Advancing communications measurement and evaluation

Mobile Research and When to Gamify Surveys


In the quest for more useful and valid survey data, researchers have been searching for ways to increase engagement with surveys. Gamification is one strategy. Here Koski Research compares a Tinder-like heart-and-X click of a button with standard survey response methods.

We are living in an increasingly visual world in which we consume more information through pictures and videos. We are asked to quickly point at something, like something, share something, and post something with a click or a push of a button or a swipe.

In an effort to develop questionnaires that mirror today’s visual mindset, Koski Research ran several experiments as part of our proprietary Engagement IQ survey. We ran parallel versions of a survey: one that was “standard” and one that was more “gamified” and visual. Both versions had a nationally representative sample of 1,000 online respondents.

Bottom line, we found our more game-oriented survey to be comparable to the traditional survey in terms of:

  • Interview length and response rate (7 minutes for the gamified and 6 minutes for the traditional)
  • Response rate
  • Respondents’ ease of taking the survey (74% rated the gamified survey as easy to take and 73% in the standard survey also rated the survey as easy to take).

In both versions, respondents were asked to rate their overall opinion of several brands. We compared a 5-point rating question to a “Tinder” binary, gamified question and found that:

  • The “tinder style heart” was closely related to the 3 to 5 ratings on the traditional scale
  • The “tinder style X” is relatively comparable to a 1 to 2 rating.

The data suggest that when the scores are more spread out in the 5-point scale, as is the case with Apple and Starbucks below, the gamified version with the binary “X” and “heart” will lead to more polarized differences.

The table below summarizes the  scores for overall opinion.corrected tableWhat should you use?

Although scale granularity is important, there are many cases when a visual, binary question is a better option:

  • For feedback that needs to mirror the online or social media experience of binary likes/dislikes
  • When an immediate “gut” (or heart) reaction to a brand or product is needed
  • For topics that lend themselves to visuals (consumer products and brands)
  • For shorter, more engaging surveys
  • For surveys that are primarily taken on mobile devices


In today’s evolving technological landscape, if you’re looking for new and innovative ways to capture consumer opinions, we’re here to help.  For more information contact us at

Lilah Koski and John Gilfeather

Lilah Koski and John Gilfeather

Lilah Koski is Founder and CEO of Koski Research. She is driven to help organizations use research to better engage with customers. Koski is the author of the Koski Research Engagement IQ, a proprietary measurement system that assesses the public’s sentiment of a company based on key social behaviors and attitudes. The index is designed to help companies take a fresh look at ways to drive customer engagement. Koski Research’s client list includes Fortune 1000 companies. Its research has been published in the largest media outlets in the world including the New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and USA Today, in addition to other business and non-traditional media such as Mashable, TechCrunch and GeekWire.
John Gilfeather is Executive Vice President of Koski Research. He has extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative research. He is passionate about business-to-business research and was a pioneer in the field of corporate reputation measurement. Among his industry specialties are financial services, professional/business services, transportation, manufacturing, and telecommunications.
Lilah Koski and John Gilfeather
728 Ad Block

Related posts

728 Ad Block