One of the most common questions when people show their design concepts is: which one do you like best? In design, it is wrong question. If you put two or three items in from of a person and ask what do you like best can lead to a misleading response.

When you ask a person what do you like best there are three traps. First, you are erasing knowledge on your side about possible interesting insight from the other concepts. The other thing is that we assume, in fact that the person likes what they chose. They might not like any of the options but they are forced to give an answer. And third, you are asking for a “personal” insight, and this is not what we want.

Before asking questions, you need to know what sort of information is relevant to obtain, so whenever you are asking it is important to keep a target. The more valuable information you give the other person the more chances for you to get information that you can use.

Lets see the following example:

You are sitting down with an important stakeholder on the company you work for and you have three different concepts designed for the landing page of the Christmas campaign. A proper approach would be:

We have worked on three different concepts for the Christmas landing page:

Concept A.- Is a heavy focus marketing solution. Considering the clients that reach the landing page are new customers, we have planned a landing that is aggressive and focus on sales.

Concept B.- Is a landing page focus on creating community. Getting the user to register in the company and get the new client to start receiving our communications and via this medium term strategy impulse sales.

Concept C.- Is a mix of the two before. It split focuses on strong marketing wording via aggressive sales focus, and the encouragement to join our mailing list

This way of presenting the question is more elaborate but it will give a background to your interviewee. Presenting the information this way you also leave a door open to test the different concepts, and at the same time you can get individual feedback on the three mockups. Just think about what short of answer you would get from:

Which one of these three concepts do you like the most?

On the other hand side, the question might be applicable on marketing when we want to see what item would the user choose to purchase, but this is a different context and, in this case you know that the short of answer you are looking for is more like, “I prefer this product for this and that reason”.

Be aware about the “like” question anytime, even in your daily life, are those familiar? “do you like my new haircut?”, “what pants do you like best on me, the red or the blue?”.