How to Conduct User Surveys on your Website
Thinking of ways to improve your website?
If yes, conduct a user research study!
A well-defined study allows you to unveil how your product or service will perform in the real world. It allows you to uncover and validate users’ needs as well as align business and user goals.
There are so many ways to conduct user research; however, in this article we will focus on user surveys – getting started, tips and ensuring participation.
What is it & How does it work?
User research is considered to be the umbrella for exploring and collecting data with methods ranging from A/B testing, ethnographic interviews to usability testing and more.
Surveys happen to be one of the more common and quickest methods to acquire a decent set of data via a list of open or closed questions to your test user group.
Closed questions: These aim to gain quantitative information (statistical data) e.g. How long did it take to complete an online purchase?
Open questions: These gather qualitative information such as the motivation and behaviour or thought process of a user e.g. Are you likely to recommend this website to a friend and why?
Before formulating your questionnaire, consider spending time to understand the goal and how the results would help your stakeholders.
- Creating an online survey is easy. Handy tools like TypeForm allow you to:
- List out all your questions as well as display alternate options using dependencies.
- Style and format the design
- Publish and share them with your test groups* or clientele
- Integrate within your website or e-commerce platform
*Testing these questions with a ‘test group’ with similar characteristics of your real customer base helps to strengthen the quality of the questionnaire before rolling it out publicly.
- Avoid leading questions and ask something more neutral with added value e.g. Instead of ‘Is this feature useful?’ ask ‘Why is this feature useful?’
- Keep questions simple; if a user needs to Google the meaning of something, consider rephrasing.
- Do not mix two topics together i.e. How often do you book hotels & flights? Keep them focused to avoid affecting the quality of the data.
But, how do you boost participation?
Oftentimes, a user starts a survey only to find out they have to spend more time answering questions than anticipated.
This is when a user starts losing focus; rushing through answers and potentially quitting the survey.
Make sure that you keep these surveys short and sweet, and display the duration to satisfy user expectations. Another great way is to incentivise users with product discounts/offers or early access materials.
Following these basic but handy guidelines will ensure you get the most value out of the time spent to build your surveys. Combine this with other user research methods to help pave the way towards greater optimisation of your digital products.