Geodesign tools are increasingly used in collaborative planning. An important element in these tools is the communication of stakeholder values. As there are many ways to present these values it is important to know how these tools should be designed to communicate these values effectively. The objective of this study is to analyse how the design of the tool influences its effectiveness. To do this stakeholder values were included in four different geodesign tools, using different ways of ranking and aggregation. The communication performances of these tools were evaluated in an online survey to assess their ability to communicate information effectively. The survey assessed how complexity influence user performance. Performance was considered high if a user is able to complete an assignment correctly using the information presented. Knowledge on tool performance is important for selecting the right tool use and for tool design. The survey showed that tools should be as simple as possible. Adding ranking and aggregation steps makes the tools more difficult to understand and reduces performance. However, an increase in the amount of information to be processed by the user also has a negative effect on performance. Ranking and aggregation steps may be needed to limit this amount. This calls for careful tailoring of the tool to the task to be performed. For all tools it was found maybe the most important characteristic of the tools is that they allow for trial and error as this increases the opportunity for experimentation and learning by doing.