Bubble Test

The Bubble Test is a UX method that uses images to explore participants' emotions, preferences, and opinions. It is suitable for working with children or adults and in various research contexts, such as sensitive topics, interviews, or focus groups.


The Bubble Test is a user research method that asks participants to circle areas on a visual layout that attract their attention. It's highly effective in understanding what elements in a design, such as a website or advertisement, catch the eye first. By identifying these visual hotspots, designers can optimize the layout to guide user attention to essential information or calls to action. The Bubble Test offers quick insights into visual hierarchy and can lead to more effective and user-friendly designs.

Suitable for

  • Working with children or adults
  • Research related to sensitive topics
  • Supplementing other research methods, such as interviews or focus groups


Test Plan

A comprehensive document that outlines the objectives, scope, methodology, participants, scenarios, and timeline of the Bubble Test.

Participant Recruitment

A list of participants recruited for the test, including demographics and other relevant information to ensure a diverse and representative sample of users.

Consent Forms

Documents that inform participants about the nature of the study, the expected duration, and any potential risks or benefits. Participants must provide their informed consent before the test begins.

Test Scripts

A collection of step-by-step instructions and scenario prompts for participants to follow during the Bubble Test, ensuring consistent administration of the test and enabling better comparability of the results.

Data Collection Templates

Tools such as spreadsheets, forms, or questionnaires to systematically record participant responses, behaviors, and any unexpected findings during the Bubble Test.

Audio and Video Recordings

Recordings of the Bubble Test sessions that can be analyzed later to gain deeper insights into participant behaviors, thought processes, and decision-making.

Bubble Test Results

A compilation of the data collected during the Bubble Test, including participants' responses, preferences, behaviors, and any other relevant findings.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

A systematic examination of the Bubble Test results to identify patterns, trends, and insights related to user experience, interface design, and usability issues.

Recommendations and Action Items

A list of practical suggestions and next steps to address the findings from the Bubble Test and improve the overall user experience based on the insights gained.

Final Report and Presentation

A comprehensive document and presentation sharing the methodology, findings, analysis, and recommendations from the Bubble Test to stakeholders and decision-makers.



Identify the objective

Determine the goal of your bubble test, such as finding out the most preferred navigation item or the most comprehensible icon.


Prepare necessary materials

Create paper or digital printouts of the interface/components you want to test. Ensure the elements are big enough for participants to easily read and understand.


Choose participants

Recruit a diverse group of users representing your target audience. Depending on the scope of your test, 5 to 10 participants should suffice.


Explain the instructions

Provide clear instructions to the participants. Explain that they will circle or assign a specific number of bubbles to each item, with more bubbles indicating higher preference or comprehension. You can use a scale of 1 to 5 bubbles, or let them distribute a set number of bubbles among the options.


Conduct the test

Ask participants to rank the items by filling in bubbles next to each option. Encourage them to think aloud and provide reasoning for their choices.


Collect and analyze results

Gather the completed printouts and compile the data, calculating average scores for each item.


Evaluate patterns and trends

Analyze the participants' explanations alongside the scoring data to understand common preferences, concerns, or confusions.


Refine your design

Based on the insights gained from the bubble test, iterate your designs to better meet the preferences and comprehension levels of your target users.


Report findings

Document the results, insights, and design implications from the bubble test. Share this report with stakeholders and team members to help inform design decisions.

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