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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Using Eye Tracking to Examine the Visual Design of Web Surveys
Year 2014
Access date 28.08.2014
Studies show that visual design influences how a respondent processes survey questions (Dillman et al., 2009). Sometimes the visual presentation of response options are manipulated to save space on a paper survey and to make all responses visible without scrolling on a Web survey (Couper, 2008). However, few studies have formally analyzed the effects of these sorts of graphical manipulations. In this study, we use eye tracking methods to examine the visual layout of response options in two visual design experiments: (1) a single column versus two columns of response options and (2) a linear versus non-linear five-point rating scale. Specifically, we will examine if the different layouts affect if respondents read through the response options, how long respondents spend on each subgroup of response options, and the distribution of responses selected. Data for this study will come from a general population laboratory experiment that will be conducted between November 2013 and March 2014. Preliminary analysis from a pilot study of 41 college students revealed mixed results. Initially, students spent more time looking at the one column of responses and the non-linear layout of the rating scale; on a later question in the survey, however, students spent more time looking at the two columns of responses and the linear layout of the rating scale. Although previous research has suggested that the non-linear rating scale will encourage respondents to process the options horizontally, we have observed that respondents tend to start from the middle column and use it as an anchor when processing the other options. We will investigate these trends further by analyzing these experiments with a larger sample from the general population. This study will conclude with implications for Web survey design.
Year of publication2014
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography (4086)