30+ User Research Questions To Ask For Building Better Products

Userpilot Team
11 min readNov 19, 2023

The right user research questions will help you collect relevant data about your target audience and make informed decisions to propel growth.

However, if done wrong, you risk encountering confusion and skewed results. This article serves as your guide to avoid such pitfalls by showing you:

  • How to craft your questions the right way and collect valuable feedback.
  • Examples of questions you can copy or tweak.
  • Best practices to adopt for effective results.

TL;DR

  • User research questions are quantitative or qualitative questions you ask users to uncover insights about their mental models, needs, behavior, and experience with your product.

Broadly speaking, you can trigger research questions to:

  1. Understand user problems.
  2. Uncover user preferences.
  3. Gather information about the product experience.

Examples of user research questions to understand user problems:

  • What problems are you looking to solve with this product?
  • What is the main goal when completing [a task in the product]?
  • How hard is it to accomplish [task]?

Examples of problem research questions to understand user needs:

  • Describe the problem you are trying to solve as a [user persona].
  • What tasks do you accomplish during an average workday?
  • On a scale from 1 to 5, how difficult is it to accomplish [a task]?

Examples of UX research questions to improve user experience:

  • What were your initial expectations when you started using our product, and how did the actual experience compare?
  • How would you describe the organization and clarity of our menu and interface labels? Are there any terms or options that are unclear to you?
  • On a scale of 1–10, how was your experience with [task]?

Adopt these best practices to crush your UX research goals:

  1. Ask concise questions and be specific.
  2. Avoid asking leading questions so research participants can provide honest answers.
  3. Use a mix of closed-ended and open-ended questions for comprehensive insights.

Channels to collect UX research responses:

  1. Use in-app user feedback surveys to gauge satisfaction.
  2. Conduct user interviews to understand needs, preferences & experiences.
  3. Carry out user testing to dig deeper into how users interact with your tool.
  • Effective user research hinges on employing the right questions, user interview strategies, and continuous experimentation to discover which techniques resonate best with your audience. Userpilot can help with that. Book a demo to learn more.

What are user research questions?

User research questions are quantitative or qualitative questions you ask users to uncover insights about their perception, needs, behavior, and experience with your product.

By analyzing the responses to these questions, you can make informed decisions about product design and development. Ultimately, research helps you build a product that users love, thereby driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Types of user research questions

User research is as broad as it comes, but generally speaking, there are three categories when surveying SaaS users:

User research questions to understand the problems

The questions in this category help you uncover the pain points and challenges your ideal customers face.

By triggering these questions and analyzing responses from the research participants, you’re better positioned to make continuous iterations and ensure your product evolves to meet user needs.

Use this category of questions when you want to:

  • Brainstorm new product ideas.
  • Design a product sprint.
  • Design feature enhancements.
  • Improve product usability.

User research questions to understand user preferences

These questions enable you to glean proper information about your target audience. By asking them, you’ll know what makes your audience tick, the factors that influence their buying decisions, and what tasks they accomplish each day.

Trigger surveys about user preferences early in the product development stage to:

  • Design data-driven user experiences.
  • Identify features that will drive product adoption.
  • Understand the preferred pricing structure and your users’ WTP (willingness to pay).

User research questions about the product experience

The overall product experience shapes how users perceive your brand and determines whether they continue doing business with you. By conducting surveys about the user experience, you will uncover insights to:

Examples of user research questions to understand the problem

Trigger the questions below to gain insights into problems your users face and identify solutions that will improve their experience.

Qualitative research question examples

  • What problems are you looking to solve with this product?
  • What is the main goal when completing [a task in the product]?
  • Can you describe a time when you were struggling to use [product/feature] and how you eventually overcame the challenge?
  • Are there any recurring issues or problems that, if resolved, would significantly enhance your overall satisfaction with our product?
  • What features or functionality are missing from our product that would make it more useful for you?
open-ended-user-research-questions
Example of qualitative user research question to understand problems customers encounter.

Quantitative research question examples

  • How hard is it to accomplish [task]?
  • On a scale of 1 to 7, how challenging do you find [specific features of your product] to use?
  • How likely are you to recommend our product to others based on your current experience?
  • What is the likelihood that you will switch to a competitor product in the next six months?
  • How often do you have to contact our customer support team for assistance?
  • Indicate your level of agreement with the statement: “The current version of [product] adequately addresses my primary pain points.”
problems-user-research-questions
In-app survey to understand users’ pain points.

Examples of problem research questions to understand user needs

Curious about user needs, preferences, and willingness to pay? Trigger the following qualitative and quantitative survey questions at the right points in the user journey:

Qualitative research questions

  • Describe the problem you are trying to solve as a [user persona].
  • What tasks do you accomplish in an average workday?
  • Can you describe one particular feature you find most valuable in a product like ours?
  • Are there any missing features you’ll be willing to pay extra for?
  • How do you currently address gaps or limitations in our product? Are there workarounds you’ve developed?
  • How important is mobile accessibility in your workflow, and what features would you consider essential for a mobile version of our product?
  • When it comes to integrations with other tools or platforms, which integrations would be most beneficial for your workflow?
  • What has been the biggest hurdle in using [feature]?
hurdles-customer-needs-and-preference
Qualitative survey to uncover user insights.

Quantitative research questions

  • On a scale from 1 to 5, how difficult is it to accomplish [a task]?
  • What are the top three tasks you complete most often with our product? (List the most common tasks in your tool to make it easy for users to simply click an option)
  • To what degree do you value product updates and new feature announcements in maintaining your interest in a SaaS product?
  • How likely are you to consider upgrading to a higher pricing tier for access to premium features?
  • How much would you be willing to pay for a solution to [problem]?
pricing-question-quantitative
Quantitative user research questions to gauge willingness to pay.

Examples of product research questions to improve user experience

Trigger the following to learn more about the user experience and identify ways to improve usability and retention.

Qualitative UX research questions

  • What were your initial expectations when you started using our product, and how did the actual experience compare?
  • How would you describe the organization and clarity of our menu and interface labels? Are there any terms or options that are unclear to you?
  • How can we improve your experience with the product?
  • Are there any features you rarely use, and if so, can you explain why?
  • Can you describe a time when you were struggling to use our product and how you eventually overcame the challenge?
  • Have you used similar products or competitors in our industry, and if so, what aspects of their user experience do you find better or worse than ours?
  • If you were to stop using the product, what would be the main reason?
user-experience-churn-reason-user-research-questions
Qualitative UX research question to find possible reasons for churn.

Quantitative UX research questions

  • On a scale of 1–10, how was your experience with [task]?
  • On a scale from 1 to 5, rate how easy it is to use [product].
  • How often do you encounter problems completing the following tasks with our product? (List the tasks)
  • On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product to a friend?
  • How easy is it to find the information you need to complete tasks with our product?
  • Indicate your agreement with the statement: “My overall satisfaction with [product] has increased over time.” (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree)
  • How would you rate your overall experience with [product]?
product-experience-rating-user-research-questions
UX research question to measure overall brand experience.

Best practices when conducting user research

To avoid distorting your research results, it’s important you choose your survey questions carefully. One word or phrase could influence user responses and give you inaccurate data.

Below are three best practices when rolling out user research questions:

Ask concise questions and be specific

Concise questions help participants clearly understand the information you’re seeking. They prevent confusion and ensure participants can provide relevant insights.

Stay away from product or industry jargon, as not all participants might be familiar with them.

That said, focus on asking specific questions — ideally, one idea per question. This makes it easier for users to respond, and it also helps you analyze better and faster.

Here’s an example of an incorrect survey question: “How satisfied are you with the ease of navigation and the responsiveness of customer support in our product?”

This question combines two distinct ideas — satisfaction with ease of navigation and satisfaction with customer support responsiveness — into a single question. Respondents may have differing opinions on each aspect, making it challenging to pinpoint specific areas for improvement. It also doesn’t allow participants to express nuanced feedback on each element separately.

Avoid asking leading questions

Leading questions are intentionally or mistakenly worded in a way that suggests or pushes respondents toward a certain answer.

Example: “Was the product very easy to navigate?”

This question is leading because it suggests a positive outcome and assumes agreement with the statement. Respondents may feel compelled to respond positively even if they don’t genuinely believe the product has easy navigation. This can introduce bias and result in inaccurate data.

A better phrasing would be, “How would you describe your experience with navigating the product?”

Let’s consider another example.

What do you think about the survey question below?

“Is feature A better than feature B? (Yes/NO)”

Leading or not?

Binary questions can be tricky because the phrasings inherently imply comparison; however, the above question is leading.

A better way to frame it for unbiased responses is to ask: “Do you prefer feature A or B?”

Unbiased survey question created with Userpilot.
Unbiased survey question created with Userpilot.

Use a mix of closed-ended and open-ended questions

This is known as mixed-method research, and experts use it to get both qualitative and quantitative feedback for better insights.

Closed-ended questions provide quantitative data that you can quickly analyze to generate actionable insights. On the other hand, open-ended questions offer qualitative feedback, uncovering the “why” behind quantitative responses.

When designing your survey, strike a balance between closed-ended and open-ended questions. Ensure closed-ended questions cover key metrics, while open-ended questions delve into user perceptions and experiences.

Sometimes, it’s effective to start with quantitative questions to gather baseline data and then ask open-ended follow-up questions to explore nuances and gather rich qualitative data.

For example, you can trigger an NPS survey that asks users on a scale of 1–10, how likely they are to recommend your new feature, then send a follow-up asking the reasons for their scores.

How to collect responses to user research questions

There are multiple user research channels. The ones you choose boil down to your audience and research goals. For SaaS participants, in-app surveys, user interviews, and usability tests work great.

Let’s go over them in detail.

Use in-app user feedback surveys to gauge satisfaction

Meet customers where they are with contextual in-app surveys that let you collect input on the spot. This real-time feedback is valuable for understanding immediate user experiences and satisfaction levels.

For instance, triggering a CSAT survey immediately after a user interacts with your new feature lets you get more accurate feedback compared to when you wait to ask them weeks later in a one-on-one interview.

By integrating surveys into your app, you engage users without requiring them to switch to a different platform. This convenience encourages higher participation rates.

Conduct user interviews to understand needs, preferences & experiences

When it comes to understanding user needs and preferences, interviews work better. They help you interact closely with the research participants, ask follow-up questions immediately, and generate in-depth feedback to uncover underlying motivations and reasons behind user behavior.

All these are critical to building products your users will love, especially when building an MVP to test with a new audience.

In addition, direct interactions foster empathy as you can observe non-verbal cues and emotions, gaining a holistic perspective on user experiences beyond what may be expressed verbally.

Carry out usability tests to dig deeper into product usability

Usability tests help you gauge how user-friendly your product is. The tests focus on understanding customer satisfaction with your tool and their perception of its value.

Usability tests help pinpoint specific areas of your product that may cause confusion or frustration for users. By observing users during tests, you’ll gain insights into their natural interaction patterns, allowing you to make adjustments that align with user expectations and behaviors.

Popular usability testing methods include guerilla testing, lab testing, and remote testing. The approach you choose depends on your audience and research objectives.

Conclusion

User research isn’t a one-time task but an ongoing process of learning about users and making improvements.

Regularly conduct user research to keep track of changing customer needs and preferences. Doing this will save you from losing users to churn and ensure your product is competitive.

When you think about it critically, research boils down to asking the right questions. Your phrasing matters as much as the channels and timing. So, A/B tests different research questions to see which gives you better results.

Userpilot can help you trigger and analyze user research questions in-app. With our platform, you can:

  • Design different kinds of quantitative and qualitative surveys.
  • Segment users to determine who sees what.
  • Set event-based triggers so your surveys are contextual. For instance, you can set your surveys to be sent after a user interacts with a new feature. This way, only users who hit that goal will see your surveys.
  • A/B test different survey elements and get real-time results.

Book a demo now to get started!

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Userpilot Team

Userpilot is a Product Growth Platform designed to help product teams improve product metrics through in-app experiences without code. Check out userpilot.com