3 Simple Questions To Ask In Potential User Interviews.

Jan 2, 2023

As a UX designer, your job is to focus on the user's experience, but in the beginning stages your goal is to conduct research. This research is focused on finding the needs for the platform you’re working on and more importantly learning about the potential users for the platform. User interviews can be tricky and believe it or not there is a science to it.

For one, you’ll need to get into form. Which means you can’t have any opinion on the product you’re working on, you have to have a neutral point of view. Doing this allows you to get the most out of each question since you’re not leading the interviewee down a specific path that you want them to go down.

For example, you don’t want to ask a potential user of your platform this question,

Do you like what “platform name” is offering?

You might like or not like the product you’re working on but if you answer this question you’re restricting the interviewee from expressing their true opinion. Most humans don’t want to hurt anyone's feelings, so with this question you’re probably going to get “yes” as an answer most of the time which isn’t the research you’re looking for. If you tackle this from a neutral standpoint the question should look like this.

What would motivate you to use “platform name”?

This question allows the interviewee to think about it from there perspective and that’s the answer you want to capture.

The Big 3

As a UX designer, it’s good to have at least 5–10 questions you can ask to help dig up the information you’re looking for.

Here are three questions I ALWAYS ask no matter what.

  1. Why would you use a platform like this?

  2. What problems is this platform solving for you?

  3. What do you want to see/get out of this product?

I ask these questions because I think it captures the information I need as a UX Designer. It helps me discover why someone would even use a platform like this, the issues they face and how this platform would solve those issues and last but not least I get to learn what the potential user wants to get out of this platform.

If you’re new to user interviews, try taking my approach. Include these three questions in your list of questions you create. I tend to put the first two up at the top and the third one at the bottom of the list to close out the meeting. This also helps invite conversation which something you’re always looking to do during these interviews.

Your goal as a UX Designer is to create questions that are not Yes/no, this allows the user to give their opinion instead of choosing sides and they’re able to elaborate on the answers they’re providing.

One last tip.

Let the user talk as much as they want. When they're done talking, wait for a second before you move onto the next question, they might start talking again. I sometimes get people that will answer and then when they're done giving that answer that awkward pause leads to them building on top of the answer they just provided.

I hope this helps you with your future potential user interviews! It’s important you get the answer you need so that you can take that research and implement it into the product you’re working on.

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