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Article

Mobile Web Survey Design: Scrolling versus Paging, SMS versus E-mail Invitations

Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology. 2014. Vol. 2. No. 4. P. 498-518.
Mavletova A. M., Couper M. P.

There is some evidence that questionnaire design (scrolling or paging) and invitation mode (SMS or e-mail) have an impact on response rates in web surveys completed on personal computers (PCs). This paper examines whether these findings can be generalized to mobile web surveys. First, we explore the effect of scrolling versus paging design on the breakoff rate, item nonresponse, and completion time in mobile web surveys. Second, we investigate which type of invitation and reminder mode (SMS or e-mail) is more effective in terms of producing higher participation rates and maximizing the percentage of respondents who complete the survey via a mobile device rather than a PC. The paper summarizes the results of an experiment conducted among members of a volunteer online access panel in Russia, who were asked to complete the survey using a mobile device. We find that the scrolling design leads to significantly faster completion times, lower (though not significantly lower) breakoff rates, fewer technical problems, and higher subjective ratings of the questionnaire. We also find that SMS invitations are more effective than e-mail invitations in mobile web surveys.