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Do online access panels need to adapt surveys for mobile devices?

Do online access panels need to adapt surveys for mobile devices? PurposeDespite the quick spread of the use of mobile devices in survey participation, there is still little knowledge about the potentialities and challenges that arise from this increase. The purpose of this paper is to study how respondents’ preferences drive their choice of a certain device when participating in surveys. Furthermore, this paper evaluates the tolerance of participants when specifically asked to use mobile devices and carry out other specific tasks, such as taking photographs.Design/methodology/approachData were collected by surveys in Spain, Portugal and Latin America by Netquest, an online fieldwork company.FindingsNetquest panellists still mainly preferred to participate in surveys using personal computers. Nevertheless, the use of tablets and smartphones in surveys showed an increasing trend; more panellists would prefer mobile devices, if the questionnaires were adapted to them. Most respondents were not opposed to the idea of participating in tasks such as taking photographs or sharing GPS information.Research limitations/implicationsThe research concerns an opt-in online panel that covers a specific area. For probability-based panels and other areas the findings may be different.Practical implicationsThe findings show that online access panels need to adapt their surveys to mobile devices to satisfy the increasing demand from respondents. This will also allow new, and potentially very interesting data collection methods.Originality/valueThis study contributes to survey methodology with updated findings focusing on a currently underexplored area. Furthermore, it provides commercial online panels with useful information to determine their future strategies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Internet Research Emerald Publishing

Do online access panels need to adapt surveys for mobile devices?

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References (36)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1066-2243
DOI
10.1108/IntR-02-2015-0032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeDespite the quick spread of the use of mobile devices in survey participation, there is still little knowledge about the potentialities and challenges that arise from this increase. The purpose of this paper is to study how respondents’ preferences drive their choice of a certain device when participating in surveys. Furthermore, this paper evaluates the tolerance of participants when specifically asked to use mobile devices and carry out other specific tasks, such as taking photographs.Design/methodology/approachData were collected by surveys in Spain, Portugal and Latin America by Netquest, an online fieldwork company.FindingsNetquest panellists still mainly preferred to participate in surveys using personal computers. Nevertheless, the use of tablets and smartphones in surveys showed an increasing trend; more panellists would prefer mobile devices, if the questionnaires were adapted to them. Most respondents were not opposed to the idea of participating in tasks such as taking photographs or sharing GPS information.Research limitations/implicationsThe research concerns an opt-in online panel that covers a specific area. For probability-based panels and other areas the findings may be different.Practical implicationsThe findings show that online access panels need to adapt their surveys to mobile devices to satisfy the increasing demand from respondents. This will also allow new, and potentially very interesting data collection methods.Originality/valueThis study contributes to survey methodology with updated findings focusing on a currently underexplored area. Furthermore, it provides commercial online panels with useful information to determine their future strategies.

Journal

Internet ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 3, 2016

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