Selection of the best blog posts posted between September 2015 and May 2016

May 17 2016

We overview the best posts from our database of blogs posted between September 2015 and May 2016. Posts can be accessed by clicking on the title of the post. A great amount of quality content was uploaded since September.

Below we list a selection of the best posts which should be of interest to anyone in Web Survey Methodology, Marketing Research and similar topics. The list is split into two categories. In the first, we list some interesting predictions and musings about survey research. In the second category, we list posts that are mostly hints and refreshments for survey practitioners.

List of some interesting predictions and musings about survey research:

Survey Respondents: The Polar Ice Caps of Market Research by Lisa Wilding- Brown of Innovate MR written for Greenbook:

This post argues that some companies with not insufficient expertise are trying to compete with quality online panels by pretending to be experts in the field. Some advice  on how to best manage panels is also shared here. Definitely worth reading for anyone working in sampling and panels.

How long, unwanted surveys hurt the market research industry by Ray Poynter of VisionCritical:

Here Ray Poynter writes about spam surveys and how they influence the market research industry. He points out that customer surveys now only reflect the views of a tiny minority of the population. He argues that spam surveys have to stop because they tarnished the reputation of the market research industry.

How Different Are the Mobile Survey Respondents to PC Online Users by SurveyLegend:

It's not only that web and mobile surveys are different. The people who respond to them are not the same either. People who complete surveys on mobile phones tend to have shorter attention spans and are younger.

The Future of Surveys by Reg Baker of Marketing Research Institute International:

Great post by The Survey Geek Reg Baker. He tries to predict the future of Surveys. He presents two transitions that are most likely to occur. The first one is about the world in which data will be plentiful. The second transition is about shifting focus from attitudes and intentions to behaviour.

Screener Bias in Panel and River Samples by Jeffrey Henning of ResearchScape:

Jeffrey Henning of ResearchScape writes about screener bias in this post. He says that screener questions can be falsely positive and we must be careful with them. One example of where respondents said they had used medication that was not even on the market at the time is presented. 

List of posts that are mostly hints and refreshments for survey practitioners:


How Survey Personalization Impacts the Respondent Experience by Joe Jordan of Instantly:

The trend of survey personalisation is currently gaining quite a lot of steam. This post says that personalisation increases response rates. But we must be careful because it also impacts the results.

Pros & Cons of Scrolling and Multiple Pages in Surveys by Mingnam L of SurveyMonkey:

When designing surveys, we sometimes face a scrolling versus multiple pages survey conundrum. In this post, we can find some practical advice on how and when to use scrolling and when multiple pages design in surveys. 

Total Survey Error: Learn This Term Mingnam L of SurveyMonkey:

This text introduces and refreshes total survey error which is a combination of three errors: undercoverage error, nonresponse error and measurement error.

6 Sure Shot Ways to Boost the Survey Form Response Rate by Kelvin Stiles of Survey Crest:

Everyone working in survey research agrees that low response rates are a big problem. Six essential hints on how to increase response rates can be read here. 

4 Question Types to Avoid When Creating Mobile Market Surveys by Carl Nielson of Instantly::

Surveys on mobile devices are still relatively new. Any advice can therefore be welcome. Here you can read why you should avoid using rank order, sliders, essay questions and tables of matrixes in mobile surveys.

Survey Design: Get Off the Grid! by Infosurv:

The grid type of question is still very popular in surveys nowadays. This post from the Infosurv blog argues that it should not be due to several reasons such as higher break-off rates, straight lining answers, evidence of not reading and considering each question thoroughly and many others.

The Importance of Survey Question Order by Andrea Fryear of Survey Gizmo:

Survey question order is important. In this post, you can read how to best order and position questions to minimise different biases.

5 Easy Ways to Avoid Survey Fatigue in Your Respondents by Andrea Fryear of Survey Gizmo:

Respondents are becoming more and more fatigued. They are constantly bombarded by different surveys. In this post, you can find some advice on how to combat and decrease survey fatigue in respondents.

How to Get the Truth When Asking Survey Questions about Sensitive Topics by Dave Vannette of Qualtrics,
Two More Tips for Asking Sensitive Survey Questions by Dave Vannette of Qualtrics:

Some information is considered very private or sensitive by respondents, but we as researchers still want to get it. These two posts present some tips on how best to ask sensitive questions. 

Why ‘don’t know’ answer compromise your survey data by Maddalena Mariani of IdSurvey:

"Don't know" answers can quite often be found in surveys. This posts argues that they should not be used because they allow respondents to cut through the questionnaire without focusing on the question or the answer. Evidence weighing against the reliability of the "don't know" answer is also mentioned.

Methodologies compared: advantages and disadvantages of data collection via telephone, web and on field. (CATI, CAWI and CAPI) by Claudia Mancini of IdSurvey:

Can't decide which type of data collection to use? The pros and cons of CATI, CAWI and CAPI are listed here. Here it is emphasised that every company has to evaluate its goals and then decide which data collection type to use.

5 Ways to Keep Mobile Research Respondents Engaged from Start to Finish by Emily Tomasiewicz of Instantly:

Surveys can sometimes become boring. Boring surveys mean high drop-out rates. Follow the five steps described in this Instantly post and make surveys more interesting to respondents and thereby acquire better results.

Coverage Error in Internet Surveys by Pew Research:

The Internet is becoming ever more ubiquitous. For a large share of the population it is hard to even imagine life without the Internet, yet some people still don't have access to it. These people cannot be reached by web surveys and that coverage error is explained in this article. 

What do you mean, it’s not mobile-friendly? by Zontziry Johnson of Ipsos (posted on her own blog):

The term "device-agnostic" is quite frequently used. It is supposed to mean that a survey is friendly to all devices, including smartphones. Yet the author of this post admits that this isn't always the case. 

Nine Ways to Avoid Bad Questionnaire Design by Pete Cape of SurveySampling:

Questionnaire design is a very important aspect of conducting research. Be sure to check out the tips from SSI on how to avoid making mistakes in questionnaire design.

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