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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Which Technologies Do Respondents Use in Online Surveys – An International Comparison?
Year 2011
Access date 30.06.2011

Design decisions for Web surveys are restricted by the assumptions about the technologies respondents have available. Measurement problems might occur when fully labeled scales are displayed on small computer screens or when respondents participate via cell phones and other mobile devices such as Netbooks, iPhone, Ipad, or Blackberry. In these cases, the required equidistance of scale points could be violated. Other technologies whose availability are relevant in this context are Flash technology and the respondents‘ connection speed, that are key indicators for successful video presentations, and Java Script which is widely used in automatic data validation procedures. JavaScript is also necessary for all interactive question types such as automatic tally questions or visual analog scales. In the process of designing a survey, the availability of these technologies is then highly relevant for the technical pretest. As pretesting is restricted to the most common combinations of technology, such as specific browsers, mobile devices, and connection speed, it is important to know which combinations really are the most common in the target group. This study provides exactly this data on available technologies for countries with different Internet penetration rates, namely Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Spain, and the United States (N=480 per country, quotation on age, gender and education). Data was collected automatically, similarly to the collection of paradata, in January 2011 while respondents participated in an Internet survey. The participants were sampled from online access panels. The results provide information about the availability of technology in different demographic groups: How do respondents access online surveys (connection speed, browser, mobile devices)? What technology can survey researchers safely design for (screen size and used window size, Flash, JavaScript)? The study shows that most surveys can use a wide range of design choices, but also that specific groups of respondents need a conservative approach.

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Year of publication2011
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography - Kaczmirek, L. (43)