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8 concept testing surveys (with templates) to unlock your next big idea

Are you confident your proposed mobile app, product redesign, or marketing campaign will appeal to your target audience? You may be too close to the situation to notice biases or blockers. So, take a step back and let your intended users validate your idea or concept.

Here’s what you need to get started: concept testing surveys.

Last updated

10 May 2023

Reading time

8 min


Concept testing surveys are a simple way to gather direct feedback from potential users, letting you gauge their feelings about new concepts by showing them your mockup and asking questions about it. There are multiple ways to execute the ‘asking’ part, but a concept testing survey does the job quickly and effectively: simply describing your idea to respondents wouldn’t be nearly as productive as showing them.

But in order to get actionable results and perspectives and make the most of your efforts, you need to launch the right type of concept testing survey. You're in the right place.

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Product feedback at your fingertips

Create a successful product. Gather early insights from potential users before going big into development.

8 concept testing survey types

Try Hotjar Surveys to save precious team resources and collect reliable insights from your target audience before diving into full product development mode. Our drag-and-drop interface and comprehensive survey template library let you build customized surveys, quickly and easily. 

Explore our eight survey templates and find the one you need to jumpstart your concept testing efforts: 

1. Concept test

Yes, there’s a specific Hotjar survey designed to uncover what users like or dislike about your product and assess its potential success.

A concept test survey enables you to collect insights ahead of a new product, design, or campaign launch. 

How far ahead are we talking here? Ideally, send a concept testing survey out after you’ve conducted market research and created a wireframe to see how people interact with your app or site before your developers build it. (For more advice, check out our step-by-step guide to concept testing.)

An example of a popover concept test, designed by Hotjar (hello there 👋)

To start, use our concept test survey, tailoring the elements to your needs. For instance, include open-ended questions that help validate your concept or product ideas. Think along the lines of:

  • The product’s or design’s appeal

  • Its relevance to your target market

  • Its usefulness and practicality in their daily lives

Pique people’s interest and make the survey more enjoyable with a rendering of your new product or design. The closer it is to reality, the better. Note: our template lets you upload JPG, PNG, GIF, or WebP files.

Upload an image in any of these file types to jazz up your concept testing survey: JPG, PNG, GIF, or WebP files

You can also ask survey respondents to rate what they’ve seen through the Reactions feature. This refers to a selection of icons expressing their feelings about your idea: Hotjar buddies, smileys, emojis, or stars. These labels connect to ratings or scores, allowing you to gather quantitative data for your analysis.

#Let your respondents express themselves with stars, smileys, emoji…or Hotjar buddies
Let your respondents express themselves with stars, smileys, emoji…or Hotjar buddies

Let’s get to work 👉 Create a concept test in Hotjar.

2. Preference test

This survey focuses on the visual aspect of your product, app, or site. It involves sharing two to three designs with users to understand which they like best and why. 

A basic preference test follows a couple of steps:

  • First, ask the participants to pick their top choice among the variants

Begin with a radio button—a question that requires only one answer out of two or more options

  • Next, dig deeper with follow-up questions, such as What were your impressions of each design? or Why did you prefer this one over the others?

Follow it up with a question that triggers a ‘long text answer’

Sent out early in the design phase, this survey shows you how users perceive your brand and what they feel about certain design elements, giving you eye-opening insights that steer you in the right direction.

Consult these user preferences when planning for a wide range of design aspects, from layouts and color schemes to fonts and icons. This way, you avoid spending time, energy, and money on concepts that don’t appeal to your audience.

Let’s get to work 👉 Create a preference test in Hotjar.

3. Design satisfaction survey

Understand how users feel about your mockup with a design satisfaction survey. A good design should be engaging, trustworthy, and clear in its message—this survey helps you gauge how well your designs achieve these goals. Glean insights into actual user experience (UX) and apply them in your next iteration or improvement.

An example of a popover design satisfaction survey

Create a survey that complements your user experience

Edit any Hotjar survey to suit your app or website. Specifically, you can choose how your survey appears to users as part of a seamless UX.

  1. Popover: a small widget usually appearing at the bottom of the page, allowing users to answer the survey without exiting or disrupting their current activity

  2. Button: a small button on your page that visitors click to open the survey, prompting users to participate without being intrusive

  3. Full screen: displayed in the middle of the page as an overlay, while the rest of the page is grayed out to draw the user's attention to the survey

  4. Link: when your survey exists outside your website, Hotjar generates a unique URL. Share this link with users through targeted email messages or promote it with a pop-up invite on your website.

Choose how your survey appears on your app or website 

4. GIF survey

Add a touch of fun to your questionnaire with cool GIFs. A GIF survey lets you ask for written feedback, boosted by eye-catching animations. Use them to complement thought-provoking questions and get honest, meaningful responses that lead to actionable insights.

A Hotjar GIF survey sample

Here are some examples of GIF survey questions to help you uncover people’s thoughts and feelings about your site or product:

  • What other information would you like to see on this page?

  • If you did not make a purchase today, what stopped you?

  • What topics would you like to see us write about next?

Let’s get to work 👉 Create a GIF survey in Hotjar.

5. Image survey

Images enhance surveys, keeping respondents interested and open to sharing more information. A word of caution: remember to use neutral images to avoid undue influence on users. This approach will give you accurate insights and reliable results.

A Hotjar image survey sample

Here are two instances where you can benefit from launching image surveys:

  • Logo testing: test your new logo quickly by adding it to a concept test or design satisfaction survey and asking the participants for feedback. This provides valuable insights into how people perceive and emotionally react to your brand's symbol. Then, use your findings to make informed decisions about your brand's design.

  • A/B testing: don’t have time to run an A/B test? Include your design’s variants in a concept test or preference test and let your target audience choose. When you have a clear winner, go to Hotjar Recordings and watch session replays related to each variant (you can do this with Hotjar's Omniconvert and Optimizely integrations). Compare and contrast the recordings to see reasons or patterns for your users’ preferences.

Let’s get to work 👉 Create an image survey in Hotjar.

6. Feedback rating and question

You already know you can add smileys, emojis, stars, and Hotjar buddies to check whether users dig your idea or concept. This option is available across Hotjar Surveys.

#Get the most out of Surveys when you deploy the Reactions feature
Get the most out of Surveys when you deploy the Reactions feature

As you’ve also learned, you can incorporate it in templates like concept testing surveys and preference tests. But it also exists as a standalone, two-step customer feedback survey. Just follow the drill: ask people to rate their experience and explain why they gave a particular score.

Let’s get to work 👉 Create a feedback rating and question survey in Hotjar.

7. Tree testing survey

This UX research method enables you to evaluate your information architecture's effectiveness. Can users easily find what they’re looking for? Does your navigation hierarchy match the mental models people use to explore your product or site?

Creating a tree testing survey with Hotjar couldn’t be easier

Aside from gathering valuable user insights, tree testing surfaces navigation issues early in the process, so you’ll know which ones to prioritize during iteration. 

Let’s get to work 👉 Create a tree testing survey in Hotjar.

8. Content feedback survey

Does your content resonate with readers? Clicks, average time on page, and other quantitative data can only tell us what’s happening on our website—but not the reason behind it.

A content feedback survey made with Hotjar

Let users tell you what they think and feel about your content. Understand whether they find your blog articles, product guides, or landing page snippets relevant and of high quality. Learn why they love your content, or what they believe is missing in your current messaging. Then, use their feedback to inform your content planning, choosing appropriate topics, tone, and formats.

Let’s get to work 👉 Create a content feedback survey in Hotjar.

Tips and tactics to create a successful concept test survey

As you become familiar with the survey templates shared above, it’s crucial to build the habit of following best practices. Remember that the techniques you’ll learn during concept testing will also come in handy when you conduct user testing down the line. 

So, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure your concept testing survey hits the mark:

  • Focus on creating a clear flow that engages your audience. Start with a straightforward introduction and qualify respondents with suitability and demographic questions. 

  • Keep your surveys short and sweet. A HubSpot poll found the ideal length for a questionnaire is 10 to 14 minutes, with most consumers willing to answer between seven and 10 questions.

  • Ask a blend of open and closed-ended questions (as we demonstrated earlier) for a balanced survey. Closed-ended questions (like the Likert scale), where you can choose only one answer, are easy to analyze for you and simple and intuitive for participants. On the other hand, open-ended questions allow you to capture qualitative data and identify common themes, strengths, and weaknesses. 

  • Use interactive methods to keep users interested. This includes engaging language, prototypes or images, and strategic timing. Remember, concept testing shouldn't feel like work, so aim for an enjoyable experience.

  • Respect your audience's time and energy by using the monadic approach for a single idea, or multiple surveys that explore one idea each.

25 questions to ask in a concept testing survey to get you up and running quickly

Now that you've been introduced to multiple concept testing surveys, it's time to draft some product concept questions to help you build a successful product.

To help you get started, here's a list of 25 open and closed-ended questions.

There you have it: multiple Hotjar surveys to help you test your concepts, validate your product ideas, and capture important insights from your audience. If you need another reason to set up a survey, check out our concept testing examples for more inspiration.

Take advantage of the power of concept testing surveys to set your product, site, campaign, or design up for success. The possibilities are endless when you have the right tools and processes.

Don't leave your product launch to chance

Work with your target audience to refine your concept. Let them tell you directly what they like, hate, or love about your new product.

Frequently asked questions about concept testing surveys