Why is it crucial to select the right usability testing questions?
The results of your usability test will highly depend on your question selection. Here are a few reasons why it’s necessary to choose the right user testing questions:
- To get an overall understanding of how users feel or perceive your app/website
- To identify issues or features that are troublesome (or such that are total blockers and need to be fixed critically)
- To understand customers fears, goals, and challenges
- To find out why users abandon tasks (for ex. cart abandonment)
- To design better workflows that will help users achieve their goals faster.
Usability testing questions for enhancing UX
We’ve split the questions into four categories: screening, pre-test, in-test, and post-test usability testing questions to make question selection easier.
Screening usability questions
Screening usability questions will help you determine what type of users to involve in your UX testing process. It’s good practice to identify and list all the criteria that an ideal participant should meet.
Demographic details questions – asking for someone’s age, gender, education, and occupation (or, in the case of businesses, inquiring about their firmographics, like company size, industry, etc.). This information is important for ensuring that the right users are testing your product. For example, if you target marketers and you have CSM’s among your participants, it will skew your results.
Tech-literacy questions – find out how often they use technologies and devices, how easy or difficult using these devices is for them. If you’re testing a feature or a product that requires high tech proficiency then you can’t have laggards among your testers.
How do you currently solve the problems this product seeks to solve? – are users also employing any competing solutions? Perhaps, they might be using a method that is much more complex and time-consuming than what you’re offering. Such insights will let you understand how to better reach target users and convince them to use your solution.
What’s your income (in case of B2C) or what’s your budget (in case of B2B solutions)? – essential for paid functions in apps, e-commerce, and premium plans. It also lets you establish who your High-Value Customers are and focus on delivering them the perfect user experience.
Pre-test usability questions
Pre-test usability questions are used to further narrow down your participants, making sure only the most suitable ones take part in your usability test.
Behavioral questions – ask: how frequently do you engage with the product (or similar products). If you want to specifically focus on power users or disengaged users, then asking this question will help you define their usage frequency.
What do you use the website or app for? – if you want to focus on specific product use cases, this user testing question will help you eliminate all users who fail to meet this criterion.
How satisfied are you with the available workflows? – while designing apps or websites we always have specific workflows in mind, which we think are easy to follow and intuitive. Use this question to discover whether users agree with your way of thinking.
Which features do you use most? – if you want to build your test around a specific feature, then this question is necessary to identify the users who are already familiar with it. If you end up with participants who have never used the feature then they won’t bring any valuable insights into the test.
What problems/tasks does the product/website/app help you solve? – products are built to solve specific problems. Asking this usability survey question will help you verify your hypotheses and confirm whether your product actually solves the problems it was designed to solve. It might also reveal new product usages which you were not aware of.
What other apps did you use or research prior to selecting this app? – answers to this usability testing question will help you check which competitors you fought against. As well as verify if new players appeared on the horizon, how you compare to them, and what you can do to outperform them.
In-test usability questions
These types of questions are asked while your users engage with your website or app. By asking in-test usability questions, you can understand how they use features, whether they find the interface clear, and why/when they decide to abandon a process, among many others.
When you log on, what’s the first thing you do? Is there another way to complete this task? – asking such a question will let you in on user motivation and the different paths they use to reach the desired result.
How do you use this feature? – while the question might seem very general, it’s worth asking to learn about any non-standard use practices. For instance, thanks to a survey conducted among users, a company called TechJury found out that their servers were being used not for business purposes, but by a gamer community. Such revelations can help you reinvent your products or features to better cater to your users.
Do you like the interface? Is it easy to use? – a simple question that will let you in on user sentiment and point to any potential UX or UI flaws.
What do you think about how information and features are laid out? – this usability testing question will help you understand if anything – from the way a product is designed, up to the way the UX message is written – might be a source of confusion.
Exit intent – if the user wants to go back to the previous page or leave the app or website altogether, ask them for the reason (for instance, the interface confuses them, errors or bugs appeared, etc.).
Post-testing usability questions
After the users have completed the usability test, it’s time to ask them about their impressions. In the post-testing phase, make sure to ask about their general experiences with your app or website, which features they liked and disliked, and whether they’d recommend your product to others. These and the other questions we display below will arm you in a whole range of invaluable insights.
Overall, what’s your experience been with the website or app? – Asking this question in the post-testing phase will let you collect live impressions from users. They might be inclined to name any confusing or underperforming areas that have stuck with them, or will give you a general opinion on the user experience. Depending on your preference and how you’ll be analyzing the insights, you might ask them to give you a score on a numerical scale or ask them for a descriptive, text answer only.
What did you like about the product? – knowing what features users appreciate will help you in your future development decisions. You’ll know which features or benefits to focus your marketing efforts on.
What didn’t you like about the product? – this info will make you aware of the product areas which require further work. Maybe there are features that you can get it rid of completely to make the product easier to use, and as a result, enhance the user experience.
Is there any product similar to this one? – when you ask this question, you’ll learn whom you’re competing for your users’ attention with. These insights will not only fuel your product strategy (i.e. how to outpace your competitors through creating better user experiences) but will also let you improve your marketing messaging, pricing strategy, and more.
What were your feelings about the instructions? – after your testers have completed the task, it’s worth asking them whether the instructions were clear. If they weren’t, you’ll understand if the reason for this was a confusing user workflow, interface, or perhaps the instructions could have been written in a better way.
Do you know anyone that would like this product? – this question is a goldmine when it comes to building out your user profiles. Ask your respondents to describe the people they think your product would be right for. For many of us, it’s easier to talk about people and what goals, challenges, and fears they have than to talk about products.
Customer Effort Score (CES) – this usability survey question is a popular metric measured by product teams. Asked after a completed task, it lets you collect quantitative data on how difficult or easy it was to perform the task users have just finished, and nail down improvement areas.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) – NPS is arguably the most popular customer satisfaction metric in the world. It lets you ask your users: “How likely are you to recommend this website or app to others?” on a scale from 0 to 10, and ask them for the reasons behind their answer. While the NPS score, per se, is a metric used to track overall customer loyalty levels, it's invaluable for UX teams. Reading the low scored responses (i.e. between 0 and 6) along with the commentary will help you capture any recurring usability issues.
Given your experience, how frequently would you use this product/feature? – After your respondents have used a certain feature or product, they’ll likely be able to evaluate how often they’d need (or want) it. By asking this question, you’ll find out what impression the product/feature has made, and how important it is in helping users achieve their goals.
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As we’ve shown in the examples above, there are plenty of user testing questions worth asking when you conduct usability testing. In the screening phase, we recommend that you ask your users for basic information, such as their demographics or firmographics to build accurate user profiles. This should be followed by behavioral questions asked in the pre-test stage.
During the test, it’s important that you collect insights on your product, interface, or specific user paths. Last, but not least, after your users have completed the task, you should ask for their general impressions to learn how you can improve the user experience. All these insights will help you optimize your product and ensure you’re a relevant service for your users.
All that’s left to say? Good luck!