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MaxDiff is an analytical technique used to quantify preferences of multiple items. It's a methodology that is often used to test names, claims, features, and motivations or barriers.   

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When is MaxDiff useful?

Here's how it works: over a series of screens respondents are shown a subset of the items for assessment. On each screen respondents are asked to select the one item that is most preferred and the one item that is least preferred. Through modelling of selections made across screens preference scores are obtained for all items included for test. 

MaxDiff is most useful in two scenarios. The most common is when there are many items to be assessed and ranking or rating each item may be too onerous or fatiguing for respondents. The other time MaxDiff is used is when there is potential for scale bias; when research is being conducted across multiple countries or different cultures where usage of scales may differ.

The key benefits of MaxDiff


It is a simple and intuitive exercise for respondents that makes for valuable and trustworthy reporting.


Unlike traditional surveys, MaxDiff allows for the assessment of a large number of items in a quick and efficient manner. 


This approach removes the potential for scale bias because of the way respondents answer questions.

Our perspective on MaxDiff

MaxDiff is a powerful analytical tool and our recommended methodology of choice whenever there is the need to rank a large list of items. 

That being said, we've built a tool that is based around the power of MaxDiff in-house, go ahead and check out Upsiide for yourself!