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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Mobile-Friendly Grid Questions: The Accordion Grid as an Alternative to the Traditional Grid
Year 2017
Access date 11.04.2017

Relevance & Research Question:

Grid questions are used routinely in online surveys when researchers want to assess multiple items using the same response format. Grids typically present elements to be evaluated in rows with responses arrayed in the columns. Grids can be problematic with smaller screen sizes such as those of smartphones. Horizontal (left-right) scrolling is often required to view all response options, making it impossible to view both the item text and all response options at the same time and raising the possibility that respondents will be less likely to select response options not visible on the screen. In the accordion grid format, respondents see the item text listed vertically, then can click on each item to reveal the response scale in a standard single response format. Using this approach, respondents can see the entire response scale for each item, along with the response items on a single screen. However, vertical response presentation has been associated with an increased likelihood of response order effects. Is the accordion grid an effective alternative to the traditional grid format?

Methods & Data:

We conducted two experiments each using over 1,000 cases from KnowledgePanel®, GfK’s U.S. probability-based online panel. With each study, respondents were randomly assigned to complete either an accordion or traditional grid.


The time it took for respondents to complete each grid type was comparable, and we found few differences in results across the two types of grids for both dichotomous grids and unipolar scales with three or more response options. We found similar concurrent validity for both grid types when correlating the results with behavioral data and little evidence of response order effects. Respondents provided similar ratings of the ease and accuracy with which they could respond to the traditional and accordion grid scales.

Added Value:

Taken together, the results suggest that the accordion grid is a promising alternative to the traditional grid design, especially given the increase in the proportion of online survey respondents who complete surveys using smartphones and other mobile devices.

Year of publication2017
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography (8390)