Online Survey Design Guide
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Definitions


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A-D
Accessibility
Automation
Consistency
Contingency Questions
Dichotomous Questions

E-H
Filter Questions
Heuristics
Human Computer Interaction
Human Factors

I-L
Guttman Scales
Likert Scales

M-P
Methodology
Multiple Option Questions
Navigation
Nominal Questions
Open-Ended Questions
Ordinal Questions

Q-T
Rating Questions
Self Administration
Semantic Differential Scales
Single Choice Questions

U-Z
Usability

Accessibility
Deals with the follwing issues (as listed by W3):

  • Users may not be able to see, hear, move, or may not be able to process some types of information easily or at all.
  • Users may have difficulty reading or comprehending text.
  • Users may not have or be able to use a keyboard or mouse.
  • Users may have a text-only screen, a small screen, or a slow Internet connection.
  • Users may not speak or understand fluently the language in which the document is written.
  • Users may be in a situation where their eyes, ears, or hands are busy or interfered with (e.g., driving to work, working in a loud environment, etc.).
  • Users may have an early version of a browser, a different browser entirely, a voice browser, or a different operating system. [Top]

Automation
Automation is the controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices. In Survey Design, automation relates to automated navigation, if-then navigation, checking format and range of answers.
[Top]

Consistency
Consistency in interfaces, is when a command language or a set of actions are orderly predictable, describable by a few rules, and therefore easy to learn and retain.
[Top]

Contingency Questions
See Filter Questions
[Top]

Dichotomous Questions
Questions with two possible responses.
[Example]
[Top]

Filter Questions (Contingency Questions)
Questions asked depend on the response from a previous question.
[Example]
[Top]


Heuristics
A rule of thumb, simplification, or educated guess that reduces or limits the search for solutions in domains that are difficult and poorly understood. Unlike algorithms, heuristics do not guarantee optimal, or even feasible, solutions and are often used with no theoretical guarantee.
For this website, heuristics are underlying principles of design that are applicable in most interactive systems.[Top]


Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
The area concerned with how computers are used, and with ways of facilitating interactions between people and computers.[Top]


Human Factors
The discipline that seeks to optimize the relationship between people and their work.
[Top]

Guttman Scales
The respondent selects an item that best applies. The list contains items that are cumulative, so that if the respondant agrees to one, he/she probably agrees to the previous statements.
[Example]
[Top]


Likert Scales
An object is assessed on a statement.
[Example]
[Top]


Methodology
An organized, documented set of procedures and guidelines for survey development.
[Top]

Multiple Option Questions
Questions for which the respondent can select more than one option.
[Example] [Top]

Navigation
The movement from one page to another (one section to another, one question to another, etc.)
[Top]

Nominal Questions
Questions for which the responses are assigned a number with no meaning. The number is used as a placeholder for that response.
[Example][Top]


Open-Ended Questions
Questions for which the response format is unstructured. Respondent can enter any type of information.
[Example]
[Top]

Ordinal Questions
Questions for which responses are ranked based on some predetermined measure.
[Example]
[Top]

Rating Questions
Questions measured with interval levels, by using 1-to-X rating scales. (i.e. Likert Scales, Semantic Differential Scales, Guttman Scales)[Top]

Self Administration
Surveys for which respondents interact direclty with them. Survey administrators are not present.[Top]

Semantic Differential Scales
An object is assessed on a set of bipolar adjective pairs (using a 5-point rating scale)...
[Example] [Top]


Single Choice Questions
Questions for which respondent is only allowed to select one response.
[Example]
[Top]

Usability
The ease with which visitors are able to use an interface or product.
[Top]