Untitled Page
Skip Navigation Links

Physical Analogy Methods

Physical markers are used to represent features or capabilities of a product, service or technology. Participants are asked to pick and choose (tradeoff) between the markers; or to organize them into priority order to represent the relative value the features or capabilities have for them. For example, in feature-cost tradeoff applications of this method, physical puzzle pieces’ size represents cost or amount-of-effort to develop; and participants have to fit them into a 2-D space that forces them to trade-off between the markers. 

What We Do

Through careful understanding of your issues and concerns, we design the appropriate analogies and physical markers to use, along with the procedure and analysis methods to be employed. We then recruit the correct participants (persona, user profiles) according to your target user profiles and administer the sessions, keeping close track of ongoing commentary and discussion during the trade-off exercises.

What You Get

By comparing which features are chosen by different types of people and their reasons for picking them vs.others they discard, we can understand a great deal about attractors, inhibitors, capability-prioritization and likelihood to purchase – along with how these differ across the groups studied. All this detail is packaged for you in a succinct report, along with implications for action moving forward.


Benchmark Research & Safety, Inc. is a human factors and ergonomics consulting firm that specializes in usability, user-centered design, product safety, warnings, expert witnessing, research (design, ethnographic, perceptual) and training. Benchmark Research & Safety, Inc. is one of the few multi-capability firms in the Northwest - headquartered in Moscow, Idaho with branch offices in Boise and Rigby, Idaho; Portland, Oregon; and Grand Junction, Colorado.