Title Scrolling or paging - it depends
Author Blanke, K.
Workshop Workshop 2011
Year 2011

There is an ongoing discussion on the basic design of Web Questionnaires with regard to use either paging or scrolling design. According to the literature and results of experiments it is suggested to use scrolling design only, if the questionnaire is simple and less complex. Beside the question what might be simple, most surveys in official statistics are rather complex, so the advice does not really help and with regard on efforts of standardisation as well as limited resources one may consider to develop only one design. Consequently it might be the paging design.

So far FSO Germany developed and implemented Web Questionnaires almost only for business surveys. These online survey forms have been standardised by a user-navigated tabbed design. Since there is a growing demand on web solutions for individual and household surveys, the tabbed design has also been applied for social statistics. All in all, the implementation has been quite challenging and adjustments had to be made. Concurrently a  scrolling design has been implemented.

Under these conditions, usability tests on both designs – paging and scrolling  – were accomplished. Results show different perspectives and opened the floor for further reflection. Still the question remains: Which Web questionnaire design ensures a high quality of data?  The keyword in this challenging debate seems to ensure high usability and thus, an easy and understandable interaction between human and the electronic instrument due to an appropriate design. The presentation shall invite for discussion.