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Rivas, Alda, Christopher Antoun, Shelley Feuer, Thomas Mathew, Elizabeth Nichols, Erica Olmsted-Hawala, and Lin Wang. 2022. “Comparison of Three Navigation Button Designs in Mobile Survey for Older Adults.” Survey Practice 15 (1). https://doi.org/10.29115/SP-2022-0005.
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  • Figure 1. An illustration of a mobile survey question with the “below-content” design for navigation buttons. Blue rectangle shows what is visible before (Panel A) and after scrolling down (Panel B).
  • Figure 2. Visualization of the three experimental conditions. Top panel represents the visible content before scrolling. Bottom panel represents the visible content after scrolling.
  • Table 1. Descriptive statistics for completion time across the three experimental conditions.
  • Table 2. Percentage of the sample that selected the different response choices across the three experimental conditions.
  • Table 3. Percentage of the sample that selected the different ratings for completion difficulty across the three experimental conditions.
  • Table 4. Percentage of the sample that selected the different ratings for navigation difficulty across the three experimental conditions.
  • Table 5. Frequencies for participants’ preference for navigation button placement.

Abstract

Given the cognitive and physical changes that accompany healthy aging (e.g., reduced vision, reduced motor control), it is crucial to design mobile surveys that enable older adults to overcome the challenges that may be present during survey completion on a smartphone. The present study compared three designs of navigation button placement in terms of older adults’ performance of completing a mobile survey. The three designs included (1) navigation buttons below web page content (Below-content), (2) navigation buttons ever-present at the bottom of screen (Fixed-bottom), and (3) navigation buttons ever-present at the top of screen (Fixed-top). Sixty-two older adults completed three different surveys, each under one of the experimental conditions. The results indicated that participants completed a mobile survey faster under the fixed-bottom design than in the below-content design and that participants were more likely to select a visible response choice in either the fixed-bottom or fixed-top condition than in the below-content condition. We also found that participants perceived the fixed-top condition as more difficult to complete than the below-content condition and that most participants selected the below-content condition as their preferred format of navigation buttons in a mobile survey.
The findings of this study indicate that the below-content condition promoted higher data quality and participant satisfaction than either of the fixed buttons conditions. Given these findings, we recommend that mobile surveys include navigation buttons at the bottom of the content.

Accepted: May 25, 2022 EDT

Appendix A

Questions and response choices for the three surveys presented to participants

Questionnaire 1

Trust in people by group; 5 categories (2 questions)

To what extent do you trust people from various groups? Please indicate your level of trust for each of the following groups on a scale from 1 = no trust at all through 5 = complete trust.

Q1. Your family

Q2. Your neighborhood

Response options: 1 no trust at all, 2, 3, 4, 5 complete trust

Confidence in organization; 10 categories (3 questions)

Can you indicate on a scale from 1 to 10 how much confidence you have in each of the following organizations? 1 means that you have no confidence at all in an organization and 10 means that you have full confidence.

Q3. The press

Q4. The police

Q5. The courts

Response options: 1 no confidence at all, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 full confidence

Importance; choose-one, 5 categories (2 questions)

For each of the following, indicate how important it is in your life. 1 means not at all important and 5 means very important.

Q6. Family

Q7. Friends

Response options: 1 not at all important, 2, 3, 4, 5 very important

Attitude about science and technology; 10 categories (2 questions)

Now we have some questions about science. Please indicate your level of agreement with each of the following statements on a scale from 1 = strongly disagree through 10 = strongly agree.

Q8. Science and technology are making our lives healthier, easier, and more comfortable

Q9. Because of science and technology, there will be more opportunities for the next generation.

Response options: 1 strongly disagree, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 strongly agree

Questionnaire 2

Trust in people by group; 5 categories (2 questions)

To what extent do you trust people from various groups? Please indicate your level of trust for each of the following groups on a scale from 1 = no trust at all through 5 = complete trust.

Q1. People you know personally

Q2. People you meet for the first time

Response options: 1 no trust at all, 2, 3, 4, 5 complete trust

Confidence in organization; 10 categories (3 questions)

Can you indicate on a scale from 1 to 10 how much confidence you have in each of the following organizations? 1 means that you have no confidence at all in an organization and 10 means that you have full confidence.

Q3. Political parties

Q4. Universities

Q5. Major companies

Response options: 1 no confidence at all, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 full confidence

Importance; 5 categories (2 questions)

For each of the following, indicate how important it is in your life. 1 means not at all important and 5 means very important.

Q6. Leisure time

Q7. Politics

Response options: 1 not at all important, 2, 3, 4, 5 very important

Attitude about science and technology; 10 categories (2 questions)

Now we have some questions about science. Please indicate your level of agreement with each of the following statements on a scale from 1 = strongly disagree through 10 = strongly agree.

Q8. The world is better off because of science and technology.

Q9. We depend too much on science and not enough on faith.

Response options: 1 strongly disagree, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 strongly agree

Questionnaire 3

Trust in people by group; 5 categories (2 questions)

To what extent do you trust people from various groups? Please indicate your level of trust for each of the following groups on a scale from 1 = no trust at all through 5 = complete trust.

Q1. People of another religion

Q2. People of another nationality

Response options: 1 no trust at all, 2, 3, 4, 5 complete trust

Confidence in organization; 10 categories (2 questions)

Can you indicate on a scale from 1 to 10 how much confidence you have in each of the following organizations? 1 means that you have no confidence at all in an organization and 10 means that you have full confidence.

Q3. Banks

Q4. Environmental organizations

Q5. Charitable or humanitarian organizations

Response options: 1 no confidence at all, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 full confidence

Importance; choose-one, 5 categories (2 questions)

For each of the following, indicate how important it is in your life. 1 means not at all important and 5 means very important.

Q6. Work

Q7. Religion

Response options: 1 not at all important, 2, 3, 4, 5 very important

Attitude about science and technology; 10 categories (2 questions)

Now we have some questions about science. Please indicate your level of agreement with each of the following statements on a scale from 1 = strongly disagree through 10 = strongly agree.

Q8. It is not important for me to know about science in my daily life.

Q9. One of the bad effects of science is that it breaks down people’s ideas of right and wrong.

Response options: 1 strongly disagree, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 strongly agree