Questions should encourage thought and insightful answers. Without effective questions, the information you gather will have no impact on what you want to achieve. This means that each question you ask should provide an answer from which you can take action. This will help you reach your UX goals.

Here are 5 tips to help you on your road to UX success.

Outline your goals

The beginning of any project should start by outlining your goals; what you want to achieve from this test. These goals must be measurable and each question should provide answers directed at achieving your goals. The objectives that you set shouldn’t revolve around identifying all usability issues but rather focus on the creation of a hypothesis. Your hypothesis is what you can test your designs around and helps to discover the following steps in improving designs.

n example of a hypothesis for a registration site could be:

If we provide more buttons that say to register then we will achieve more conversions as the user will be aware of the call-to-action.

Keep it simple

As a UX professional, you understand the industry jargon, but it’s unlikely your participants will understand it. Communicate with your users in their language. They don’t have time, nor do they care about jargon.

Ask open ended questions

Your style of questions can ultimately determine the success of your test. Your questions should be objective and open. Do not lead the participants with the questions. You want unbiased answers without swaying the opinion of your participants.

Your questions should remain open ended. This allows the participant to draw from their own experiences and deliver an entirely honest and meaningful answer. Test your questions on colleagues before executing your user test. Then you can refine your questions to ensure they deliver the answers you need.

A good test is steering away from questions where you might get yes or no answers. For example:

Instead of writing:

Do you speak English?

Yes / no

You should write:

Which of the following languages do you speak?

German, French, English, Mandarin, Japanese, Other: _______

Compare and review

Once you have written your questions, compare each one’s relevance against your goals. Does each one help you to achieve the goals you have set for this test? If not, reevaluate and adjust accordingly.

Be prepared for the unpredictable

You need to be prepared for the unexpected; answers that you didn’t foresee. Don’t see this as something to worry about, but rather as a golden opportunity. You will be able to dig deeper into areas you didn’t realise were an issue, or an opportunity. Be prepared to improvise when given unpredictable answers.