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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Web Survey Design: Paging vs. Scrolling
Source The American Association for (AAPOR) 59th Annual Conference, 2004The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 59th Annual Conference, 2004
Year 2004
Access date 30.06.2004

A key choice in the design of web surveys is whether to place the survey questions in a multitude of short pages or in long scrollable pages. There are advantages and disadvantages of each approach depending on the length, content, and complexity of the instrument. A few studies have experimentally examined the two designs, but these have been limited by small sample sizes, restricted evaluation criteria, and the types of instruments used, yielding inconclusive or contradictory findings. The often unrealistic assumption that all questions are relevant for all respondents (absence of a skip pattern) further limits the applicability of these results. These findings may have also been affected by time, as vast changes in the technology and web experience of respondents have occurred since then. In March 2003, we conducted a survey of over 21,000 undergraduate students at the University of Michigan. Ten percent of the 10,000 respondents were directed to the scrollable version of the survey, containing a single HTML form for each of the major sections. The balance were assigned to the paging version, in which questions were presented in small logical groupings to be visible on the screen without scrolling. The instrument contained over 100 questions, including topics that vary in sensitivity and desirability such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and sexual behavior. The survey also permitted comparison of the effect of skip patterns by implementing skip instructions and hyperlinks in the scrollable design, and also recorded time at the end of each of the five topical sections. A variety of process and outcome measures were used to explore differences between the two designs. We will present the results of these comprehensive analyses and address issues of the relative suitability of the alternative design approaches for different types of Web surveys.

Year of publication2004
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations