In an app that allows a user to ask a closed question (with a limited set of answers) and get statistics on answers chosen by her audience, should the question length be limited? Should the amount of possible answers be limited?

Normally I'd say no.

But this app is designed to be used with smartphones. 99% of the people answering the questions will be using a smartphone. So should I limit the question/answer length and the amount of answers?

If so, what would be a good limit? If not, then how should I display long texts beautifully on the smartphone?

I don't want to create a situation where the people asking the questions get poor results by asking questions that are too long and tiresome to read.

My best idea so far was to set a recommendation and warn users in a friendly way.


No, you should not limit the length of questions or answers for your app. These are your app's content and content should be complete and available on all devices. (To provide--or to force users to make--"mini" versions of content because they are viewing on "mini" screens would be like a news site removing facts from a story so it can better fit on a small screen.)

Instead of limiting question or answer lengths, optimize your app and its content for mobile by:

  1. Keeping non-content UI to a minimum: follow the tenants of mobile first by eliminating non-essential interface items--this will free up space for the content itself.

  2. Showing users the highlights, and let them choose how much more they want to see: for longer questions or answers, show users the beginning and let them click to see more if they want.

  3. Making targets large enough for small screens: make buttons and links for showing more large enough so they are easy to touch on small devices.

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