Notice: the WebSM website has not been updated since the beginning of 2018.

Web Survey Bibliography

Title Grid Formats, Data Quality, and Mobile Device Use: A Questionnaire Design Approach
Year 2013
Access date 30.05.2013

Grids have been the subject of significant research as a frequently used—but often problematic—way to present multiple questions in a shared layout, particularly within Web-based surveys. Respondents’ increasing use of mobile devices underscores and emphasizes the need to reexamine design standards for grids and questionnaires that will now be seen on a variety of screen types. While recent work has begun to explore the relationship between device use, data quality (McClain, Crawford, & Dugan, 2012; Saunders et al., 2012), and substantive responses (Mavletova & Couper, 2012), considerable practical concerns remain in conducting surveys that have been optimized for larger screens. Drawing upon recent literature and paradata that we have collected, we propose a combined layout and questionnaire design approach to confronting these challenges-- acknowledging that while refining layout and user design of grids can impact data quality (Couper et al., 2013) and aid mobile navigation, an additional challenge lies in designing questionnaires that are clear, cohesive, and adaptable to the smaller screen space available on mobile devices. To better understand interactions between device use and data quality measures in a grid-heavy setting, we reviewed respondent behavior and characteristics of grids from multi-year administrations of 11 Web surveys with college student populations, spanning several hundred thousand respondents. We focused our exploration on key contextual characteristics of grids that may influence data quality and exacerbate burden--such as questionnaire position/context, grid length and density, scale design, sensitivity of content, and presence of validations. Specifically, we investigate the relationship between several of these characteristics and mobile respondents’ tendency to straightline, as a potential indicator of satisficing (Krosnick, 1991); to break off; and to yield higher rates of item-missing data. Our presentation will highlight key findings from this analysis and discuss implications for questionnaire design that considers the mobile space.

Access/Direct link

Conference Homepage (abstract)

Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography (4086)