Visual Preference Survey

A visual preference survey is one type of public opinion survey. All of the principles and protocols, as well as design, content, and documenting considerations, for a public opinion survey also apply to visual preference surveys. See the page on public opinion Survey.

A visual preference survey is the same as a regular public opinion survey except that the questions ask the respondents to evaluate photographs or drawings of various types and ways of development. Often each visual image is rated by those taking the survey using a scoring system, or Likert scale, to indicate the design preferred for one’s community.

There are many different designs and layouts for a visual preference survey, and no one way is “correct” or “wrong.” Illustrated here is a page from one visual preference survey. This example was printed on paper and administered as a mail survey. Printing a survey can be expensive, especially with the need for color printing. A relatively inexpensive alternative would be for the visual preference survey to be administered with the Internet.

Kurt H. Schindler, AICP, Regional Land Use Educator
Michigan State University Extension