The key to great questioning during a user test is respecting natural human limitations in cognition.

While this sounds obvious, test creators often ignore natural human limitations because they want to get a specific question answered.

Key to good user testing questions:

When creating user tests, keep in mind, people are good at explaining why something is confusing, but bad at creating solutions. Tweet this

Example of a bad question:


You probably want to know the answer to this question, but it is counter-productive to ask this question for three reasons:

  1. A person’s mental visualization of the solution rarely translates properly via text.
  2. Without testing a proposed “solution”, it is hard to tell if that person really would feel that it is “easier”.
  3. The test subject doesn’t have the proper background information on the product and company goals to answer this question.


Example of a good question:

This is a good follow-up question if the test subject struggles to complete a task. Since the test subject had an emotional reaction to completing a task (eg it was confusing), he/she typically can point to the source of the confusion.

Conclusion: The best user testing questions ask a test subject why they did something or what they found confusing. Asking for a solution, however, is a bad idea. Tweet this