Retro-fitting for the web

Retro-fitting for the web 1024 565 Cedric Ferretti

We are launching the new version of citizenme in April. The development of citizenme has been solely focused on a mobile based user experience. Part of what users will be able to do on the mobile apps is participate in surveys.

Our aim, however, is to make our surveys embeddable anywhere on the internet. We have successfully tested embeddable survey links on Facebook. Understandably, there are high levels of friction involved in clicking a link to a survey but having to download and install an app first. We are therefore creating a MVP web-version of the survey to support our mobile apps.

The key design principle for this piece of development is if it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work anywhere. For a MVP web version of the survey we are retro-fitting the mobile designs to a web-browser. Here’s a screenshot:


It’s remarkably easy to go from an app based mobile format to web based browser formats. Mobile designs are really simple. That simplicity looks great in a browser after a few tweaks to the page margins.

As a developer, this got me thinking. Market research companies are struggling to make the shift to mobile screens. My colleague attended the IIeX conference earlier this month, and reported extreme under-utilisation of mobile surveys. I suspect a major reason for this is that most survey technology was designed for the web and is difficult to squeeze into a smaller screen. It might make more sense for market research companies to design for mobile first then retro-fit to the web. I don’t know anyone who is not developing for mobile first. Mobile is the dominant and most important platform.

The key challenge for us will be going from a smartphone to watches or any other wearable with smaller screens. But that’s a problem we will worry about later!


Picture courtesy of Farzad Nazifi

Cedric Ferretti

Cedric graduated top of the class at Sophia Antipolis University. We thought this was a great accolade but if you ask Cedric he considers it “unimportant”. Instead, Cedric is motivated by positive outcomes. He is excited about being at the forefront of making the internet a more human-centred domain. Born in France and working in London, Cedric has an eclectic set of interests. He loves the romanticism of Asian culture and thrash metal music.

All stories by: Cedric Ferretti

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