Collage is a UX research method that involves participants creating visual artifacts to express their attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and desires, helping to understand user values and emotions.


Collage is a creative research method where participants use images, words, and materials to create visual representations of their thoughts, feelings, or experiences. It's particularly useful in exploring abstract or emotional concepts, as visual expressions can uncover deeper insights that might be challenging to articulate verbally. Collage is often used in the early stages of design to explore user needs, values, and aspirations, providing rich and multifaceted insights that can guide concept development.

Suitable for

  • Understanding user values, attitudes, emotions, and desires
  • Combining emotional expression with specific concepts (through the combination of images and text)
  • Involving users in the design process


Collage Materials

A variety of materials including photographs, illustrations, text, colors, and textures for participants to choose and arrange in their collage.

Participant Instructions

Clear and concise instructions for participants on how to create their collage and what the collage should represent (e.g. feelings, experiences, or expectations about a product, service or brand).

Participant Collages

Completed collages created by participants to represent their feelings, experiences, or expectations.

Collage Photographs

High-quality photographs or digital scans of each completed collage for documenting and analyzing the visual data.

Participant Feedback and Insights

Recorded discussions or interviews with participants about their process of selecting materials and arranging the collage, as well as their reflections on the final result.

Collage Analysis

An analysis, including thematic and visual patterns, of the completed collages, taking into account the participant's feedback and insights.

Collage Method Report

A comprehensive report outlining the process, outcomes, findings, and insights of the collage method, along with recommendations for future UX improvements.

Collage Method Presentation

A visual presentation summarizing the findings and insights from the collage method, intended for stakeholders and team members.



Define Objectives

Start by identifying the goals and objectives of the collage exercise. Be specific about what insights you would like to learn from your participants, such as emotions, preferences, attitudes, or mental models associated with the topic.


Select Participants

Identify and recruit target participants who represent your user segment or audience. Aim for a diverse set of participants with a range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives on the topic of interest.


Gather Materials

Prepare a wide variety of visual materials for the collage, including images, words, and symbols from magazines, websites, and other sources. Ensure you have enough variety to cover different themes, and elements that can evoke different emotions and associations.


Setup Workspace

Arrange a comfortable workspace with sufficient space, light, and seating for participants. Provide scissors, glue, tape, pens, markers, and other craft supplies. Organize the collage materials into an easy-to-navigate layout for participants to easily explore and select from.


Facilitate Collage Creation

Introduce the activity to the participants, explaining the objectives, and any specific instructions or prompts. Encourage them to explore their thoughts, feelings, and emotions associated with the topic as they create their collage. Give participants enough time, usually 45-90 minutes, to thoughtfully create their collages.


Document Collages

As participants finish their collages, document each finished collage by taking photographs or notes. Ensure to collect details of the images used, and the layout or sequence of their arrangement, as this reflects the participant's thought process and associations.


Conduct Discussion

Guide a group discussion or one-on-one interviews with participants about their collages. Encourage them to share the meaning, emotions, and thought processes behind their choices, and how the images they chose relate to the topic. Capture these insights through audio or video recordings, and notes.


Analyze Results

Analyze the collected data by identifying patterns, themes, and connections among participants' collages and their explanations. Look for commonalities and differences in their visual representations, emotions, and thought processes to uncover insights about users' experiences, needs, and expectations.


Report Findings

Summarize the findings in a clear, concise manner, illustrating the key insights and patterns identified through the collage activity. Use visuals, quotations, and descriptions to help convey the participant experiences and perspectives. Present your findings to stakeholders, and consider how to incorporate these insights into your UX design or strategy.



30-60 minutes


Writing materials, scissors, glue, magazines, camera, printer, and other materials


1 researcher, 1 or more participants


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