3 powerful questions for every UX/UI designer to ask
min video //
min read //
May 26, 2022
Alongside empathy, targeted questioning is a critical skill for UX and UI designers. Good questions help designers genuinely understand their users and the problem that their product or app solves.
While you could ask loads of questions (in fact, UX Planet suggests a whopping 98!), here are a few of our favorites to start practicing.
1) Who are our users?
Simple enough, right? UX and UI designers are user-obsessed! Their number one priority is knowing all about their users— what motivates them, frustrates them, their habits, potential, and demographics.
A big part of UX and UI is user research, and this question is just the starting point. A few solid user interviews will help you find the answer to this question. Once you know who your users are, you're all set to start working on not just a solution but one that's designed specifically for your users.
Want to get to know your users even better? Start asking these questions:
- What does a day in the life of our users look like?
- How did they solve the problem before our solution?
- What are their primary goals when they use our solution?
- What other similar apps or products do they use?
2) What is the problem that we're solving?
This is one of the most fundamental questions a UX/UI designer can ask. It's also our favorite. Why?
Designers must first understand the problem to design a great solution (or propose a few solid solutions). Get into the details of the problem. Grapple with the consequences of the problem.
You can ask this question to both the internal team and users. Understanding the problem from both perspectives will give you a big-picture overview and reveal the unique value (solution!) that your product could offer.
Keep this insight close as you continue to learn more and dive deeper into the details. Remembering what you're working towards solving will guide your work— and your success!
Ready to learn more? Ask these questions:
- Who is impacted by this problem?
- What happens if this problem is not solved/addressed?
- What are the unique circumstances surrounding the problem?
3) Why do we need to solve this problem?
UX and UI designers often consider how to give their users a unique and memorable experience. And that's why we love this question.
By asking this question and reflecting on the answers, you'll understand your team's unique position in the marketplace. Additionally, it can help shape the experience you build and set it apart from the competition.
And speaking of competition, as a UX/UI designer, you'll want to do a little competitor research— and this question is a great place to start!
Ready to do more digging? Ask these questions:
- Who else is trying to solve this problem?
- What makes us different from others trying to solve this problem?
- How have others attempted to solve this problem?
- Have we tried other ways to solve this problem?
Interviewing tips for UX and UI designers
Whether you're interviewing colleagues or users, here are a few tips to follow to get the most out of your questions!
Go in with a goal
When asking questions or conducting an interview, it's easy to lose sight of what you want to know. To begin with, make sure to enter all of your conversations with a goal in mind.
Feel free to keep it broad, like: "Discover more about our users' habits." But a goal will keep you on track to unearth valuable information.
We're not afraid to keep reminding you: empathy is a UX/UI designer's most powerful tool! While some people might consider it a natural quality (as in, you either have it or you don't), the reality is that it's a practiced skill.
There are a few activities that you can do to start flexing your empathy muscles, including:
- Try to see a situation from someone else's perspective.
- Focus on similarities rather than differences between yourself and others.
- Recognize and acknowledge biases that you might have.
- Seek to meet new people from different backgrounds and really try to understand their motivations, issues, and desires.
Often, we find that one great question leads to even more questions! And there's nothing wrong with that. It could lead you to uncover some hidden nuggets of wisdom.
UX and UI designers are perpetually curious about what makes their users "tick" (or, in many cases, click!). This curiosity and tendency to continue to dig deeper into their users ultimately leads to a better understanding of them.
Finding your superpower
In UX/UI, interviewing and questioning are superpowers. The more you ask, the more you'll learn!
You might even find that it's hard to stop once you get started! So are you ready to start asking these powerful questions?