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I'm working with a client on a project that will include survey elements within the app. There are a few survey elements that I've never seen on a native app and would appreciate some guidance on how best to construct the elements, or a close approximation.

  • Static Text Response, Long form or fill in the blank (Easy these are UITextFields of UITextView)
  • Multiple Choice Question single or multiple answer (A UIPicker would work for single selection but not sure how to do this for multiple selection)
  • Matrix Table, single and multiple answer -- I'm unsure how to begin to tackle this, I'd assume a picker for each row in the table but that seems messy and like the UI would deviate very far from the same form on the web.
  • Ranking, Drag to order, stack ranking order, and Likert Scale -- I'm really grasping at straws on ranking. Likert would make the most sense to use a UIPicker with traditional Likert options. Stack ranking looks like I would use a picker on each value to select a value, but it would seem like I would need to do a significant amount of error handling so I don't give two values the same rank. Is there a simpler/cleaner solution?

Stack Ranking Order Question Matrix of Likert Scale Questions

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I guess it depends who is filling up that survey. If I was designing it for some enterprise solution or for beta testers of my app, I would make it condense and simple without focus on UI/UX, but if I'm building it for regular users of my app, I would split it up into multiple screens and try to make it pretty.

I would have some kind of an indicator at the bottom so the user knows how many questions are ahead. It can be a number representation (2/13) or something like attached below if there aren't too many questions.

In order to move to next question I would have the NEXT button in the upper right + users could swipe left/right between questions.

Static question with textView (multi line input). I would preselect the input field so users don't have to tap it. Also remember that the keyboard would cover the bottom of the app so maybe consider sliding the indicators above the keyboard as it appears.

static questions

Multiple answers is pretty simple. Users toggle on/off things they agree with

multiple answers

Matrix alternative. I would break it down so people can focus on one question at a time, but I would still try to have all questions of same type close to each other and maybe with same indicator color on the bottom.

matrix alternative

Ranking is a bit more complex and I guess it could be done in multiple ways. You can ask users to tap on choices in order of preference and then offer dragging options up and down to change their order.

ranking

I hope that helps or gives you another perspective.

Please let us know what you did in the end. Good luck.

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I've never been a fan of long forms. No one is. However, forms are an essential method of taking user inputs in bulk. Recently, one startup is changing the way how we perceive forms & helping create a somewhat pleasant user experience - Typeforms

I know this might sound out of context right now, but we'll get there.

  1. Neat Minimal Forms = No distractions
  2. One Input element at a time = Focus and user's attention
  3. Progress Indicators = User's awareness about the progress
  4. Beautiful Transitions among pages = User's engagement

Now, I don't work for them or anything, but from the UX point of view it's a win.

Coming to your problem with creating lengthy forms on mobile device - here are the takeaway points:

  1. Break the flow of the form into singular units - one at a time
  2. Now, you have an entire screen for displaying current problem and inputs as well as overall user progress to create a state of awareness.
  3. You can use white space or negative space to improve readability, focus and reduce the clutter

Finally, Since you are restricted to using iOS default elements and have to create your experience using them - there is always a crafty way to utilize existing stuff.

Example: Let's say you have to do a multiple choice button with some description text and 5 choices, you can use plain buttons but the same can also be achieved using a list-controller with 5 items. Each Item is clickable and should take you to the next question directly.

The main motif of this exchange is to discuss UX in general and not for a product specific problem. The answers should be generic enough to help anyone in need. So you have it, List out your tools, get a big (huge) sample of questions, try and create a list of all the unique type of questions there are, create another list of all the various controls you have at your disposal (work with your developers with that), come up with a mapping of how different type of questions can be represented using which iOS elements and you're good to go.

UX design is all about understanding the problem, finding right approach through research and solving it the most intuitive way - always pushing the boundaries of what can be done :)

PS: Sorry for going overboard with whole "That's how we UX" Speech :)

Cheers

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