UX Research & User Testing Course

Preference Tests: Comparing Designs

Preference tests are a simple way to compare two designs against each other. This method can be used to compare design proposals, style tiles, mood boards, or even your design against a competitor's or previous iteration of a design.

Preference Test: Comparing Designs with a Head-to-Head Showdown

In a preference test, users are presented with two options side by side and asked to choose their favorite. It’s like a design duel, where your users are the ultimate judges. Whether you’re comparing logos, color schemes, or entire page layouts, a preference test gives you a clear winner based on real user feedback.

By pitting your designs against each other, you’ll gain invaluable insights into what resonates with your audience. You can use this information to make data-driven decisions, ensuring that your final design is the one that truly captures your users’ hearts.

Setting Up a Preference Test

  1. Log in to Lyssna and go to your project.
  2. Create a new study and name it (e.g., “Preference Test”).
  3. Set the device (e.g., desktop) and select “Preference Test.”
  4. Provide instructions for the test (e.g., “Which of these mood boards best communicates the concept of futuristic?”).
  5. Drag and drop your designs into the test.
  6. (Optional) Rename the designs and add follow-up questions if desired.
  7. Save and continue.
  8. Choose between allowing Lyssna to recruit participants or recruiting them yourself with a link.
  9. Copy the URL for the test.

Participant Experience

  1. Participants access the test using the provided URL.
  2. They view the instructions and the two designs side by side.
  3. Participants can click on each design to see it in more detail and move between them.
  4. When they decide which design best meets the criteria (e.g., communicates the concept of futuristic), they click “Choose this one.”
  5. The result is saved.

Analyzing Results

  1. Log back into Lyssna and go to your preference test.
  2. View the two different designs and the number of votes each one received.
  3. The design with the most votes is considered the preferred option based on the given criteria.

The Value of Preference Tests

Preference tests offer a quick and effective way to compare two designs and gather data to support design decisions. By asking participants to choose between two options based on specific criteria, such as brand keywords or aesthetics, you can gain valuable insights into user preferences. This method is particularly useful when there are competing design proposals or when you want to ensure that your design aligns with the desired brand image. Preference tests can also help you benchmark your design against competitors, providing a clear indication of which design resonates more with users. By incorporating preference tests into your design process, you can make informed decisions backed by user feedback, ultimately leading to more effective and engaging designs.

Preference Tests Video Transcript

One of the simplest tests that you can do is a preference test.

So when you run a preference test you’re basically comparing two designs to one another.

Now you can use this for example to compare your design proposal with a stakeholder who wants you to go in a different direction.

Or you might want to compare multiple style tiles or mood boards to one another to decide which aesthetic direction to adopt.

Or possibly you want to compare your design to that of your competition.

Whatever the case you can do this in Lyssna.

You just go to login.

Once you’ve logged in you go to your project.

You create a new study.

And then we’ll call it a preference test.

In this case we’re going to set it for desktop.

And then we’re going to select a preference test.

And then we’re going to give it some instructions.

So in this case we’re going to ask which of these mood boards best communicates the concept of futuristic.

Where futuristic is one of the brand keywords that you want to communicate.

Then you simply drag and drop your designs in.

Let’s add a second one.

From my desktop.

So now we’ve got our two mock-ups which we can rename if we want to.

But I won’t bother with that now.

We can ask follow-up questions if we want to.

But we’re not going to so we’ll delete that.

And that is simply it.

We can now hit save and continue.

Where we’ve got the option to either allow Lyssna to recruit participants for us or we can recruit them ourselves with a link.

We’re going to take the link option.

Skip all of the various options with that and just copy the URL.

Then what we can do is we can paste that URL in to see what the experience is like.

Hit start.

Which of the mood boards best communicates the concept of futuristic.

You can view the two mood boards and then click on one to see it in more detail.

Move backwards and forwards between them.

And when you find one that you think is futuristic you click choose this one.

And the result is saved.

Then from your perspective once that has been run you can go back to Lyssna.

You can log in.

Go into your preference test.

And then what it will do is it will show you the two different versions and how many votes each of those two different versions have got.

So you can see categorically which of those is the best in that situation.

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