How do you ask Questions?
How do you find what the user has been experiencing? By asking questions.
What could be the best possible way?
I have seen myself asking questions about something, going deep into my research, and eventually the user gets bored, stops answering, or even answers blatantly.
Before we dive into the type of questions that you can ask, I’d like to tell some types of research methods:
The most common type. Get one of your user to sit down in front of you, or maybe on a video call, and ask them a set of questions, on by one. Do not rely on your memory here, keep a record of the interviews.
- Individual Surveys:
A form, with questions, lots of them. People can answer them online and/or offline. How you make forms and surveys is really important so that you make sure the user doesn’t get bored. This can help because it doesn’t require everyone to reveal their identity. So people are more transparent over some serious issues.
- Group Surveys:
Get a bunch of people in a group together, and ask them to discuss the questions you have. Ask same questions to everyone. In this case, there are out spoken people who take charge and do not let the others speak. The Extrovert and Introvert personalities come into play, and this may not lead in a very transparent research. People might lie to avoid embarrassment or if the majority prefer some other answer.
- Self Research by Googling or Observation:
Now this is really interesting. You can either observe patterns in user behaviors, in some buttons getting clicked more often than others or the search bar being favored more. You can find useful opinions about generic ideas for free on the internet on click away. But it won’t be regarding your specific product.
The Fundamental Questions
- Particular questions
These type of questions require a specific answer — “Which is your most used feature?”, “How do you want this menu to look?” or “Which is your preferred version?”. You can find out user specific details from these kinds of questions.
- Direct Questions
These questions are a simple one-out-of-two-choices questions. This or that. Yes or no. Right or left. There are some interesting questions you can ask in this category.
- Open questions
These questions can get the user hooked. “How would you describe the app”. Open ended questions can get you all the feedback you want.
I prefer starting with the open questions, picking a topic out of them, and them using the particular and direct questions to find out the problem in detail.
You need to observe the users really well while they answers questions.
- Do not complete their answers. Let them answer while you stand there listening to them quietly.
- While asking questions in a group, favor the less chosen option more, so that people who like the less chosen option can open up. Otherwise they will lie and get your approval.
- While on a call, record the call. Write what they speak, take notes. You cannot trust your memory. It’ll remember what it feels is important. But wait. Whatever the user says to you, is gold. Do not let anything go before the first review.
- Do not just focus on the results. Focus on the process as well. Rather, keep track of the process more than the results. You’ll have the results stored, but you are more likely to not record or keep a track of the process.
Always approach user testing as if you expect users to lie about something, even if they don’t realize it, because you can’t trust a user any farther than you can throw them.