Questions UX Designers Should Be Asking

Posted 3 months ago by Garrett Kroll

Designing is easier when you start with the answers.

The ability to ask meaningful questions is a fundamental yet often overlooked skill in the UX Designer’s toolkit. I’ve begun to notice a clear correlation between the number of questions a designer asks throughout the process and the quality of the final design output.

It’s much more than creating, it’s about understanding your problem so well that the solution is obvious.

In order to understand the challenge at hand, UX Designers must ask great questions at every stage of the process. I’ve cataloged a robust list of questions (100 to be exact) that I’ve found to be useful for projects spanning industries, devices, and personas. While by no means comprehensive, it should provide a framework for design thinking through different stages of a project.

Kickoff Meeting

In order to align the delivery team and stakeholders around the vision and project plan, the big questions need to be asked. Avoid jumping to solutions, instead focus on the underlying problems and insights that can give the team foundational knowledge to design from later.

Stakeholder Interviews

Further understand the business and market by speaking with individuals who have a vested interest in the organization and the project. Many of these questions can be asked during kickoffs, but if asked individually they can yield better answers.

User Research

Avoid the risk and expense of creating something users don’t want by first understanding their goals and pain points. Answers to these questions can give you the all-important “why” behind user behavior. These are best supplemented with observational findings (what users say and do can be different) and analytics if they exist.

The Context

The Problem

User Testing

Validate your assumptions and improve the experience by watching real users interact with your prototype or product. While this is to mostly gather qualitative feedback, there are opportunities to supplement these findings with qualitative answers (e.g. testing against success metrics).

First Impressions

Task-Focused

Summary

Design Reviews

Conducted with fellow designers or the larger project team, design reviews can ensure the “whys” behind design decisions align with user and business goals. Ask these questions to better understand how a designer arrived at their solution. Good design requires intentionality.

Overall

Interaction Design

Visual Design

Stakeholders Reviews

Receive feedback from stakeholders that is clear, relevant, and helpful. They’re probably not experts in giving design feedback, so it’s your responsibility to ask questions that steer the feedback towards project goals and areas they are subject matter experts in.

This article was originally published on Garrett’s Medium page.

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