One of the first things to decide when setting up a survey is the general design and presentation style for your questions and answers. In this context, you have to choose the so-called format of displaying your survey. Essentially, this means you can either show your entire survey on one page, which is called scrolling survey design
in the research world, you can show your survey on multiple pages, i.e. one question per page, which is called paging survey design
, or an alternative hybrid format offered exclusively by LimeSurvey that allows to show one question group per page consisting of several questions, which we will call categorising survey design
What seems like an easy decision at first, will require some further consideration when looking closer at this design topic. Especially in the light of the availability of different technical devices to take surveys on nowadays such as desktop computers, tablets or smartphones, formats may appear more advantageous on one device, yet more disadvantageous on another device. This adds extra complexity to survey design.
Researchers have been testing and evaluating this design question for years now by examining key metrics such as bounce rates, completion times and rates as well as item nonresponses. Insights indicated that surveys taken on desktop computers do not differ significantly for scrolling and paging designs with regard to completion and bounce rates. Merely, a tendency to skip certain questions was discovered for scrolling survey designs which could have had any number of reasons such as a mental overload, boredom or other problems connected to survey fatigue