Use Cases

What is Design-Test and How Should it be Done

August 25, 2021

What is Design-Test and How Should it be Done

The art of design-testing and the things you should consider - a full guide to design-testing.

Brand identity and the benefits can be challenging to communicate to a target audience through a logo, an advertisement, online advertising, or packaging. To make sure you're meeting the needs of your target audience, you should do a design test rather than rely on your instincts for creativity and design. Consumer attention, recognition, and purchasing decisions are primarily determined by design. A target group's opinion is undoubtedly the best indicator of which design or advertising measure works.

Regardless if the test is conducted on a logo, film trailers or online ads: the questionnaire structure is always the same. The following explains a few points that should be considered for various design tests:

Testing the name

This is the type of test you use when you need an appealing name for your business, brand, or product. During a name test, it is crucial to determine whether the target group understands it, whether it is memorable and attention-grabbing. The name should be easy to pronounce and write. To set yourself apart from the competition, choose a unique name.

Testing the logo design

Logos are the face of a company to the outside world and the critical component of a company's branding. Therefore, it must be easily recognizable and eye-catching. It should also embody the values and personality of a brand.

Be sure to consult your target group before finalizing your logo design when launching a brand or rebranding.

Testing the claim or slogan

Slogans or claims represent products or brands in a shortened form that expresses the brand promise to the consumer. In addition to being catchy, a claim should also be correctly understood by the target audience. However, brands operating in Germany, for instance, rely on English claims without checking how well the target audience understands them. For example, the statement "Come in and find out" by Douglas is an example of many misinterpreted claims.

Testing the Advertising Material

What message does your advertising material convey? Do the graphics capture the audience's attention, are they understandable, and are they capable of influencing them to act?

Don't waste your marketing budget on inefficient advertising material. Consult your customers and potential customers to optimize your creatives.  

Testing of video spots, radio spots, and film trailers

With spot test advertising, you can find out if you're using a suitable medium for your audience and whether they recognize your message. Design tests are always ready to be optimized. Whether for video, television, radio, or film, an advertisement is in a constant stage of improvement during a survey. Determine which creative version performs best according to your objectives.

Testing product design 

Buyers should find a product attractive for them to become regular customers. How do customers feel about different design variants? The product design should correspond to the brand; thus, it should be associated with the right thing. An evaluation of product design can test all of this.

Testing package design 

Shopping is often a visual and spontaneous experience. Therefore, the design of the packaging has an impact on the buying decision. You can determine whether a customer will add your product to their shopping cart based on the appearance and contents of the packaging. When your packaging design appeals to your target audience, you have the opportunity to set yourself apart on the shelf from the competition. What could be more evident than getting feedback directly from the target group on different packaging designs to increase the chances of them buying?

Testing Posters and online ads for advertising

You need to test your marketing objectives in advance. Ask your target group about how they like different versions, what's associated with them, whether they are curious and whether they will act, such as purchasing a product, downloading an app, or walking into a shop.

Structuring a design test

So now that you know the different types of design-tests, the next step is to structure the test. A design test is always structured in the same way, regardless of whether you are testing a logo, a trailer or an online advertisement.

The following is an example of a design test questionnaire:

Is the target group generally satisfied with the design?

Participants rate the design on a Likert scale, beginning with "I really don't like it" and going up to "I like it". Then, respondents are asked open-ended questions about what they particularly like or dislike about the design. Your open question provides detailed information.

How understandable, and how well does it invoke the desired associations?

Participants are asked to describe their association with the design. Consider, for instance, what an advertisement is about (topic), what they have seen on a package, what kind of company a logo could represent (industry), or what characteristics they associate with a design.

A free-text question is used initially to query this information in an unsupported way, without any stated answers. The design of an advertising film, for instance, could be used to determine if it makes the object transparent. When an unsupported query is executed, you offer the participants support and a list of supported associations.

Which design pleases and converts better?

The second round of evaluation shows the evaluated creativity to the survey participants. Additionally, other design options will be presented to them. Once this has been accomplished, the participants must select their favourite, most modern design. Questionnaires conclude with a question about whether the target group is motivated to take the desired action, such as visit the website, visit the cinema or purchase the product.

Tests of monadic or semi-monadic nature

Once you have determined the structure of your test, you want to consider the type of you are going to conduct. Design tests are conducted as both monadic and semi-monadic surveys. Here, we will describe how these two are defined and explain their effects:

Monadic surveys ask participants to answer questions about a single survey object. When one is asked about a design test, one is asked about their logo variant, an advertising medium, a movie trailer, etc. Whereas, when conducting a semi-monadic test, survey participants are asked about multiple survey objects simultaneously, all within one survey. They are also asked the same questions more than once.

When conducting semi-monadic surveys, there is a risk that the participant will be influenced by the first survey object and evaluate all subsequent survey objects accordingly. Thus, semi-monadic tests store the questions and then randomly select the questions from each block.

One of the disadvantages of semi-monadic tests is that their questionnaires are much longer than those of a monadic test. Typically, the more items in a survey are tested, the questions need to be short to reduce the risk that participants might lose interest after evaluating several designs at once. 

To conclude; one should keep the questionnaire as short as possible in a semi-monadic test.

Monadic tests have the great advantage that participants' opinions are not influenced by the different survey objects, making their evaluations more valuable. The questionnaire is also much shorter.

Monadic surveys are recommended for design tests. Especially for spot tests, such as those for videos or film trailers, respondents must pay close attention and concentrate on the creatives.

Design testing - plain and simple 

There you have it, everything you need to know about design-testing. Consider the type of testing you require, then create a suitable structure for your design test. Determine whether the tests need to be monadic or semi-monadic in nature. Once your foundation has been set in place, you're ready to start testing. 


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