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UX Survey: how they’re made, and why are they necessary

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UX survey, a term that flashes in teams’ minds when they are tasked to develop a new product or enhance an existing one. But what exactly is this UX survey? It is one of the many methodologies used to conduct in-depth user research, which is essential in a product design cycle.

Various people use the term UX survey interchangeably with a marketing survey. However, there’s a huge difference that sets them apart from one another. As the name suggests, a marketing survey is a means of gathering market information, such as demographics, the need for a product, the best way to reach the audience, and who will buy the product. On the other hand, a UX survey focuses on how customers interact with a product, how they are using it, and what challenges they are facing while using it.

A marketing survey focuses on how to sell a product, while a UX survey focuses on the customer-product interaction.

Do you need a UX survey?

The short answer to this question is yes, and the best explanation will be that the UX survey is a part of user research, an integral part of a product design cycle. Hence, at Onething Design, we conduct in-depth user research before designing UX and UI for our projects. You can refer to this case study to see how we used the UX survey and other methodologies to conduct UX research for Qubo, an IoT device.

89% of consumers begin doing business with competitors due to poor user experience. Such is the impact of user experience; and hence, the need for UX survey.

UX survey is vital as it helps you get quantitative data and insights into your products, especially for digital products such as websites and mobile applications. You can conduct a UX survey at any stage and improve your product significantly. However, the best time to do a UX survey is at the ideation or prototyping stage. These are the stages where designers come up with various product ideas and create the initial prototypes. If you perform UX surveys during these stages, it will cost much less and save you more time than conducting surveys and changing the product once it is launched. For instance, a study states that developers spend half their time fixing issues that could have been prevented by appropriate UX research.

What are the merits and demerits of a UX survey?

Performing a UX survey in the right manner can get you several benefits, including:

If done correctly, “every dollar invested in UX brings $100 in return.” But if done inappropriately, it can do more harm than good.

  • Gather data from consumers during their actual visit to the website so that you can understand their needs and develop better products
  • A cost-effective way of gathering data that can be analyzed to generate actionable insights
  • Collect feedback about a new or beta product or service for better iterations
  • Back-up your design strategies with data to provide confidence to stakeholders
  • Helps you define early adopters of your product based on the responses
  • Facilitates your design team to make easy and data-driven decisions

Despite being vital for building a seamless user journey, UX surveys do have some demerits too.

UX surveys alone are not enough to make your product successful; other research methods are as essential. Selecting the right research method depends on your needs and the answers you are seeking.

  • With the wrong set of questions, you will get inaccurate results which add little to the product design process
  • Can’t give you actual behavioral patterns; you have to analyze data to find them
  • Potentially time-consuming, as the entire process can take weeks
  • Not useful for gathering qualitative data such as finding the needs of customers or the usability problems they are facing while using your website, applications, or other products

What are some other UX research methods to use along with UX surveys?

Although you can expect a lot from UX surveys, they alone are not enough to get you the desired outcome. In fact, the results from a survey alone can leave you wondering what exactly you need to change? How to change it? Or what exactly do people not like about your product? Hence, it is essential to combine the outcome of UX surveys with other research methods. For instance, you can use research methods like:

  • First-click testing: A research method to find out where and how quickly does a visitor on a website or application clicks.
  • Interviews: To get detailed information on what a user needs and the experience while using your product.
  • Usability tests: Very impactful to understand what problems consumers are facing while using your product. Usability tests on just a group of five members can help eliminate 85% of UX-related issues.
  • Field researches: Gather information on how a user behaves and responds while using your product.
  • Eye-tracking: If you have the budget, eye-tracking can help you collect information such as the first thing users see in your product? Where are they looking for most of the time? How is their experience? This case study will help you better understand the use of eye-tracking in both marketing and UX research.

How the survey blends with other content on your website can play a huge role in defining its success.

What are the most common types of UX surveys?

Numerous types of UX surveys are out there for you to choose from. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Customer satisfaction survey: As the name gives it out, this type of survey is used to get feedback about overall customer satisfaction and whether they liked your product or not.
  • Product feedback survey: It is used to gather feedback about your company’s particular product or service.
  • User journey experience survey: You can use this type of survey to get a direct response about the user journey.

You need to be very thoughtful in placing your surveys, especially on your website. Some places to have your surveys are: bottom-right panel, pop-ups, or set between the content.

The bottom-right panel surveys are placed on the corner of your website. On the other hand, survey pop-ups are the ones that will pop-up on the website after a set amount of time or when the user is about to leave the site. Since they pop-up and block the content on your website, only use them if you have multiple questions to ask. You can also place feedback forms between the content. However, try to bring them naturally along with the entire content flow.

Some tips for better UX survey

Abiding by the UX laws will help you build great UX surveys. For instance, Hick’s law states, “The time taken to complete a certain task depends on the number and complexity of choices.” This means that you need to provide limited answers if you are going for a multiple-choice answers survey. Besides the laws, here are some tips that will help you build a UX survey quickly.

  • Ask neutral questions and not leading ones
  • Use a balanced rating scale
  • Ask easy to understand questions, with each question focusing on a single concept
  • Show how much time the survey will take
  • Allow your participants to provide another answer apart from the options
  • Focus only on UX related questions

Besides these tips, it is essential to always stay in adherence to changing UX trends. Having the knowledge of these trends will help you design a great UX survey.

A quick step-by-step guide on how to build UX surveys

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making UX surveys.

  • Define your goals: The first thing is to define what outcome you want from the survey. Also, determine how much data and how many respondents you will need to accomplish your result.
  • Pin down on your target audience: Identifying your target audience is a must. Don’t bother every user. You can merely segment the users into demographics, locations, etc., depending on your needs.
  • Prepare the questionnaire: With the goals defined, prepare the questions to get you the appropriate data. Ensure having simple, straightforward, and relevant questions. An improper questionnaire is one of the most significant reasons that 75% of online surveys fail.
  • Organize your questions: Organize your questions in a logical flow that makes sense and does not come out abruptly.
  • Build the survey: Pick the right tool and build your survey.
  • Test it out: Once the survey is created, test it with pilot users to see if they can understand it and are there any flaws.
  • Iterate the survey: If the pilot users have any difficulties, iterate the questionnaire and the overall survey accordingly.
  • Incentivize: Although not necessary, it is good to incentivize your respondents. You can give away an ebook, magazine, free subscription, etc.
  • Close the survey: Once you have enough data, close the survey and analyze it.

Key Takeaways

  • UX surveys focus on customer-product interaction.
  • The best time to perform a UX survey is during the designing or development stage.
  • Conducting a UX survey is a part of user research and should complement other research methods.
  • The questionnaire plays a vital role in defining the success of your UX survey.
  • Analyze the quantitative data gathered by UX survey to get valuable, actionable insights.

Summing it up

UX surveys and the overall user research play a vital role in designing and developing the right product and service for your business. Hence, at Onething Design, we always keep UX research at the forefront. Connect with our team of UX experts to discuss your products or design your big upcoming projects together.

Author: Venky Hariharan, Lead UX Designer, Onething

Originally published at https://www.onething.design on February 25, 2021.


UX Survey: how they’re made, and why are they necessary was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.