How to develop questions for qualitative user research


User testing


When you interview your users for qualitative user research, you require a lot of effort and time. You should have a proper plan and spend weeks collecting data from your users. Before that, you need to practice questions and organize your notes. After all these efforts, you expect better results. You do understand that proper execution of the plan is essential. All the time and effort you invest in your research will be a waste if you do not follow through. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to conduct an interview with your users and create relevant questions that assure accurate results. In this article, you will understand step by step methods of developing questions for qualitative user research:



1. Define theme


Without defining the theme of your interview sessions, you cannot identify the effectiveness of your outcome. Consequently, start brainstorming with your team. Your brainstorming sessions will help you focus on the goal throughout the process. Keep in mind that all your questions should be relevant to your research. Therefore, you need to have a complete picture of the construction of the questions.



2. Make different sections


After creating a broad theme, your team can list down the ideas reflecting your research. These ideas will work as a tool to decide questions. While browsing the ideas, you can easily make different sections. It is important to understand that dividing the questions into different sections will help the users answer them better. As a result, your answers will be accurate following a pattern. Also, the questions should align strategically with your theme. After creating different sections on the ideas, start writing the questions.



3. Avoid questions that influence the answers


This step includes an analysis of your questions. You need to closely look through all the questions and remove all the irrelevant ones. Also, remove all those questions that influence your answer or are biased. To get honest answers, your questions should not lead participants towards a response. For instance, avoid asking questions such as “do you feel happy about the product?” Instead, you should ask, “how do you feel about purchasing this product?”



4. Ask for examples


Most research participants hesitate to communicate their feelings with the user interface. Therefore, their answers will not be as accurate as others. To overcome this problem, you need to be more specific. For that, you can ask the users about their experience. This way, they will be more open while answering. You can separately create different series of questions for each section.



5. Choose open-ended questions


While interviewing your participants, remember to give value to the experience and opinions of the participants. However, many of them will find it uncomfortable during interviews. You need to understand different types of participants and organize your questions accordingly. For instance, some users will respond in yes or no, while others will be okay to share their experience. You can avoid yes or no type answers by selecting open-ended questions. Consequently, adding follow-up questions will help participants to open up.




Developing questions like a professional requires skills and time. Initially, you might find it hard to include better questions. However, you need to practice with confidence. Hopefully, the above tips will give you a head start on your journey to develop questions for qualitative user research.


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