23 Fantastic Usability Test Questions To Ask (& 11 You Shouldn’t)

Writing usability test questions sounds easy at first. You just have to ask users what they think about your product, right?

But as you start brainstorming questions, you’ll quickly discover that it’s not so easy after all. For starters, people will interpret your questions differently based on how they’re worded. Plus, writing questions that provide you with objectively useful product insights is challenging. Which users should you ask? What type of product experience do they need? There are so many variables to consider, you can see how creating the right usability test questions takes time.

To help you figure out what types of questions to ask participants, we put together 23 examples of usability test questions you should definitely ask—along with why—as well as 11 you definitely shouldn’t.

Why choosing the right usability test questions matters

It’s one thing to ask the opinion of users—they’re usually willing to share—but it’s another thing entirely to ask questions that get to the heart of their experience.

Usability testing is a form of research that helps you understand your users on a deeper level, their needs and expectations, and how they use your app or website.

Usability tests help you:

  • Learn more about how users feel about your website or app. You’ll be able to determine whether these platforms offer value, are effective at helping users complete tasks, and more.
  • Uncover how much users know your website or app. You’ll learn whether users use your platform the way you intend them to or if they’ve found workarounds because the platform isn’t intuitive.
  • Determine what issues users are encountering. You’ll get a better understanding of what frustrates users and what stops them from using your website or app more than they already do.
  • Design better workflows that get users to a solution faster. Based on the insights, you’ll be able to make changes to your website or app that improve the user experience.

Before you ask your first question, you have to define the objective of the usability test. For example, decide if you want to learn about a particular workflow or how easy it is to use your app, or about how you’ve formatted and laid out information. A clear objective, that’s set early on, helps you create the right types of questions.

Your usability test questions have to be specific, relevant, thought-provoking, clear and concise, and guide the conversation vs. lead it. This is easier said than done. These questions have to also get to the heart of why users use your products the way they do. Not all users are conscious of the ‘why’ behind their actions, so your questions have to help them talk through their usage patterns.

In addition, your usability test can also include an exercise component where users log onto your app or website and talk through what they’re doing. As they navigate the system, observe their actions and ask thoughtful follow-up questions as to why they complete certain tasks the way they do. Their responses will give you deeper insights into how well users understand your products and their pain points.

Without this approach, the data you collect won’t always match your objective or give you insights that you can use.

To help guide usability testing, there are four types of usability test questions:

  1. Screening questions
  2. Pre-test questions
  3. In-test questions
  4. Post-test questions

We’ll look at examples of usability test questions for each of these shortly, but before we do, keep in mind that in order to stimulate conversation and get meaningful feedback, include a mix of open-ended questions with follow-ups and multiple-choice questions. The more details you capture, the better.

Screening questions

At this stage of your usability test, you have to decide on what types of users to include in the process. Depending on the objective of the test, create a list of criteria of what defines an ideal participant. Do you want new users who’ve just started using your platform, or do you want power users with extensive experience?

Defining your ideal participants ensures that the data you collect comes from users most likely to give valid and relevant insights.

1. How old are you?

If part of your call for participants includes asking them their age range, use this screening question to verify that they are, in fact, within the desired range.

Confirming age is important because depending on the kind of usability testing you’re doing, participants in the wrong age range could skew your results. Since these results aren’t an accurate depiction of the user experience, they can’t be used in your analysis.

2. What’s your income level?

If your app includes payment tiers or you…read more