Choosing a Method for Collecting Feedback

At a Glance

Not sure which method to use to collect the feedback you need? These guidelines will help you understand which method to use at each stage of your process.


Every project requires insights from the people who will be using the product or service that the project is creating.

The first step in deciding the right method to collect those insights is to determine where you are in the project timeline. From there, you'll select the method to help you answer the questions you have based on your project's objectives.


We haven’t designed anything yet. Or, we have an existing design, but we're thinking of redesigning it.

This is a great opportunity to gather information about people’s needs, behaviors, and requests so you can provide an experience that meets their expectations.

Do some discovery work, asking target users about their behaviors, preferences, attitudes, and opinions. Conduct: 

  • Discovery interviews to more deeply understand your users.
  • Surveys to get a baseline understanding of who your audience is—or to validate the information you learned in your discovery interviews.
  • Unmoderated tests to observe how people accomplish their tasks today (even if they use a competitor's website to accomplish it).
  • A card sort to understand how users would organize the features and content you are providing.

Understand what competitors are doing and people's experiences with those competitors by conducting:

Get a pulse on your current experience, so you can measure against it as you iterate and improve by conducting:

  • Benchmark (or baseline) studies to understand the experience with your current offering, measure baseline metrics, and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • A tree test to understand if users can find the features and content you are providing.


We are early in the ideation and design phase, but we haven’t settled on a single solution yet.

As soon as you have some sketches or wireframes, put them in front of your target audience and get feedback on them. Conduct:

  • Moderated usability tests if your sketches are very exploratory so that you can ask follow-up questions with the participant in real-time.
  • Unmoderated usability tests to quickly understand the parts of the wireframes that are clear and which parts need more work.
  • Preference tests to get feedback on multiple different early design ideas. This allows you to combine the best aspects from each of the different designs before too much effort has been put into any one solution.


We are iterating on our design and building the version to launch.

As you refine your design ideas based on early feedback, build a prototype and get feedback on the look and feel, content, and interactions. The earlier you identify issues with your design, the cheaper it is to fix them. Conduct:

  • Prototype tests to get feedback as the designs become more and more interactive.
  • Usability tests with the same tasks and metrics as the benchmark test you previously ran.
  • Comprehension tests to ensure the content is understandable and communicates your intended message.


We just launched a new design and we want to know how it is performing.

If you’ve just launched a new design or experience, collect quick feedback from your target audience. See if the design meets users’ expectations and how it fits into their lives.

Measure whether the design is meeting your expectations by conducting.

Measure engagement and see how an experience fits into the lives of your users in their natural settings by conducting:


Learn More

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