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7 Tips for Conducting an Effective Maxdiff Experiment

Naira Musallam, PhD • 9 Apr 2024

MaxDiff, short for Maximum Difference Scaling, is a technique used in consumer insights to measure preferences for products, services, features, or concepts. Respondents are typically presented with a series of paired attributes and are asked to select their preference. 



While MaxDiff can be a powerful tool for understanding preferences and priorities, it's essential to ensure proper design, execution, and analysis to derive meaningful insights.

Here are some tips for conducting more effective MaxDiff studies:


1. Define Your Attributes

Identify the attributes or items you want to evaluate. These could be product features, brand characteristics, service offerings, value propositions, etc. Ensure that these attributes are relevant and cover the scope of your research objectives.


2. Use Balanced Designs

Ensure that the maxdiff design is balanced, meaning each item appears an equal number of times and in different combinations with other items. This helps reduce potential bias introduced by the order or grouping of items.


3. Provide Clear Instructions

Offer clear and concise instructions to respondents. Explain the task they need to perform and how to choose the most and least preferred items within each set accurately.


4. Consider Sample Size

Determine the appropriate sample size based on the complexity of your study and the statistical power required for reliable results. Larger sample sizes generally yield more robust data.


5. Data Analysis

Analyze the collected data using specialized software, like SightX, that can handle MaxDiff analysis. This involves calculating scores for each item based on the frequency with which they are chosen as the most preferred or least preferred.


6. Pick Out Key Insights

Interpret the results to draw meaningful conclusions. Use the scores obtained to rank the items in terms of preference or importance. Visual aids like graphs or charts can help present the findings effectively.


7. Validate the Results

Validate your results and consider conducting follow-up studies or iterations to refine your findings or explore specific areas of interest further.



MaxDiff Analysis with SightX

SightX is an AI-driven market research platform that offers you a single unified solution for product, brand, marketing, and pricing research. While powerful enough for insights teams at Fortune 500 companies, our user-friendly interface makes it simple for anyone to start, optimize, and scale their research. 

And with our Generative AI research consultant, Ada, you can harness the power of OpenAI’s GPT to transform the way you collect consumer insights!

What can Ada do? 
Type=Default, Size=sm, Color=SuccessProvide personalized research recommendations
Type=Default, Size=sm, Color=SuccessCreate custom surveys and tests
Type=Default, Size=sm, Color=SuccessCalculate your ideal sample size
Type=Default, Size=sm, Color=SuccessDeliver key insights and executive summaries from your studies 
Type=Default, Size=sm, Color=SuccessAnalyze consumer sentiments and answer questions about your data
Type=Default, Size=sm, Color=SuccessDevelop product descriptions and marketing collateral based on customer feedback

If you're ready to dive in click the button below to get started!


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Naira Musallam, PhD

Naira Musallam, PhD

Naira the co-founder of SightX and our in-house expert for all things research, statistics, and psychology. She received her doctorate from Columbia University, and served as faculty at both Columbia and NYU. She has over 15 years of experience in data analysis and research across multiple sectors in various industries.

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