on a laptop keyboard is a much different experience for panelists than using a small touchscreen on a mobile device.

Panelists who primarily take surveys on their mobile devices are 19 percent more likely than average to indicate they do not like to respond to the open ends on the surveys they take. In contrast, panelists who primarily take surveys on their desktop computers are 9 percent more likely than average to indicate they always like responding to open-ended questions on the surveys they take.

Laptop and tablet users are mixed in their attitudes towards responding to open-ended questions. Laptop users are 11 percent more likely than average to indicate they only like open ends on topics they feel passionate or excited about. Tablet users are likely to dislike open-ended questions but do indicate they feel favorably about responding to open-ends when the rest of the survey is short.

Attitudes Towards Open-Ended Questions by Device Usage

Most panelists still primarily take surveys on their laptop or desktop computers, but mobile adoption is on the rise. Brand Research’s panelist experience study found that 1 in 5 community members take surveys primarily on their mobile devices. And the rate is even higher among Millennials with 1 in 3 primarily taking surveys on their mobile devices.

As more and more panelists take surveys on their mobile devices, the questions asked on surveys will need to better reflect how panelists want to engage. Researchers can use insights on device usage to better optimize the design of surveys and decide whether open ended questions should be used to capture valuable insights from panelists.