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& Messaging
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Most appealing idea. Most compelling message. There are endless possibilities for wanting to know the superlative items. Side-by-side produces the same results as a ranking or reorder exercise, but in a much easier experience for respondents by only having them consider two items at a time.

What you'll get
  • Stacked bar chart
    See how often each item was ranked as first,
    second, and so on.
  • Score average
    Easily recognize your winner as rank order data is converted into a score.
Common applications

Product claims

Ask respondents which message statement is the most motivating to purchase a product.

Concept development

Ask respondents which concept idea is the most appealing for a product.

Decision making

Ask respondents which factor is the most influential in making a decision.

Customer experience

Ask respondents which element was the most enjoyable of their experience.

In a traditional rank-order exercise, respondents are shown a list of items and asked to put them in order of some characteristic, such as preference or importance. But this method has an important limitation: respondents can only meaningfully engage in this task when there are a few items.

Side-by-Side provides the same output as a rank-order experience, but with a simpler experience for respondents—particularly when there are more items. Respondents focus on only one decision at a time: which is the better in this pair?

This can help provide cleaner, more reliable data when respondents aren't overwhelmed with their task.

Best practices
  • Test a reasonable number of items
    The side-by-side task uses an adaptive algorithm so it is not necessary to show respondents all possible pairs; however, testing a large number of items could still result in a repetitive experience that could compromise your results from respondent fatigue.

    If you have more than 6 items, the MaxDiff, where respondents review more than one item at a time, could be the better option.