Best usability testing questions you need to ask for the greatest results

September 30, 2024
12 minutes read
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When completing usability testing, you must ask the right questions to get meaningful data to improve your product. Usability testing helps you understand your product or service from the view of your audience.  In this blog post, we are giving you usability testing questionnaire samples to guide you in creating your own for a successful evaluation of your service and explaining what to do during the testing process.

When completing a user test, there’s more than one kind of usability testing.

The two methods for gathering data:

  • Observing live users interact with your product
  • Asking pre-defined questions to guide their journey and gathering feedback.

The former will be the core of your test. You can use questions to gather feedback on specific elements and understand your user's pain points as they use your product.

You should identify one or two main issues you wish to improve during user testing. Questions during this process will help you guide users to voicing their opinions about your service's usability.

Usability survey questions are different because you know the person testing your product. You know their:

  • Demographic
  • Familiarity with your product
  • How well they understand technology
  • Other pieces of information vital for product usability

So, in both instances, understanding how to design questions that lead to users appropriately you want is important.

Now, let's get into the meat of this article so you fully understand everything there is to know about usability testing questionnaires.  

Key Takeaways

  • Why usability testing sessions are important for UX
  • The three app and website usability testing methods
  • Examples of usability testing questions
  • Examples of bas user testing questions
  • How to modify moderated usability testing questions
  • How to create user questions for unmoderated remote testing
  • Questions testers could ask during usability testing and how to respond
  • Questions to ask after the conducting usability tests

Why do you need usability testing questions established for user testing?

Usability testing is research about your product. And, like a science experiment, you need to have questions to learn what users do with your product, why, and how users interact with it.

Usability questions help you:

  • Discover usability issues or bugs
  • Get real feedback from users
  • Gain deeper knowledge of your audience
  • See if your product meets user expectations
  • Learn if your product works as expected
  • Understand if your product is simple for users

All the information you will gain is vital for the success of your product. So, seeing why you need usability questions that guide test participants is straightforward to understand.

The three main types of usability testing questions

When conducting a usability test there are three types of questions you should ask. There are slight variations of these questions, which we will cover.

But, the three types of questions you will for user testing sessions are:

  1. Pre-test usability questions (for qualifying participants)
  2. Questions during testing
  3. Post-test questions

We will now outline good questions and bad questions for each of these question types.

Important screening questions to ask before you begin a usability test

As you begin the process of UX testing with real users, you may feel the urge to ask for volunteers to test your product. But you should remember that not all people are your target audience. If a person doesn't match your product's audience, their user research results could be helpful, but you will not get the answers you need to improve your product for people who will actually use it. Remember first and foremost when testing you’re looking for answers that will help you improve the overall user experience for your audience.

So, how can you ensure you choose the right questions to help you understand the right users to test your product?

To understand if a participant will give you the best chances of gaining feedback that could come from actual users, you can do a pre-test questionnaire.

A pre-test questionnaire works similarly to qualifying a lead. When you have a new lead, you will probably have questions to understand their needs and ensure they are the best fit for your products and services. If they aren't, you may choose to cancel your meeting or not offer services to them during your meeting as you learn more. Right?

So, think of pre-test questionnaires as lead qualification for a different context. Now, what are some common questions you can ask? And, how can you know the right types of questions to ask? Let’s now cover the right usability questions, so you can write questions that have impact and help you improve the user experience.

Common pre-test questions to determine demographic fit for your product

Finding the right people is important when conducting a test because you can spot trends across age groups, nationalities, genders, income brackets, etc. Then you can use the trend results of your usability testing to make improvements.

Here are some great questions that help you avoid insensitive questions that could negatively affect people's perception of your business:

  • What's your age group? 18-24, 25-30, 31-40.
  • How would you best describe your gender?
  • What's your relationship status?
  • What's your annual household income?
  • How do you define your ethnicity?

You should tactfully word such questions so you do not offend anyone. These questions allow you to understand the people who volunteer to test and see if they are the users you want to test.

Questions about experience with your product

In addition to the basic questions above, you can include others related to product habits and personal preferences. If someone uses a competitor's service, you can analyze their results more closely to understand why, but you must first identify this with usability experience questions.

As you think about the questions related to your product, consider how they can help you create post-test questions.

Here are some background experience questions you can ask:

  • How frequently do you use our product?
  • Which features do you like and use most often?
  • How comfortable do you feel doing [action] when using our app?
  • What other products do you use to complete [action], and how does it easily compare to ours?
  • What other products do you use in the [insert your industry]?
  • How often do you use our product to complete [action]?
  • What device do you use when completing [action] with our app/service?
  • Why do you use this device?

These questions, combined with the questions about income and age, will give you a good idea of whether someone fits your user testing.

Now, you must choose the right usability testing questions at this testing stage to ensure success.

What questions should you ask during the usability test?

When asking in-test usability questions, these must help you pinpoint design issues. You can ask probing questions so you can gain deep insight into their ideas about your products.

However, you need to balance the right questions with the number of questions you ask. You can't expect users to ask 150 questions and expect people to answer all of them.

To avoid over-reliance on questions, you can create usability tasks. When doing so, you can ask people to complete a task, see how they do so and the problems they encounter, and gain data to simplify the task.

The first and most important rule of usability testing is to avoid leading questions. Leading questions influence people's perceptions and ideas of your product. If you ask them, you will receive flawed data related to your product and will be unable to improve usability.

Instead, aim for neutral questions and word them correctly to ensure unbiased user responses.

Here are some examples questions for usability testing that will produce biased answers from your participants:

  • If completing this task was enjoyable, what made it so?
  • How simple was the interface?
  • How clean was the platform's interface?
  • Was language straightforward, clear, and unconfusing?

Why is it bad for your test results when these questions are used? Why would they produce skewed results during your usability studies?

This type of question gives users ideas that your product is inherently 'enjoyable,' 'clean,' 'simple,' and 'unconfusing.' You should avoid posing questions in a way that adjectives enter your tester’s minds because these invite users to share ideas about your perception of your product.

How to ask effective usability testing questions

Here's how you could improve the questions above to produce unskewed results:

  • Can you describe your experience completing the task?
  • How was the user interface?
  • How do you find the language used on this page?

Can you see the difference between these questions and those you shouldn't ask?

The main difference is that these are open-ended. These questions leave it to the user to define their own experience without planting a seed of how your product is.

You should opt for open-ended rather than close-ended questions which avoid adjectives because they allow you to collect unbiased data while giving respondents the chance to reply in detail. If you choose one-word response questions, like yes or no, you significantly limit your ability to make informed decisions about your product and implement specific changes.

You cannot understand, for example, if a user is struggling to complete a task, the reason why. Next, if a user finds it difficult to explain their response, you risk them answering 'yes' just to get through the question quickly.

Here are some excellent questions you can use to inspire more questions that give you as much data as possible while not overwhelming your testers:

  • What do you feel about the layout of features and information presented in our app/website?
  • How did you land on [page]?
  • How would you describe navigating to [x pages]?
  • What's your opinion of the descriptions and instructions on [x page]?
  • What's your perception of [feature], and what is it trying to tell you about the product?
  • Have you seen [content] presented in other ways? If so, how?
  • How would you prefer to complete [task] if you could arrange the steps needed to complete it?
  • How would [feature] change your or your team's workflow?

These open-ended questions guide your user to think about and reflect on the task.

You can use These general questions to understand people's mindset as they use your product. However, these questions are basic and will not account for testing across all environments and contexts.

When completing a usability test, you can administer the test in two contexts. Let's learn about them and how to modify your usability testing questionnaire to accommodate users according to their environment and your involvement.

Unmoderated vs. remote usability testing questionnaires

In the past, usability testing only occurred in person unless a business had loads of money to spend on advanced equipment. With the rise of high-speed internet, your business can offer remote usability testing to quickly gather large amounts of data about your products and service with usability testing tools like:

  • Maze
  • Lookback
  • Usability hub

As such, you can complete two types of testing: unmoderated remote usability testing and moderated testing.

The questions you should ask are largely similar regardless of the type of testing you decide to conduct. However, there are a few differences of which you should be aware to ask questions that get good responses.

Usability testing questionnaire sample for moderated testing

When conducting a moderated test, you have the luxury of asking follow-up questions to your participants. You should not avoid doing so, as it benefits you, your product, and your business.

Here are some sample questions you can ask about user behavior to take full advantage of in-person usability testing.

  • I can see you [insert action taken]. Can you elaborate on why you did it?
  • Did you see you could also complete [action] in the app/website? Why did you opt for your method?
  • During the last step in completing the action, you seemed hesitant. What were you thinking at this time?

Even though you're moderating the usability test, you should still respect your participant's time and keep questions concise and minimal. Ask only the most important questions, and make sure you keep the participant feeling relaxed.

When asking a participant questions, you can follow some steps to ensure you aren't bombarding but guiding users to provide you with valuable information.

These steps help you discern if the user was providing valuable information or just speaking through your questions.

They are:

  1. Understand if a user was answering your question or speaking to themselves. If the former, ask follow-up questions if you cannot understand.
  2. Can you tell what a mumble means? If not, ask for a proper explanation.
  3. Decide if follow-up questions will bring you more useful and relevant information. If so, ask. If not, don't.

Generally, you should pose your question meticulously before asking and if you should ask or avoid the question.

Questions for unmoderated usability tests

When you are conducting unmoderated tests, unfortunately, follow-up questions aren't possible. So, it's important to thoroughly think through questions as you write them to extract the most meaningful data from your usability testing participants.

In this case, you can ask open-ended questions but not follow up if something is unclear.

The best approach for these situations is to use any of the following:

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • System usability scale questions

Here are some examples:

  • Which of the following approaches did you prefer when completing [task]? (Multiple choice)
  • From 1 to 10, 1 being friendly and 10 being difficult, how did you find the user interface of [your product name]? (Scale)
  • How did you find the ordering process? (Very intuitive, somewhat intuitive, unintuitive) (scale)

When writing your questions, aim for simple-to-understand language. The practice is important in all situations, especially when conducting unmoderated usability testing.  In unmoderated environments if questions are open-ended it could lead users to confusion and result in unclear test results when you want qualitative usability testing data.

Best practices for replying to respondents during a test

Inevitably, questions come up in people’s minds during usability testing. Understanding how you should answer questions is important because it could skew your results if you answer incorrectly. You can;t refuse to answer any questions.

If users ask you how to complete a task or where to find a function, it may seem harmless to give them the answer. But, as you are testing usability, it's best to prepare clear, detailed instructions that could answer questions testers could have.

If you are using a testing platform, you must build these questions into the platform. It will ensure all users have a similar experience with your product and produce the most accurate answers for your test.

But what should you do if users ask very in-depth questions about completing a task or the functions of your product?

It's best to give a diplomatic but boundary-setting response to such inquiries. To prepare for this, you should come up with a generic answer you could give all participants.

If your participant wants to ask this question, “Where is the button to open the menu and click on the file?”

You should reply:

"Unfortunately I cannot help you with that because it may impact the results of the test, but please refer to the instructions provided and do what you feel is best."

Providing such a response is diplomatic and sets a boundary so your test succeeds.

So, what questions are great to ansk after an assessment?

Good usability testing questions to ask after the test is complete

The participants may need a mental break at the end of your usability testing. So, your questions about their overall experience need to be open-ended so you can improve.

Here are some examples:

  • How did you find the overall experience with the site/app?
  • What did you like the most about it?
  • What did you dislike most?
  • Can you describe your experience using the product?
  • Could you see yourself using this product in everyday life? If so, what for? If not, why?
  • What features could be added to make you more likely to use the product more frequently?

You may want a more formal post-test question process, depending on your product or service.

Lastly, you should not forget to thank your tester. The tester gave you their time and thoughts, which are valuable for your business.


Completing usability testing should be a straightforward process. This blog post aims to help you create questions that will bring you the most actionable data from your testers. You may be wondering if these are only good for websites, but the answer is no! These are great app usability testing questions too!

All the questions mentioned in this post should give you a great starting point. You should consider your product, the different types of usability test metrics you want to get data about, then devise your questions. But you should follow the guidance presented here. These usability testing questionnaire samples can guide you in crafting more specific questions that lead to unskewed answers so you can improve your product’s overall usability.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What questions should I ask in usability testing?

What did you think of the product's user experience? Were there any issues or confusion when interacting with it? What suggestions do you have to improve the design?

What are examples of usability testing?

Usability testing involves giving potential customers a specific task to measure their experience with a product or service. Companies can use it to understand the usability of their products and ensure customer satisfaction.

What are the 5 factors that determine the usability of a test?

Usability testing is determined by five main factors; Learnability, Efficiency, Memorability, Failures and Satisfaction.

Why are usability testing questions important?

Usability testing questions are essential for uncovering user needs, expectations and experiences to improve the performance of websites and apps.

What are the key components of a usability testing questionnaire?

Usability testing questionnaires should contain pre-test questions regarding demographic and background information, task-based questions during the test, and post-test reflection and feedback inquiries.

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