Design of Web Survey Questionnaires: Three Basic Experiments

Authors

  • Katja Lozar Manfreda,

    Corresponding author
    1. (Ph.D., University of Ljubljana) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Her research interests include survey methodology, especially methodology of Web surveys, and particularly nonresponse in Web surveys. She maintains a Web site on WWW survey methodology (http://www.websm.org) which houses a large collection of papers and resources on Web survey data collection.
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  • Zenel Batagelj,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, and research director at a private research company CATI Center, which is a leading market research company for telephone and Web surveys in Slovenia, and also the partner of Gallup International. He developed his own software for integrated computer support for all modes of surveying. His research interests include methodology of Web surveys, particularly design issues, as well as survey measurement of information-communication technologies.
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  • Vasja Vehovar

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. He was educated at the University of Ljubljana (Ph.D.), the University of Essex (M.A.), and he was a Fullbright scholar at the University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research. His research interests include survey methodology, particularly survey sampling and Web survey methodology. He also conducts substantial research on the Internet and e-commerce. Since 1996 he has been principal investigator of the national research on Internet in Slovenia (http://www.ris.org). He published in Journal of American Statistical Association, Journal of Official Statistics, as well as chapters in the books of major publishers (Wiley, Greenwood Publishing Group).
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Abstract

Despite increased use of Web surveys, relatively little is known about standards for designing Web questionnaires. Since there is no help from an interviewer for the respondent taking a Web survey, the design of self-administered Web questionnaires is even more important in order to achieve high data quality. Question wording, form and graphic layout of the questionnaire are particularly important. This paper presents some basic experiments to address these issues: one vs. multiple-page design, use of logotypes, and survey topic. The research was performed within the national RIS – Research on Internet in Slovenia - project (http://www.ris.org) in extensive testing since 1996.

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