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The VIZZATA method

VIZZATA can offer a simple and practical solution to gaining access to what consumers think about communications.

The VIZZATA tool presents the target audience with bite-sized pieces of content (text, images, videos, website screenshots, etc.) and encourages and enables questions and comments about this. Where there is text, participants can click on highlighted glossary terms if they would like to have more information about them. The research team provide participants with responses to their questions and comments and participants in turn can feedback their further reflections.

The questions and comments that participants leave are very informative. Participants are encouraged to think critically about the content they are viewing and to question any aspect of it.

In addition to in depth qualitative data, VIZZATA also provides measures of the extent of engagement with material. How long have participants spent reading the content they have been provided with? How attentive have they been to the glossary terms? How much time has been spent in formulating questions and comments?

Enabling deliberation and facilitating online interaction are key features of using VIZZATA.

I really enjoyed taking part and I'm sure that a lot of people would benefit from taking part in studies like these. it's a great way to be informed and have a voice that is heard.

Participant of a VIZZATA study

Why use Vizzata?

 VIZZATA can be used by organisations that wish to gain an in-depth understanding of the views of particular groups of consumers or stakeholders about an issue.

It can be used to test communications and to explore how the study participants make sense of particular issues:

  • Are there particular areas where more information is required?
  • What are people concerned about?
  • Are there any particular areas of uncertainty or ambiguity?
  • What questions do participants ask – and importantly, what sense do they make of the responses that they are given?

VIZZATA can also be used to test the clarity or the persuasiveness of different message formats. When presenting content about unfamiliar risks, it is very useful to be able to use a variety of media – to supplement text with illustrations or to use short videos for example.

Meaningful engagement is a key part of VIZZATA. Questions asked are met with responses by the study researchers and this is highly valued by participants.

When to use Vizzata

Using VIZZATA can assist risk communicators in engaging with public and stakeholder communities in an appropriate and cost effective manner.

Using the VIZZATA tool is likely to be particularly useful when the aim is to explore issues that are unfamiliar to the intended participants. VIZZATA also lends itself to be used at very short notice. This is often particularly critical in the context of risk communication. Understanding people’s views very early on in a sequence of events can help identify trusted sources and help in constructing authoritative and trusted messages that address key concerns and provide credible, accurate advice.

It may be particularly important to speedily obtain participants drawn from a spread of socio demographic groups drawn from a range of geographical areas. Using VIZZATA in close collaboration with reputable recruitment agencies enables recruitment of participants and the deployment of VIZZATA within 48 hours.

It made me air my view and get more clarifications from the reply I got from you. This really created a more positive view and attitude with me, which I hope that others will feel too. Thanks.

Participant of a VIZZATA study

Comparison with other methods

In comparison to other methods of exploring consumer views VIZZATA may offer a number of advantages:

  • It may be more cost effective when compared with focus groups or individual interviews – no venue is needed; simple access to participants’ generated data’, no need for transcription
  • Greater focus on eliciting participant questions
  • Provides measures of information seeking and processing among consumers
  • Possible to track consumers’ reactions to particular content
  • Less room for ‘group-think’ or convergence of opinions, but more individual opinions
  • Enables engagement of participants in a continued conversation

Although VIZZATA is a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of settings, there are situations where the use of VIZZATA is not appropriate. For example, communicators or researchers may be particularly interested in the interaction within the group and in understanding what view of the group is. In these cases, the use of focus groups may be preferable to that of VIZZATA.

It may also be the case that the aim is to involve people that are not online or not able to use a computer. Here too VIZZATA would not be appropriate.




  • Introduce unfamiliar issues in an engaging way
  • Identify areas of concern, uncertainty, scepticism and misunderstanding
  • Explore differences between groups e.g. countries, gender, familiarity with the issue
  • Discover what people want more information about

Use VIZZATA to deliberate

Related Case Studies

Consumer response to horse meat contamination

Health risks were not consumers’ first concern over horse meat contamination in the UK and Ireland.