Comparability and Usability: Key issues in the design of internet forms for New Zealand’s 2006 Census of Populations and Dwellings

Lyn Potaka


Designing internet questionnaires to collect data that will ultimately be comparable with the data collected from paper questionnaires can present a number of challenges for developers. This paper discusses the design and development of internet forms for use in a mixed-mode Census in New Zealand in 2006. Using experiences from the design and testing of prototype forms, it describes design features intended to take full advantage of the capabilities of the internet mode, while preserving the qualities of paper based responding to help prevent mode effects. The discussion also highlights the role of usability testing as a key tool in evaluating the success of those design strategies and ensuring that the forms would be simple and easy to use.


Questionnaire design, On-line forms, Internet survey, Mode effects, Usability, Census

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