UX laddering

Method suitability

Study type

XField studies
XLab studies
Online studies

Development phase

Early prototypes
XFunctional prototypes
XProducts on market

Studied period of experience

XBefore usage
XAn episode
XLong-term UX

Evaluator / Info provider

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




XWeb services
XPC software
XMobile software
XHardware designs


XTrained researcher
Special equipment


UX Laddering is an adapted interview method and adapted data analysis process for investigating the user experience, adapted from Laddering in consumer research and based upon Means-end Theory. The goal of laddering -as with all means-end approaches- is to identify and understand the linkages between key perceptual elements across the range of attributes, consequences and values. Therefore, UX Laddering helps researchers and designers understand how concrete product attributes benefit personal values for end users.


One-to-one interview where the participant answers why questions and thereby the deep reasons for an experience are revealed.


UX Laddering entails both an interviewing technique and a specific procedure for data analysis, allowing crossing over from qualitative data gathering to quantitative data treatment. UX Laddering helps researchers and designers understand how concrete product attributes have consequences for end users and deliver value.


1) UX Laddering is less valid in early stages of product development of innovative devices and applications, where users need to make projections of possible consequences. 2) UX Laddering is still time intensive as compared to other methods and requires skills from the researcher that draw on both the qualitative and quantitative tradition.

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