10 Usability Survey Question Examples

Every usability survey question you include in your feedback form counts. So, you will find yourself at an impasse when it comes time to create thee surveys, and one that’s often challenging to overcome. But, it’s not impossible to overcome this.

What is this impasse, you might ask? Well, you need the survey to cover every detail that matters, and you need to ensure the most diverse and broad range of input you can get. But, every usability survey question you add lengthens the survey, and surveys that are too long and tedious are a problem, especially when the survey is for focus groups, not in house testers, which is the case at least three quarters of the time.

Oh, no! You need good data, but you can’t ask entirely too many questions to get it, so what ever shall you do?! Simple, choose your questions wisely! Below are a few examples of clever questions that not only inspire the user to be forthcoming, but provide insight into their experience with the design in ways you might not have thought of.

#1 – Would you recommend this to a friend?

This is the most generically common one on the list, and most questionnaires ask a derivative of this somewhere. Well, this is the quickest way to get a general overview of how they feel having tried the design. You can get a closer look by providing answer options such as “Yes/No because …”, encouraging them to explain why they feel the way they do.

#2 – How would you describe this in one word?

This is basically similar to the psych test of “when I say a word, say one in response”, not giving the users a long time to hem and haw about how to describe an experience. It’s a raw response and one that says a lot more than a paragraph normally might.

#3 – If this were a car, what car would it be?

Creative, right? This will give you a view of how fast and slick the usability came off to the user, plain and simple.

#4 – How does it compare to (given competitor)?

Another obvious one, but direct comparisons, in the eyes of the demographic, are useful.

#5 – What do you find most frustrating about this?

This encourages negative feedback in cases where users are too polite to complain unless asked to, and also will give you a good view, collectively, of the most troublesome aspects of your design.

#6 – How easy do you find this?

You want the system to be easy to use and comfortable to work with, so if your users are finding it not easy overall, well, back to the drawing board you go!

#7 – If you could change one thing, what would it be and why?

This is another way to discover what’s missing or what needs to be taken away from a design, to make it better meet the needs and desires of your demographic. Again, encouraging negative constructive feedback.

#8 – What features could you not do without?

This is a way to see what features the majority see as immutable and crucial to the experience being positive over all.

#9 – Which features could you do without?

Offsetting the previous, this shows which ones users on average don’t find as important, so when it’s time to omit problematic or overly ambitious additional functionality, you know what’s safer to drop.

#10 – Be brutal. Anything else to share or criticize? We can take it!

Maybe not in these words, though being creative and humorous with wording this question helps. But, this will encourage them to provide any additional information, be it criticisms, praise or simple suggestions that no set of questions could predict in order to ask for.

Like we said, every usability survey question counts, and these are ten that we know from experience get the maximum amount of useful insight for the minimal work from the survey takers.

Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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