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Test a design hypothesis.

Visual preference testing


A method that allows potential users to review and provide feedback on a solution’s visual direction.


To align the established branding guidelines and attributes of a solution with the way end users view the overall brand and emotional feel.

Time required

4-12 hours for style tiles. 30 minutes per participant to get feedback.

How to do it

  1. Create iterations of a style tiles or other asset that represent directions a final visual design may follow. If branding guidelines or attributes don’t exist, establish them with stakeholders beforehand.
  2. Interview participants about their reactions.
    • Ask questions as objectively as possible.
    • Align questions with the branding guidelines and attributes your project must incorporate.
    • As far as possible, allow participants to provide their feedback unmoderated or at the end of your research.
  3. Compare the results of your research with the agency’s published branding guidelines and attributes.
  4. Publish the results to the complete product team and decide which direction will guide future design efforts.

Considerations for use in government

No PRA implications. The PRA explicitly exempts direct observation and non-standardized conversation, 5 CFR 1320.3(h)3. See the methods for Recruiting and Privacy for more tips on taking input from the public.


18F Methods

An official website of the GSA’s Technology Transformation Services

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