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5 cutting-edge concept testing examples and use cases to inspire you

Concept testing fuels innovation while reducing risk, giving you priceless customer insights to confidently launch your ideas. 

But nailing the perfect concept testing strategy for your specific use case can be challenging. You have to make countless decisions along the way—from selecting the ideal testing method to deciding which types of questions will yield the most actionable data.

Last updated

4 May 2023

Reading time

6 min


This article takes a deep dive into five brilliant concept testing examples and use cases to show you how it’s done and guide your decision-making process. You’ll walk away with new ways to test prototypes and ideas to create customer satisfaction and delight.

Validate your ideas fast

Hotjar’s digital experience insights tools help teams conduct concept testing for a product that delivers.

5 ways to use concept testing (+ helpful examples)

Concept testing is a research method that lets you test early-stage ideas with real users, so you can validate your hypotheses and gather feedback for your next iteration.

You can conduct concept testing through one-on-one interviews, focus groups, or surveys. Many teams prefer using surveys as a quick and easy way to gather user input—and the Hotjar Surveys tool lets you validate your concepts with three free template options designed just for that purpose:

  • Concept tests show users a design or copy and ask them about their first impressions, what they liked, and what they didn’t like 

  • Preference tests let you share multiple designs with users to see which one they like best

  • Design satisfaction surveys let you show a particular design to your users and ask how satisfied they are so you know how to iterate on it 

Let’s look at five concept testing use cases where these templates work well—so you can gather the data you need to create customer-centric designs.

1. Logo preference tests

Your logo is a core part of your company’s brand identity. It works with other elements, like colors and tone of voice, to give your customers a distinct feeling about your company. 

But before you commit to a new logo design—which you’ll use everywhere—from your website to product packaging and emails—you need to see how your users react to it with a survey.

#Gauge user reactions to new logo concepts with Hotjar
Gauge user reactions to new logo concepts with Hotjar

Here’s how a marketing team would conduct logo testing:

The challenge: a marketing team is leading a rebrand for an ecommerce company. They have two new logo designs and want to find out which resonates more with their audience. 

The solution: using Hotjar’s survey templates, they launch a preference test. They add an image presenting two logo options and:

  1. Ask users to click a radio button to select the logo they prefer

  2. Add an open-ended question to collect more feedback based on the user’s initial choice

Once that’s done, the marketing team launches this pop-over survey on their pages with the highest traffic to quickly collect as many responses as possible.

💡Pro tip: ensure your on-site customer surveys pop up only for your ideal customer profile (ICP) by targeting certain user attributes. For example, you can set the survey to show only on mobile to paying customers who made a purchase more than two weeks ago.

Set up user attributes to target specific audiences for your survey to get the most accurate results possible

2. Wireframe tests

Wireframes are sketches of a new web page or app—and they’re a crucial step in the user interface (UI) design process. 

By testing wireframes via a design satisfaction or concept testing survey, you get early feedback and validate your vision before you invest further resources into product development and create a working prototype.

#A wireframe lays out the design of a new user interface
A wireframe lays out the design of a new user interface

Here’s how a tech company might test a new wireframe:

The challenge: a product team in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company has a UI idea for their most popular feature, and they want to learn whether their highest-paying users would be satisfied with the new design, so they decide to run a test. 

The solution: they choose Hotjar’s concept test template, adding an image of the new design. The survey starts with a rating scale question that asks users to score the wireframe design from 1–5, and then follows up with open-response questions about what they liked most and least to understand the reasoning behind their decisions.

💡Pro tip: continue testing long past the prototype stage. 

Once you’ve moved past the wireframe stage to a fully functional website or product, it’s time for usability testing. This process lets you see how real users interact with your product so you can find and fix bugs and user experience (UX) issues.  

Two main usability testing methods exist:

  • Moderated tests, where researchers interact with test participants by introducing the test and asking follow-up questions. (Hotjar Engage 👋lets you recruit users from a pool of over 175,000 testers to do just this!) 

  • Unmoderated tests, where users explore the product or website without supervision. For example, session recordings reveal the mouse movements, scrolls, and clicks of anonymized individual users.

Use Hotjar Recordings to easily conduct unmoderated usability testing 

3. Packaging design tests

First impressions matter. In retail and ecommerce, packaging impacts a consumer’s initial reaction to a product. The right packaging catches a shopper’s eye and nudges them to purchase by showing that it's fun, sustainable, professional, and trustworthy. 

By conducting packaging preference tests, you keep customers’ wants and needs at the forefront of your product strategy. For example, you can ask questions about the packaging’s overall appeal or how likely the shopper would be to purchase an item with that design. 

#Create a packaging design test with Hotjar Surveys
Create a packaging design test with Hotjar Surveys

Here’s what a packaging test looks like in action:

The challenge: a packaging design team has created basic prototypes of a shampoo bottle design, and they want to confirm that shoppers find the designs appealing—and different from what they typically see on store shelves.

The solution: the design team creates a questionnaire, using the design satisfaction template as a quick starting point. They upload a photo of the prototype to their website and ask users:

  1. How much do you like this new product packaging? 

  2. How different is this packaging design from what you see when shopping? 

  3. How likely would you be to buy this product? 

  4. What would you change about this packaging design?

The first three survey questions let users select an answer on a 1–5 rating scale, while the final question collects open-ended feedback. The team then repeats this process with their alternative packaging design.

💡Pro tip: take a customer-centric approach by always asking testers at least one open-ended question in your concept testing surveys. 

Unlike close-ended questions, these bad boys allow users to express their opinions in their own words. They may take a few seconds longer to answer, but yield rich, actionable user insights. You learn which aspects of a design your customers care about most—so you can prioritize them in your iterations.

4. Naming tests

What’s in a name? More than you think. Whether you’re naming a brand, product, or feature, you need to find a name that appeals to customers and helps you stand out from the competition.

Running name tests lets you check if users can pronounce the term you’ve selected and see whether it strikes the right tone. For instance, testing may reveal that users see a name as young and fun, whereas your company was hoping the name would evoke professionalism and luxury.

#Use the Hotjar Surveys tool to gather user insights about naming
Use the Hotjar Surveys tool to gather user insights about naming

Here’s how a company might run a naming test: 

The challenge: a product team is preparing to release a new feature. They have several naming options for it, but they’re not sure which one their users would prefer, or whether they have better naming suggestions. 

The solution: the team creates a three-question survey in Hotjar. They follow this simple process to set it up:

  1. For the first question, they add the wireframe design and a brief description of the feature and ask, ‘What would you call this feature?’ as a short-text answer

  2. Next, they follow up with a long-text question about their reasoning—why the participant chose that name 

  3. Finally, they ask, ‘What would you call this feature?’ again, but this time as a multiple-choice question, where testers will select one of the provided naming options

With this test, the team walks away with a sense of how users perceive their feature, data on which option resonates, and user-generated name alternatives to inspire new thinking.

💡Pro tip: only test one specific element at a time.

For example, if you're running a side-by-side naming preference test, use the same font or type treatment for each. Otherwise, testers may view these as logo designs and react to the design concept rather than the name itself.

5. Marketing assets tests

Marketing assets—like emails, social media ads, and website content—either make or break your campaign. They can mean the difference between stopping a potential customer mid-scroll and not even showing up on their radar. 

Running concept tests on marketing campaign elements helps you understand how users will react to visuals or copy—so you can tweak them before launching your campaign for maximum results.

#A design satisfaction test lets users weigh in on new ad creative or UI designs
A design satisfaction test lets users weigh in on new ad creative or UI designs

Here’s how a company might test marketing assets:

The challenge: a marketing team is working on new ad creative to use in an upcoming campaign on social. They’ve narrowed down their options to three eye-catching designs and want to see which will get a higher click-through rate (CTR)

The solution: the team sets up a Hotjar survey, selecting the design satisfaction template. They use a Likert scale question with the image of the design asset and ask users how well it communicates the concept, repeating these questions for each marketing asset they want to test. 

💡Pro tip: get ideas for your next campaign by viewing engagement zones with Hotjar Heatmaps.

Heatmaps have always let you see separate click, scroll, and move maps of how the average user interacts with your page. With engagement zones, you now get an overview of how all your heatmap data come together—with a grid over your page highlighting its most and least engaging parts.

For example, if a certain image halfway down your landing page falls squarely in a high engagement zone, consider testing it in a social media ad. On the flip side, if an image gets no engagement, steer clear of similar creative in your next campaign or product launch.

Engagement zones help you quickly discover appealing sections on desktop or mobile

Let customer insights shape your product ideas

With so many applications for concept testing, you may not know where to start. Our advice? Just dive in, letting your users guide your priorities. Testing ideas early and often lets you adjust your plans based on user feedback—so you spend less time and money fixing problems later. 

Use a survey template to start testing your concepts and prototypes in minutes—and quickly collect valuable insights about your customers’ needs to create a product or website they love. 

Validate your ideas fast

Hotjar’s digital experience insights tools help teams conduct concept testing for a product that delivers.

FAQs about concept testing examples