The Best UX Research Interview Questions to Ask Users
The software development market is booming now, with hundreds of new apps entering app stores every day. As user demand grows, more and more businesses invest in costly app projects. However, not all of them succeed, and the common reason for a failure is wrong user demand analysis. Understanding your users inside out is the major precondition for market success. Thus, UX research has taken a firm place in software businesses’ development pipelines, informing companies about:
- Available analogs
- Unmet user needs
- User expectations
- Size of the target audience
Yet, finding out what you need with UX research is not that easy. First, you need to ask the right questions, ensuring that the instruments are properly tailored to the project’s purpose. Second, you need to make sense of the collected data. It usually gives some facts, opinions, and observations, but how do transform them into workable design solutions to create logos, banners, headers and more. This guide covers all details of using UX research for effective UX web app design.
Introductory UX Research Questions
The introductory part of an interview should give a general impression of the participant. So, it usually inquires about their overall daily practices and interactions with digital products. Examples of such questions are as follows.
- What is your typical daily routine on weekdays and weekends?
- When does your first use of the Internet occur on a typical day?
- What apps and websites do you use every day? Which ones are the most often used?
- Are your job duties connected with Internet use or specific app use?
- Which apps do you use for work and leisure?
Next comes a portion of questions related directly to your project’s usability and business idea validation. Every new app wants to solve a specific problem in the user’s life, so UX research should find out more about that problem. Let’s take health insurance as an example. You might be planning to launch a new health insurance app, and you are interested in how your target users currently use digital products for health insurance choice, management, renewal, and claim processing. Your questions may be as follows:
- What’s your relationship with the topic of health insurance? Do you have one? Do you think you’re experienced in this field?
- How do you currently buy/renew your insurance?
- How much time do you usually spend on choosing insurance for yourself or one of your family members?
- What was the last time you tried to get insurance?
- What do you like about your current method of buying/renewing your insurance?
- What are the most significant pain points in insurance registration and claim processing?
- What do you usually do to manage these problems?
- How does the problem with insurance updates or claims processing impact other areas of your life?
- Do you use any apps for personal insurance management? Did you try any?
- How did you hear about the personal insurance management apps you used?
- What did you like and dislike about insurance apps you have tried?
- Are you looking for an alternative solution to cumbersome insurance management now?
Another aspect of UX research should focus on the perceived potential of your suggested product in the app market, as seen by your respondents. Even if they don’t use any insurance apps at present, they may think about why anyone else would need them. This part of the question is valuable for all UX researchers as it shows the room for opportunities and points at the unmet user needs. You can ask questions as follows:
- What do you think of this project?
- Do you believe it could be interesting to anyone?
- What about you? Would you use this project in some circumstances?
- Do you believe the product is trustworthy? Why or why not?
- What perceived value or benefit do you see in this product personally for you?
- Would you start using it right now?
- What do you think can urge people to drop this product? Do you notice any important minus?
- What is the maximum price you’re ready to pay for such an app?
- Do you think it is analogous to any other product? What are the similarities and differences?
People often rationalize their choice of specific apps and websites. Yet, every UX designer knows that emotions guide most people in their decisions to take or drop apps. Thus, you need to focus on the emotional domain in your UX research every time you test the waters for a new app. Questions in this section should focus on the following:
- What is the most appealing aspect/feature of this product to you?
- What was the most significant challenge in using it for you?
- Did you find anything unexpected or counter-intuitive?
- What would you propose to change so that the product gets better?
- Did you miss anything in the product’s features?
- Would you continue using this product?
- Would you recommend it to your peers? What would you say to them about it?
Quick Intro to Research Methods
Now that you know what to ask, it’s necessary to clarify how to ask that. UX research is varied and diverse, including many methods for making things work. First, you need to distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research. The former gives you narrative data, and the latter yields numbers and statistics. You can find both valuable for your project.
Quantitative research helps collect large-scale data and shows the “what” of UX design. It can show the percentage of people accepting or abandoning some apps. Survey data can also give a broad impression of user opinions and attitudes. Yet, you shouldn’t expect the depth of insight from these studies. Quantitative data can be collected with:
- A/B testing
- Funnel analysis
- Cohort analysis
Qualitative research methods can answer the “why” question better. They include:
- User diary studies
- Focus groups
- Observations of users in natural settings (ethnography)
- Usability testing
- Card sorting
Tips for Formulating the Right Questions
Now that you have an extensive list of questions at hand, you will likely not experience any trouble finding out what people think of your product and what they need from products like yours. However, you should be ready to design your own lists depending on different project goals and specifics. Here are a couple of tips to help you write effective, insightful questions to get to the depth of user experience.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions are always better as they give participants a chance to tell their stories and share their subjective impressions. Closer-ended questions don’t allow the degree of maneuver necessary for collecting a rich data set. There can always be something more behind the simple “yes” or “no” answer, and you will never find it out without asking open questions.
Mix General and Product-Specific Questions
Any research session can give you valuable insights into what people think about your product in particular while at the same time enabling a broader market outlook. So, when you reach out to people, try to get as much data as possible. The insights from some questions might be unexpectedly valuable, giving you a new perspective or new solution to a design challenge.
An objective assessment of the product’s functionality is a vital indicator of your approach’s success. Yet, it’s not all you should know about the product. It also helps assess the subjective, emotional side of the issue by asking about users’ reactions. The emotional response to your product is often the most significant part of the user’s perception as it determines whether they will stay or go. Thus, you need to measure both the “what” and “why” of product success or failure, making better decisions in the future.
As we’ve already mentioned, open-ended questions encourage people to share their insights. This effect may be amplified by using storytelling prompts. Ask your respondents something like, “tell me more about…” or “imagine yourself in a situation….” These prompts stimulate people’s imagination and enrich their narratives with helpful research details.
Don’t Neglect the Research Phase
As you can see, UX research is vital for software product development, as it can give you an idea of what people want and why they need it. Software development costs are rising daily, so it’s short-sighted to go for a business idea without validating it with real users. So, go out and ask people about their preferences; this information will help you nail the market instead of doing guesswork.