A Guide to Writing Great Queries Your Next User Test

Charlotte Miller

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A Guide to Writing Great Queries Your Next User Test

You were staring at a user test, wondering, “Are my questions hitting the mark, or are they just missing the boat entirely?” Fear not, because we’ve all been there. It’s like trying to hit a target blindfolded – you hope for the best, but there’s that nagging doubt.

The success of a user test largely depends on the quality of the queries you pose to your participants. Crafting queries for a user test isn’t just about stringing words together; it’s an art that requires finesse and precision.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the nuances of writing great queries, exploring how the right questions can unlock invaluable insights, and why a user testing tool might just be the ace up your sleeve.

1. Keep it Simple, Yet Specific:

The cardinal rule of writing queries for user tests is to keep them simple. Your participants are not mind readers, so don’t expect them to decipher convoluted questions. However, simplicity doesn’t mean sacrificing specificity. Be clear about what you want to know, and ask direct questions.

For example, instead of asking, “What are your general thoughts on the design?” try, “Can you share your thoughts on the placement of the navigation bar? Is it intuitive for you?”

2. Focus on User Goals:

User testing is all about understanding how your product or service aligns with the goals and expectations of your users. Tailor your queries to revolve around these user goals. Your questions should probe into these aspects: ease of use, functionality, or overall satisfaction.

Ask participants about their objectives and how well your product helps them achieve them. This user-centric approach will provide valuable insights into the user experience.

3. Use Open-Ended Questions:

Closed-ended questions with yes/no answers can be limiting. Instead, open-ended questions encourage participants to share their thoughts and experiences in more detail.

For instance, instead of asking, “Did you find the website easy to navigate?” try, “Tell me about your experience navigating the website. Were there any specific challenges or areas where you felt lost?”

4. Be Mindful of Bias:

Bias can sneak into your queries without you even realizing it. Avoid leading questions that might steer participants toward a particular answer.

Stay neutral and objective in your wording. For instance, instead of asking, “How much did you love the vibrant color scheme?” try, “What are your thoughts on the color scheme used in the interface?”

5. Leverage a User Testing Tool:

Amidst the dynamic space of product development, the significance of tools that streamline processes cannot be overstated. Delving into the incorporation of user testing tools into your toolkit unveils a plethora of advantages. These tools don’t merely complement your efforts; they revolutionize your approach.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional well-versed in user testing or a newcomer navigating the unexplored, a user testing tool emerges as the secret that propels your testing endeavors to new heights. It’s not just a tool; it’s the key to elevating your entire testing game, regardless of your experience level.

6. Prioritize Critical Feedback:

While positive feedback is always uplifting, the real value lies in constructive criticism. Encourage participants to share their honest opinions and highlight improvement areas. Direct your queries towards uncovering pain points and potential pitfalls. This kind of feedback is gold, providing you with actionable insights to enhance your product.

7. Test in Realistic Scenarios:

Whenever possible, frame your queries in the context of realistic scenarios. This helps participants envision how they would use your product daily.

For example, instead of asking, “How would you rate the checkout process?” try, “Imagine purchasing a product online. Walk me through the steps you would take to complete the checkout process and share any challenges you encounter.”

8. Iterate and Refine:

User testing is an iterative process. Don’t stick to the same set of queries for every test. Learn from each round, gather insights, and refine your queries accordingly. As your product evolves, so should your questions. Stay agile in your approach to address the most relevant aspects of user experience.


Crafting great queries for user tests is a dynamic process that requires a delicate balance of simplicity, specificity, and user-centricity. Remember, user testing is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It’s an iterative journey that evolves alongside your product.

And, in the ever-expanding toolkit for product development, don’t overlook the potential benefits of a user testing tool. These tools can structure, streamline processes, and offer analytical depth that may elevate your testing strategy. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be well on your way to gathering valuable insights that can shape a user experience that truly resonates with your audience. Happy testing!