UX survey questions
Learn how to conduct effective UX surveys to gather valuable insights about your product, including different example questions and best practices for improving user experience.
If you conduct research in your role, you’ll already know that it often takes a lot of digging for information from your customers to find the best solutions for your products.
One way to achieve this is by conducting user research interviews. But you might be short on time or don’t have enough budget to interview the number of people you need for a good foundation of data. So what’s another way forward?
You can conduct a UX survey instead. Moving to a more quantitative research approach allows you to scale your research without equally scaling your time and budget. So in this guide, we’ll give you the rundown on:
- What a UX survey is
- The different types of UX survey questions you can ask
- Some example UX survey questions
- Best practices for UX surveys
After reading this guide, you can jump right into building a well-crafted UX survey, so let’s get started.
What is a UX survey?
You’ve likely come across at least one survey in your life – it’s essentially a form that asks you questions about a specific topic. In this case, it would be related to user experience. UX surveys let you gather information about how your users experience your product (apps, software, website, etc.).
We mentioned in the introduction that a UX survey was a more quantitative approach. Still, you can also include qualitative elements in your study by asking open-ended usability testing questions and allowing for larger text (or even video) responses.
However, in a survey, we’d recommend keeping these questions to the end to get better response rates for your other questions. The more effort required to finish a survey, the more drop-offs you’ll likely have.
Types of UX survey questions
That last point I made is also relevant here – where more effort is required to complete a survey, the lower your completion rates will likely be. So what can you do about it? You can help reduce survey fatigue by including various question types.
Each question type has pros and cons and some obvious use cases (versus others). But generally speaking, here are your options.
- Dropdown menus provide a list of items to choose from, with the option to select only one item.
- Radio buttons are helpful for questions requiring only short answers (e.g. yes/no, favorite color, etc.).
- While radio buttons are usually restricted to single-select questions, you can also turn the other question-type options into multi-select questions, e.g. select multiple images or items from a dropdown list.
- Checkboxes are also a useful multi-select option if you have a shorter list of items.
- You can specify “select all that apply” or restrict these questions to a min-max number of options.
Open text fields
- Contact forms to start or end your survey are a common type of open text field.
- Short or long text boxes let the participant use their own words for an answer.
- Identity validation using a phone number or email (to filter out bot responses).
- Signature fields (e.g. electronic signatures, cursor, image capture, touchscreen).
Rating scales and grids
- Rating scales (or Likert scales) are widespread in quantitative research. But make sure you design them consistently with the right-to-left anchors.
- Sliding bars are similar to Likert scales, but users can drag across a scale to indicate a value (e.g. clothes fitting too tight, too loose, or just right). Be sure to clearly label the anchors and apply a consistent amount of points on the scale (if you use multiple scales).
- Radio button grids can help you ask multiple similar questions or the same question applied to different options. They’re useful in getting lots of data points in a smaller space, making the questions more efficient and easier to complete.
As you can see, there are plenty of options, but remember not to be too greedy. Only ask what you need to know, since a survey's completion rate is directly and linearly related to the number of questions you ask.
Example UX survey questions
Now that you have a good idea of the different formatting options for your questions, let’s look at some sample UX survey questions to better understand them in context.
Single-select example questions
- How often do you use X product? (Multiple times a day, once a day, more than once a week, etc.)
- Do the menu items make sense? (Yes, no, unsure/don’t know)
- What feature of our product do you use the most? (Provide a dropdown menu listing features)
- Have you ever paid for any of our products or apps? (If you have a premium offer, for example, yes/no)
- Is the language used throughout the product consistent? (Yes/no).
- Have you ever used any of our competitor’s products? (Yes/no)
- Which logo design do you prefer from the options provided? (Single image select)
Multi-select example questions
- Which features of our product do you use the most? (Multi-select dropdown or checkbox options)
- Which features do you never use or use very little? (Multi-select dropdown or checkbox options)
- This product makes me feel… (Checkbox options)
- Which competitor(s) have you used or considered before choosing us? (Dropdown or checkbox options)
- Which of the following best describes your reason for using X product? (Checkbox options)
- What tasks do you do when using product X? (Checkbox options, allowing for an “other” response)
Open text field questions
- Tell us about your experience using X product (long textbox)
- Can you remember a time when you struggled to use X product? If so, please tell us about it (long textbox)
- Are there features that you like best/least about X product? (Short or long textbox)
- If you could change one thing about X product, what would it be, and why? (Long textbox)
- What comes to mind when you think about X product? (Long textbox)
- What were your first impressions of X product? (Long textbox)
Rating/Likert scale questions
- On a scale of 1–10, how likely would you be to recommend X product to your friends, family, or colleagues?
- How easy/difficult was it to use the following features? (Provide a radio grid with Likert scale rows corresponding to each feature)
- I like/dislike how product X looks (Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree)
- How would you rate your overall experience using X product? (Rating or sliding scale)
- Is X product useful in your life? (Likert scale with custom text)
- How responsive has X product been in your experience? (Likert scale with custom text)
These sample UX survey questions are just the tip of the iceberg. There are potentially thousands of questions you can ask in a UX survey – the key is narrowing down to the ones relevant to your product or service.
UX survey question best practices
You might be thinking, “Those questions are nice and all, but they don’t quite fit with what we want to know…”.
That’s a valid response to seeing the pretty good UX survey questions we shared above, and you’re right. Two surveys are rarely the same (unless they’re super basic). So you’ll probably want to write some of your own survey questions. To help you have a better chance of getting them right the first time, you can follow these best practices.
Tailor questions to each survey
The best UX survey questions you can ask are the ones tailored to your product. If you have multiple products or services, tailoring your surveys to each one is even more important (so that users don’t get confused about which product you’re asking them about). However, it’s also critical for getting helpful feedback.
As Cyndi Marasigan, UX Designer at exaweb, puts it:
“Tailoring the questions allows you to focus on a particular aspect of the user experience that is needed for the project. This involves asking about the new feature, interaction, or preferences.”
The simpler, the better
When writing UX survey questions, the simpler, the better. You don’t want to overcomplicate a question with jargon that the reader isn’t going to understand (this can reduce the validity of your survey responses).
The other benefit of using more straightforward language and having shorter questions is that it’s less likely to increase the cognitive load on your users to the point of fatigue. The overall experience becomes easier for them when the questions are simple and clear.
Indicate the length of the survey
Another helpful tactic you can use to help increase your completion rates (which is vital for the overall success of the survey) is to tell your participants how long the survey will take to complete. You can do this at the start of the survey and subsequently numbering the questions, or by providing a progress bar on the screen.
When participants have a time estimate, they’re better informed on whether or not they can answer the questions accurately and with meaningful responses. Katie Encabo, Customer Success Manager at The Good, also emphasizes the importance of time estimates:
“The user should always be aware of how long it will take to answer the questions. We give a time estimate. The number of questions is not as important; attention and accuracy are important. You need to make sure the user is not fatigued.”
Check for bias
This point is standard practice among UX researchers. Checking for bias in your survey means you need to make sure you haven’t accidentally written leading questions – the type that forces a respondent to pick a particular answer.
Common leading questions often start with “How good/well/useful was…”, leading your respondent to say something positive when they might never have wanted to. Another type of leading question is more subtle – when you have a Likert or rating scale with more positive options than negative ones. There should always be a symmetrical balance on the scale.
Know your end-goal
Finally, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you know what questions to ask? Having a clear goal for your survey is critical because it helps inform the other best practices we’ve covered above and helps you define its success.
Your goal might be to improve a particular product feature, or maybe you’re going through a product redesign – each scenario requires different questions to ask your users. It’s no good firing from the hip and hoping for the best with UX surveys.
Start your UX survey today
Surveys are the bread and butter of UX research, and any UX researcher or designer would probably tell you they’ve had a hand in more than their fair share of them. While they’re a little trickier to get right than you might think, they’re still one of the most popular testing methods in experience research.
Maybe you haven’t built a survey in a long time (cough, like since that high school project), or perhaps you’re being asked to make one and unsure what tools you can use.
At UsabilityHub, we offer a design survey feature (you can check out some example surveys here), or you can create a test using the questions test type in the UsabilityHub test builder. This can be used to build a survey using a mix of short text, long text, single choice, multiple choice, linear scale, and ranking questions. You can also add questions to other test types, like a prototype test or a five second test. Sign up for a free UsabilityHub plan today to try it out for yourself.
Alexander Boswell is a freelance writer specialising in B2B SaaS and eCommerce marketing with a particular interest in the world of data, as well as a business Ph.D. candidate. When he’s not writing, he’s nerding out playing D&D and Magic: The Gathering.
Frequently asked questions about UX survey questions
What is a UX survey?
A UX survey is a form of quantitative research that allows you to gather information about how users experience your product (such as apps, software, or websites) by asking specific questions and obtaining valuable feedback.
What are the types of survey questions in UX?
UX survey questions include: single-select questions, where users choose one option from a list; multi-select questions, where users select multiple options from a list; open text field questions, where users provide written responses in text boxes; and rating scales and grids, where users rate items on a scale or indicate their preferences (e.g. Likert scales, sliding bars, etc.).
What questions should you ask in a UX survey?
In a UX survey, you can ask several types of questions to gather valuable insights from users. Single-select questions are useful for asking about frequency of product usage, menu item comprehension, or user preferences. Multi-select questions help you to understand which product features are most or least used, or which competitors users have considered. Open text field questions allow users to provide detailed feedback on their experiences, struggles, and preferences. Rating scales and grids help measure user satisfaction, likelihood of recommendation, or ease of product use. When conducting a UX survey, it’s important to tailor questions to your product, keep them simple to avoid cognitive load, indicate the survey length, check for bias, and define clear research goals to ensure effective and valuable results.