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Do You Know Which Device Your Respondent Has Used to Take Your Online Survey?

Survey Practice, vol. December (2010)


The type of devices that can be used to go online is becoming more varied. Users access the internet through traditional desktops and laptops, as well as netbooks, tablets, videogame consoles, mobile phones and ebook readers. Because many online surveys are designed to be taken on a standard desktop or laptop screen, it is important to monitor from which device your online sample is taking the survey, and to consider the consequences the device might have for visual design impact and survey estimates. A survey designed to be taken on a desktop does not necessarily or automatically look the same when taken from netbooks, smartphones and other devices. This article will present a description of some tools to collect paradata that allow us to understand from which device the online survey is accessed, along with an initial suggestion for best practices.