Paired comparison

Method suitability

Study type

XField studies
XLab studies
XOnline studies
Questionnaire

Development phase

XConcepts
XEarly prototypes
XFunctional prototypes
XProducts on market

Studied period of experience

Before usage
XSnapshots
XAn episode
Long-term UX

Evaluator / Info provider

XUX experts
XOne user at a time
Groups of users
Pairs of users

Data

Qualitative
XQuantitative

Applications

XWeb services
XPC software
XMobile software
XHardware designs
Other:

Requirements

Trained researcher
Special equipment

Summary

Very easy to use technique to rank order stimuli (products) with respect to some quality (e.g. enjoyment); also easy to do for children; goes back to early (1920's) test and scale development techniques; paired comparison data can be transformed in ordering stimuli.

Description

All possible pair combinations of stimuli are presented to the participant, who is asked to select the 'best' (or most attractive, or most fun, etc) of the pair (forced choice). Data from all participants is pooled together and processed to provide an ordering of the stimuli set

Strengths

well established approach; easy to use, also by children; can be used in different settings

Weaknesses

not suitable if set of stimuli is large, since then the number of pairs to be presented becomes too large to handle; if the quality on which the participants need to judge the pairs is not onedimensional, the results will be 'messy'

References describing the method

general information http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paired_comparison_analysis

References about quality of the method

most test development and/or social science handbooks will provide further details

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