Testing Images, Sound and Video with Survey Software
You can use web survey software to test reactions to images, sound files and video, depending on the capabilities of the program you choose. Many, if not most programs let you display one or more images as part of a question. The more sophisticated programs let you choose exactly where to display an image. Sometimes you might want an image to appear above the question text, sometimes below the question text, sometimes in the middle of the question text. You might want to display two or more images side-by-side or in different locations, depending on the nature of the images you are testing.
You might also want to display images as answer choices, either by themselves or with related text. Some survey software lets you do that, some does not.
Sometimes you may want people to indicate the location on a map or to show which parts of an advertisement attract their attention. The most capable solutions let you record where on an image people click and display the results in the form of a heat map.
Displaying video is more complicated. There is only one way to tell a Web page to show image, but there are multiple different ways to tell a page to play a video. You can tell a page to use Media Player, QuickTime, YouTube or HTML5. Generally speaking, you should use one of the last two choices. They don’t depend on a specific media player being present on the device receiving the video as do the first two. Playing a video via YouTube requires you to upload the video to YouTube and get their code to play it. Playing a video using HTML5 is easier, but has the limitations that old browsers do not use HTML5, and HTML5 only supports the MP4 format on all HTML5 browsers. The most capable survey software can use any of these choices.
Playing audio is possible in telephone interviews as well as on the web. Some researchers like to use telephone interviews to test music appreciation or radio advertisements. While The Survey System has supported playing audio in telephone interviews for decades, some telephone interviewing software does not. So if this capability is important to you, you should check if the program you want to use has it.
Playing audio in web surveys confronts you with much the same choices as playing video. You can use a media player, YouTube or HTML5. And again, not all programs offer all choices.