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Internet and Device Usage Trends Impact Survey Questionnaire Design

This is both good and bad for researchers. The positive aspect is that everyone has access to the internet. We now have so many new ways to acquire people’s opinions with everyone constantly on the Internet. The downside is that now researchers have to take this new technology into consideration while planning and creating new surveys. That said, it appears in many ways to facilitate the collection of information in ways that older technologies - like traditional phone calls - never could. These are exciting times for the field indeed.

FGI Research has noticed these changing trends in Internet and device usage and decided to do a study on it, surveying 4,946 members of our general population consumer panel, SmartPanel. Details of the project are outlined in our new white paper, How Online Questionnaire Design Impacts Data Quality.

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 Key questions included: what types of technology are people using the most? What type of design do survey participants respond well to? Does video and multimedia coding have a negative or positive effect on survey results?

The results provided interesting insights on questionnaire design by device type and browser used. For example:

  • The .jpg format is a safe one for images in all browsers and for all device types
  • Likert scales are best represented by traditional radio button scales because these are easier for respondents to manipulate and understand
  • Device type (e.g. mobile, tablet, or computer) and the corresponding browser type (e.g. Safari, Internet Explorer, FireFox) have a significant impact on whether respondents can see or interact with specialized questionnaire types such as videos or slider scales

To learn more about the results, including how many of the respondents were able to see videos on iPhones, read How Online Questionnaire Design Impacts Data Quality.