Website usability surveys are meant to find out the pattern of usage of a website by a specific set of users. The results provided by usability surveys should provide specific answers to the design team so that they can make the required changes to enhance the usability and engagement of visitors to the website.
It is important to understand that any kind of usability survey will have some inherent bias. However, a carefully designed survey with a big enough sample size can be statistically analyzed and provide objective data to act upon. Therefore, it is important to design surveys keeping the end goal is in mind.
There are many different methods of conducting usability surveys but almost all of them have a common core. We defined below the common core of most of the usability surveys. There are times when the availability of technology inhibits the actual end goals of the usability surveys. Hence, it is important for the survey designers to always keep the end goals in mind and make use of technology only as an enhancer instead of it being the primary focus.
Website Usability Survey Template
There are many different templates available online for testing website usability. It is important to choose the questions based on the area the website the wants to focus on. Therefore, one should only ask open-ended questions if one has the resources available to go through the responses to the survey and find meaningful data from such open-ended questions.
Open ended questions are definitely preferred as the users are able to share much more information about the website as restricting their choice to a particular set of answers may inhibit their answers. However, open ended questions can quickly turn into a bane from a boon, if enough resources are not available to go through the data and make some sense of the responses provided by the survey takers.
Asking open ended questions such as “Areas where you would like to see improvement”, may results in a wide variety of answers and if there are too many responses, it will be very difficult to go through the responses and take out something tangible/actionable from the answers.
Below I’ll define some of the sample questions which may be included in various types of website usability surveys.
1. Describe the website in one word?
It is important to not keep this question open-ended and provide the choice to survey takers between a few words. Care should be taken to choose words which are appropriate for defining both good and bad. If one just keeps this question open-ended, it will be very difficult to generate meaningful data from such question especially if the sample size is too big.
For providing the choices for responses, one can scour the internet for words which adequately describe various emotions.
2. Rate the website on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best and one being the worst.
The rating scale in this question is defined clearly. One can also ask a supplementary question such as the reason for giving such a score. Also, this question can pertain to usability testing of the whole website or a particular part of the website or a particular product.
3. What would you like to change in the website?
This is an open-ended question and is perfect for getting information on the pain points faced by the users. It can pertain to missing features, changes in navigation or addition of a help section or something else. This question does not have to be necessarily open-ended and one can definitely restricted to a particular area of the website depending on the end goals.
4. What is the one feature you would like to be there always?
Again, this can be an open-ended question or a question with certain choices. The goal of this question is to get feedback from the users regarding their preference for a particular feature(s) in the website. If one is testing a new set of features in a particular area of the website, this survey question can always be restricted to those particular set of features.
5. Would you like to recommend this website to your friends and family?
This is a closed question with the choices being only yes and no. If this question is asked with certain other questions, it can reveal a lot about the users such as their overall like or dislike for the whole website or a particular feature set of the website.
6. How often do you use this website?
This question can be a close ended question with the choices given in particular ranges such daily, once a week, once a month or more frequently. This can also be an open-ended question which can reveal a lot more about the visitors.
7. Were you able to find the information you wanted on the website?
This can be both an open-ended and a close ended question with the options being yes, no and partially yes. A supplementary question can be attached to this question by asking for specific information user was looking for which was not available on the website.
8. How do you rate the navigability within the website?
The answers to this question may contain several choices ranging from 1 to 5 which can move from a very easy to very difficult and other options in between.
9. What is the primary use of this website for you?
The answers to this question can be a choice between usage of website for work, for school or for other purposes.
10. Rate the various web pages on a scale from Excellent to Did not notice.
The answer to this question can have a list of different web pages along with radio buttons for rating each page. The answer to the questions can reveal characteristics of a web page preferred by the readers for that particular niche.
These are some of the questions which can reveal a lot about the overall usability of the website. However, as mentioned above, there are many things which depend on the end goal of the usability survey. The usability surveys can be designed only on a case to case basis. Therefore, one should take extra care while designing questions for the website usability survey.