Preference test

Discover which designs your audience prefers with a simple preference test – to inform decision-making and make your designs more user-friendly.

Preference test

An introduction to preference tests

A preference test allows you to get user feedback early on in the design stage to understand what users prefer – and the reasons behind their choices.


While some preference tests will consist of a simple choice between two to five design options, researchers also have the opportunity to ask follow-up questions to gather a deeper understanding of what makes testers choose one design over another.


Preference tests can be run on a variety of visual designs, including (but not limited to):

  • Logos
  • Colour schemes
  • Images
  • Graphics
  • Videos
  • Packaging
  • Website branding


These tests can only take a few minutes to complete, and are great for validating designs quickly.

When to use a preference test



At any stage of the design process, user feedback can shape branding or design

User preferences

User preferences

To uncover what designs your audience prefers, and why



When you want to observe how users interact with designs

How to run a preference test


Decipher test aim

A preference test can be as simple as getting testers to choose the designs they like better, but it’s also a chance to understand more specific preferences. Do you want to know which is more aesthetically pleasing or which conveys an intended message?

Here are some examples of preference types you can target:
  • aesthetics: what’s more pleasing on the eye
  • trustworthiness: which design instils a sense of trust in the user
  • cultural sensitivity: which design is appropriate for the intended audience
  • emotive: highlights the design that elicits the intended response from users (i.e. joy, positivity, sombreness, respect)
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    Choose your designs

    You can upload as many designs as you like for users to choose from, but we recommend you don’t test with more than five designs. Be sure to not use designs that are too similar – you don’t want to turn your preference test into a spot-the-difference activity!

    Add follow-up questions

    This step is optional, but gives researchers a chance to collect qualitative data they can’t get from the choice of preference itself. In other words, follow-up questions uncover the ‘why’ – what it was about their top choice that made it their favourite design.

    Launch test

    Test with a targeted group of testers using UserQ’s panel, spanning different demographics, so you can find out what designs your specific audience prefer. Alternatively, share your test panel with your own group.

    Analysing the results

    Preference test results preview

    Your preference test feedback will indicate which designs your audience prefers, and UserQ provides you with quantitative results that are easy to study. We’ll use visual data that make it really easy to compare results and draw conclusions.

    If you include follow-up questions in your preference test, you can categorise similar answers to identify key themes across feedback too. They can uncover invaluable insights into your audiences’ attitude. Preference tests are one of the best testing methods to shape the overall design and communication of your brand, and make sure that your visual branding really connects with your audience.

    Ready to run your own preference test? Get started by signing up for UserQ today.