Design-Test: How to test a Design properly?


Corporate logo, claim, out-of-home advertising, online ads or packaging - in the most cases it is not easy to communicate a brand identity or its benefit to the target group. This is exactly why you should ask your target group for a design test and not leave design and creative decisions to your instincts. After all, good design determines the consumer's attention, recognition and buying decision. And who better to tell which design or which advertising measure is effective than your own target group?

With Appinio, designs can be iteratively tested until the perfect solution is available.

No matter which design test you conduct - whether you want to test a logo, a film trailer or an online ad: The questionnaire structure is always identical. At the end of this page we will show you how a questionnaire  for a design test can look like.

In this article, our market research experts from Appinio explain in detail what needs to be considered for various design tests:


Design Test: Name Test

A company, a brand or a product requires an appealing name. In a name test it is important to find out whether the target group understands it and whether it is attention-grabbing and well remembered. It should be easy to pronounce and write. And: Choose a unique name to set yourself apart from the competition.

You want to test names? In our Appinio Dashboard you will find a questionnaire template and a sample survey.



Design Test: Logo Test

The logo of a company is the face of a company to the outside world and the central branding element of a corporate identity. Therefore, it must be eye-catching and easily recognizable. Importantly, it should also reflect the personality and values of a brand.



Whether it is about the launch of a new brand or rebranding: Do never make a decision about the final logo design without first consulting your target group.
How a questionnaire for a logo test looks like can be found here.

You want to test logos? In our Appinio Dashboard you will find a questionnaire template and a sample survey.

Design Test: Claim Test

A slogan or claim represents a product or a brand and expresses the brand promise in a shortened form for the consumer. A claim should not only be catchy, but, most importantly, correctly understood by the target group. In our studies, we have found out that this is definitely not always the case. Many brands operating in Germany, for example, rely on English claims without investigating whether the target group understands them at all. Douglas' "Come in and find out" is just one example of many misinterpreted claims.

You want to test claims? In our Appinio-Dashboard you will find a sample survey.


Design Test: Advertising Material Test

Does your advertising material send the right message? Is it eye-catching, understandable and does it make the target groups carry out the desired action? Consult your customers and potential customers to optimize your creatives before you waste valuable marketing budget on inefficient advertising material. 

Video Test, TV Spot Test, Radio Spot Test and Film Trailer Test

By using spot tests you can find out whether the advertising medium appeals to your target group and whether they recognise what is advertised. Generally, there is always potential for optimisation in design tests. Of course, a spot, whether for video advertising, TV, radio or cinema, does not have to be finished for a survey. Test your versions to find out which creative performs best depending on the objective.

You want to test your spot? In our Appinio Dashboard you will find a questionnaire template and a sample survey.


Advertising Posters and Online Ads

Test your advertising motives in advance and ask your target group how they like different versions, what they associate with each, whether it triggers curiosity and the intended action, such as a product purchase, an app download or an online shop visit.


Design Test: Product Design

A product must look appealing so that the buyer shows interest and later becomes a regular customer. Which design variants appeal to customers? Does the product design correspond to the brand, does it lead to the right associations? All this can be tested in a product design test.


Design Test: Packaging Design

People often shop visually and spontaneously. Accordingly, packaging design is important for the purchase decision. The appearance of your product and the information on the packaging can decide whether it ends up in the shopping cart. With an eye-catching packaging design that appeals to the target group, you have the opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition on the shelf. So what could be more obvious than getting feedback directly from the target group on different packaging designs to increase the purchasing probability? 


You want to test your packaging or product design? In our Appinio Dashboard you will find a questionnaire template and a sample survey


Implementation of a Design Test

Questionnaire Structure for a Design Test

No matter whether you want to test a logo, a film trailer or an online advertisement: The questionnaire structure for a design test is always similar. In our Appinio Dashboard you will find many ready-made questionnaires depending on the use case, which you can easily adapt to your needs.

Here is an exemplary questionnaire structure for a design test:

  • Does the target group like the design in general?
    The survey participants are shown the design and asked to rate it with a Likert scale: from "I don't like it at all" to "I like it very much". Afterwards, respondents are asked an open question about what they particularly like or dislike about the design. The open question gives you detailed insights.

  • Is the design understandable and does it evoke the desired associations?
    The target group is asked about their associations with the design. For example, what an advertisement is about (topic), what they have seen on a packaging, what kind of company the logo could be for (industry) or what characteristics they associate with a design. This information is initially queried in an unsupported way, i.e. without any specified answers, using a free-text question. In this way you can determine, for example, whether the object of an advertising film is made clear by the design. After the unsupported query, you offer the participants support and query the associations supported by a list of options to choose from. 

  • Which design pleases and converts better?
    The survey participants see the evaluated creative again. They will also be shown other design variants. After that, participants need to decide which design they like best or is the most modern, etc. The questionnaire concludes with a question about whether the target group is motivated to carry out the desired action, for example to visit the website, go to the cinema or buy the product.



Monadic vs. Semi-Monadic Tests

Both monadic and semi-monadic surveys are used for a design test. How the two are defined and which effects the two have will be explained here:

In monadic tests, each participant in a survey is only asked about one survey object. In the case of a design test this means he is asked about one logo variant, advertising medium or film trailer etc. Semi-monadic testing, on the other hand, means that each survey participant is asked about several survey objects. The same questionnaire is therefore completed several times within one survey.

With semi-monadic surveys there is the risk that the survey participant is influenced by the first survey object and evaluates all subsequent survey objects in relation to it. For this reason in semi-monadic tests the questions for the different designs are created in blocks and these blocks are then randomized. This avoids, at least to a certain extent, a sequence effect among the respondents.

Another disadvantage of semi-monadic tests is that the questionnaire is significantly longer than in a monadic test. The more objects are tested within a survey, the less detailed questions can be asked as the participants might lose interests after evaluating multiple versions of a design for example. Thus, in a semi-monadic test, one should try to keep the questionnaire as short as possible.

The big advantage of monadic tests is that individual evaluations of the survey participants are more meaningful because their opinion is not influenced by different survey objects. Furthermore, the questionnaire is much shorter.

For a design test we recommend monadic surveys. This is especially important for spot tests, for example for videos or film trailers as the evaluation of these creatives requires a lot of attention and concentration from the respondents.


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