User Experience (UX) Surveys cover image

User Experience (UX) Surveys: The Ultimate Guide

by Mads Soegaard | | 66 min read

Imagine you're a business owner eager to improve your website's user experience. You want to know what's working, what's not, and where you need improvements. While you have various research methods (such as user interviews, usability tests, A/B testing, etc.) available, a user experience (UX) survey helps gather valuable insights and pinpoint the areas for enhancement.

UX surveys can offer actionable insights, presenting qualitative data that informs decisions. 

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Through this piece, you'll learn everything about user experience surveys. From market research professionals and business owners to website developers, anyone aiming for customer satisfaction will find this helpful.

You'll learn about UX survey best practices and the right questions to help identify pain points and understand different question types. 

What are UX Surveys?

UX Surveys, or User Experience Surveys, gather information about users' feelings, thoughts, and behaviors related to UX design, product, or service. These online surveys form a part of the broader field of usability surveys. They focus on understanding how users interact with a system, application, or website to create a user-centered design.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

1. Customer Effort Score Surveys (CES)

CES surveys assess how simple it is for customers to complete tasks with your company. Think of it like this: It's a score that tells you if using your product or getting help from your service team was a breeze or a struggle for the customer.

Many people value quick, straightforward answers to their questions. Time is precious, so spending less effort resolving issues is better. Ease of experience can be more revealing than overall satisfaction. Experts now use the Customer Effort Score.

For instance, after a customer service interaction, the question could be:

"How easy was resolving your issue with our customer support?"

  • Very Difficult

  • Difficult

  • Moderate

  • Easy

  • Very Easy 

This format helps companies understand the ease of interaction from the customer's viewpoint. It can be an excellent tool for identifying areas for improvement.

2. Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT)

A CSAT survey measures how happy customers are with your company. 

  • The main question is, "How satisfied are you with our service?" 

  • Answers range from 1, meaning "very dissatisfied," to 5, indicating "very satisfied." 

CSAT surveys focus on individual interactions, like purchasing or using customer support. They use numeric scales to track satisfaction levels over time. These surveys help you understand your customers’ needs and pinpoint issues with your products or services. They also allow you to categorize customers based on their satisfaction levels, which helps with targeted improvements.

3.Net Promoter Score Surveys (NPS)

NPS surveys are simple and quick since they use just one question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?”. Based on the score, you can do respondent segmentation into one of three categories:

  • Promoters (Score 9-10): These are your biggest fans, and they are likely to recommend your product.

  • Passives (Score 7-8): These folks find your product/service satisfactory but could easily switch to competitors.

  • Detractors (Score 0-6): These unhappy customers could harm your brand through negative word-of-mouth.

You can calculate the NPS score by subtracting the Detractors' percentage from the Promoters'. This gives a snapshot of customer loyalty and areas for improvement.

4. Close-ended Questions for Quantitative Research

Well-designed, close-ended questions are easy to answer. Users pick from predefined options like checkboxes, scales, or radio buttons. These surveys are suitable for gathering data. You'll see these in exit surveys asking users about their shopping experience. The answers provide actionable data, like customer preferences or standard problems.

Get more insights on quantitative research in this course on Data-driven Design.

You may ask,

"How satisfied are you with our delivery speed?" 

The options could be:

  • Very Satisfied

  • Satisfied

  • Neutral

  • Dissatisfied

  • Very Dissatisfied

Here, users don't need to type out their thoughts. They select an option that best describes their feelings. It's quick for the user and easy for the company to analyze.

5. Open-ended Questions for Qualitative User Research

While closed-ended questions offer fixed options for quick responses, open-ended questions allow for more detailed, free-form answers. These questions ask for written responses. They dig deeper into how users feel and what they expect. 

It may take more time to analyze the responses you gather from this type of survey. But they're valuable because they offer nuanced insights.

For example, questions like "What feature do you wish we had?" can lead to ideas for product enhancements that meet users' needs.

When and Why Should One Conduct a UX Survey?

Conducting a UX survey is a strategic decision to understand various aspects of user interaction with a product or service. Here are vital scenarios and reasons for implementing them:

1. Feature Evaluation and Enhancement

You may find UX surveys better suited to assess existing products than development ones. These surveys can gather insights on how well your target audience receives a feature or service. Feedback from such surveys can guide adjustments or additions to your product.

For instance, if customers believe an existing feature lacks functionality, you can focus on enhancing it. UX surveys offer valuable data to refine a product to better align with customer needs and expectations.

2. Identifying Pain Points

Spotting pain points is essential for creating a user-friendly experience. UX surveys provide direct feedback from users about what's troubling them. These could be issues you're unaware of that make the customer experience less enjoyable or efficient. 

For example, users might point out that they find your checkout process too complicated or that they have trouble finding specific information on your website. These insights are like gold; they give you specific areas to focus your improvement efforts. Addressing these issues helps you fix problems and show users you value and act upon their feedback.

3. Assessing Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is crucial for any business. A well-timed UX survey can gauge how well you meet customer expectations after a critical interaction, such as a purchase or customer service call. 

Positive feedback helps identify vital areas, while negative feedback highlights issues that need attention.

4. Evaluating Customer Loyalty

Long-term success hinges on customer loyalty. NPS surveys, a type of UX survey, help gauge this. 

Identifying promoters, passives, and detractors can help you tailor customer retention and referral strategies. If you see a dip in loyalty scores, it's an alert to dig deeper into potential issues.

5. Journey Mapping

Journey mapping visually represents a user's interactions with your product or service. It tracks the entire experience, from the first touchpoint to the final interaction. A well-designed UX survey can provide insights at multiple stages of this journey.

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For example, you can use CES surveys at various checkpoints to measure ease of use. Are customers finding it simple to navigate from one section of your website to another? CSAT surveys can check satisfaction at critical touchpoints like purchase or support.

Open-ended questions can offer qualitative insights into why users make specific choices. These answers fill gaps in the journey map that analytics data might lack.

6. During Major Transitions or Updates

If you're planning a significant change, such as a rebrand or major update, a UX survey becomes invaluable. It helps assess customer sentiment and expectations before you roll out the differences. 

Collecting survey data allows for adjustments that align with customer needs. This way, you can reduce the risk of negative backlash.

7. Continuous Improvement

The need for improvement never stops. Regular UX surveys create a feedback loop to help you track user sentiment and performance metrics. They allow for ongoing adjustments based on real-world usage. 

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For example, if you notice a slight dip in satisfaction scores related to app usability, you can investigate and make adjustments before it becomes a significant issue. 

Continuous improvement through regular UX surveys keeps your product aligned with users’ needs and expectations. It helps you sustain your success.

6 UX Survey Best Practices From Experts

Visual representation of 6 UX survey best practices from experts.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Conducting a UX survey requires careful planning and execution to achieve actionable insights. Here are five best practices from experts in the field:

1. Make it Quick

People value their time, and long surveys can deter participation. A quick and concise survey ensures that the participant remains engaged. Focus on the essential questions and remove any unnecessary ones. 

Steps you can take:

  • Limit your survey to 5-10 essential questions

  • Use clear and concise language

  • Preview the survey with a friend or colleague to get feedback on the length.

2. Keep It Relevant

Ensuring relevance in your survey questions is crucial for collecting valuable data. If questions stray off-topic, they risk irritating or baffling participants. Keep questions focused to ensure you get the insights for your goals.

Steps you can take:

  • Define your target audience and goals before writing questions

  • Avoid generic questions that don't relate to the product or service

  • Focus on specific user experiences that align with your objectives.

  • Provide not applicable/don’t know answers for all closed questions.

3. Avoid Bias

Bias can distort the results and lead to misguided conclusions. The objective framing of questions helps in collecting unbiased responses. Some of the common biases include: 

  • Question order bias: Affects responses based on the sequence of questions.

  • Confirmation bias: Only ask questions that affirm what you already believe.

  • Primacy bias: People choose the first options given.

  • Recency bias: People are more influenced by their last experience.

  • Hindsight bias: Respondents say events were foreseeable.

  • Assumption bias: Assumes respondents know certain information.

  • Clustering bias: People see patterns where none exist.

Steps you can take:

  • Avoid leading questions

  • Use neutral language

  • Consider asking an expert to review your questions for potential bias

  • Test the survey on a small group before launching it.

4. Mix Up Your Question Types

While multiple-choice and rating scales excel at gathering numerical data, open-ended questions offer rich, qualitative insights. The blend can give you a more comprehensive view of customer sentiment. 

Steps you can take:

  • Use a mixture of types of questions according to the information you need

  • Utilize open-ended questions for in-depth insights and multiple-choice for quick feedback

  • Consider using scale questions to gauge user satisfaction or preferences

5. Ensure Accessibility

Making your survey accessible helps you capture a wide range of perspectives. If you create an accessible survey for everyone, including those with reduced abilities, you'll get a more complete and diverse set of insights. This comprehensive view can enhance the quality of your data and decision-making.

Steps you can take:

  • Utilize easy-to-read fonts and adequate color contrast

  • Provide alternative text for images

  • Ensure that users can navigate the survey using keyboard controls

  • Test the survey's accessibility features

  • Avoid complex layouts and matrix-style questions

See the W3’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for more details.

6.Maintain Privacy

Prioritizing participants' privacy is critical to building trust. When people feel confident that their data is safe, they're more likely to engage fully in your survey. A strong privacy policy meets legal standards and boosts participation rates. It enriches the quality of your insights.

Steps you can take:

  • State your privacy policy at the start of the survey

  • Use secure platforms for conducting the survey

  • Assure participants that their responses will remain confidential

  • Put sensitive or personal questions towards the end

Following these best practices, you can make UX surveys effective for gathering insights and improving the user experience. The actionable steps outlined above make creating an engaging, unbiased, and insightful survey possible.

The Ultimate Guide to Conduct a UX Survey

 A guide to conduct a UX survey in 8 steps.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Conducting UX surveys is essential for understanding user interaction with your product. Follow these steps to design, distribute, and analyze surveys for actionable insights.

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

Defining clear objectives sets the stage for a successful UX survey. It helps you understand the key insights you are seeking. To zero in on what you're aiming to discover, consider these questions:

  • What is the main goal? Understand if you want to measure user satisfaction or you want to focus on something else.

  • Which user behaviors are relevant? Is the survey targeting frequent users, new users, or both?

  • What are the key metrics? Do you want to look at completion rates, time spent, or other indicators?

  • New feature opinions: Are you seeking input on new rolled-out features?

  • Pain points: Are you trying to identify user frustrations and roadblocks? 

Clarity in the objectives will guide every next step and ensure you align the results with your project goals. Well-defined goals will streamline the survey's structure and help craft relevant questions. The sharper focus also helps in analyzing the data you collect later on.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is a pivotal step in creating a survey. Here's why:

  • Product awareness: Gauge how much your audience knows about your product. This shapes the depth and detail of questions.

  • Interests: Understand what topics engage your audience. Use that insight to make questions interesting.

  • Language: A professional audience may understand industry jargon. A general audience may not. Choose words carefully.

  • Region: Geography can affect preferences and opinions. Localize questions if needed.

Understanding your target audience helps you write questions that they can relate to. It leads to higher engagement and more accurate data in user research. You can also create customer personas and a user journey around them. 

Step 3: Craft Engaging Questions for the Questionnaire

Questions are the heart of your survey. Writing engaging, clear, and unbiased questions will provide the insights you need. 

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Learn the art of writing good questions for surveys

So, here’s what you can do to craft engaging questions: 

  • Use different types, such as multiple-choice for quick feedback or open-ended for deeper insights. 

  • Use simple language, avoid jargon, and ensure each question serves a clear purpose. 

  • Be mindful of potential biases and keep the questions neutral. 

Your questions must captivate the user's interest and guide them through the survey.

Step 4: Select a Tool For the UX Research Survey

Selecting the right tool for your UX survey is crucial for data collection and analysis. A Google Form provides a quicker way to get started with UX surveys. Here’s why:

  • Ease of use: Google Forms is user-friendly. Even if you're not tech-savvy, you can create a survey quickly.

  • Customization: It offers various themes and allows question branching based on prior answers.

  • Integration: Google Forms integrates with other Google services like Google Sheets for real-time data tracking.

  • Free: For basic features, it's free of charge.

  • Data analysis: Offers basic analytics like pie charts and bar graphs for quick insights.

You can also use specialized UX research tools like SurveyMonkey with more advanced features. Consider what your objectives and target audience need. Then, choose a tool that best serves those needs.

Step 5: Pilot the Survey

Pilot testing is an invaluable step in refining the UX survey. It provides an opportunity to uncover unforeseen issues with the survey design, questions, or technology. 

Recruit participants in small numbers to test the survey. You can ask internal team members for help or contact professionals via LinkedIn. Use this test survey to understand their experience and make necessary adjustments. This can make the difference between a good survey and a great one. It helps iron out the kinks and ensures a smoother product experience for the primary audience.

Step 6: Launch the Survey

Launching the survey is more than making it live. It involves choosing the proper channels, timing, and even incentives. Promoting the survey ensures that it reaches your intended audience and encourages participation. 

Consider the time of day, week, and even platform that aligns with your audience. You must plan every aspect of the launch to maximize participation.

Step 7: Analyze and Interpret the Results

Data analysis transforms raw data into valuable insights. Use analytical tools to sort, filter, and interpret the data in the context of your objectives. Look for patterns and correlations but also for unexpected discoveries. 

Your interpretation should lead to actionable insights that guide product or service improvement. This step transforms the effort of surveying real value for your project.

Step 8: Share Insights and Implement Changes

Finally, sharing your findings and implementing changes completes the process. Create comprehensive reports and engage stakeholders with the insights. Sharing fosters a shared understanding and sets the stage for informed decisions. 

Plan and iterate on improvements based on the insights and use the learnings for continuous enhancement.

Each step is a building block that contributes to a successful and insightful user experience survey. Following this roadmap helps ensure that you create an engaging, relevant, and actionable UX research survey.

The 20 Best User Experience Survey Questions

These questions form a comprehensive framework for understanding various aspects of the user experience. Remember to use only a few of these to keep response rates high.

  1. How did you find our website/app?

This question helps assess the effectiveness of your marketing channels. It shows you where people first encounter your brand. While Google Analytics reveals traffic from specific sources like AdWords or Facebook, it needs to track direct traffic. Knowing this can fine-tune your marketing strategy.

  1. What was your primary goal in visiting our site today? Did you achieve it?

Focuses on why users visit and if the site meets their needs. It helps identify gaps in content or functionality.

  1. How easy was it to navigate our site?

This question examines the effectiveness of your website. You're on the right track if people find it easy to navigate. If not, it's a red flag. Your site's layout or functionality may need tweaks.

  1. What features did you use most?

This question identifies which parts of your product or service are most valuable to customers. If the majority say they often use a specific feature, that's a pivotal strength to highlight in marketing.

  1. Were there any features that needed to be clarified or easier to use?

This question zeroes in on potential weak spots in your product design or functionality. A feature consistently labeled as confusing or complicated to use needs improvement.

  1. How would you rate your overall experience?

Provides a general impression of user satisfaction.

  1. What would you change about our website or app?

This question invites suggestions for improving your digital solution. It gives users a voice in the development process.

  1. How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?

Recommendations measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Pop-up surveys commonly use this question based on a widely used metric called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). A high likelihood to recommend means customers are happy and likely to become brand advocates.

  1. What other products or services would you like us to offer?

This question taps into unmet customer needs and wants. Responses can reveal gaps in your current offerings and inspire new products or services.

  1. Did you encounter any technical issues?

Technical issues, like bugs, error messages, or crashes, can affect customer satisfaction.

  1. What is your preferred payment/delivery method?

It may seem trivial, but some customers will only buy if their preferred payment method is available. So, you must understand the popular payment options that resonate with your target audience.

  1. What is your preferred method of contact for support?

This question seeks to know how customers prefer to reach out for help. Understanding this helps businesses optimize their customer service channels.

  1. How would you describe our product in one sentence?

This question aims to capture a concise customer impression of your product. The one-sentence descriptions can reveal key strengths or weaknesses.

  1. How does our product compare to similar ones in the market?

This question seeks to understand your product's competitive edge or shortcomings. Responses can tell you where you excel or lag behind rivals.

  1. Were our support resources (FAQs, live chat) helpful?

You need to understand the effectiveness of your customer support tools, like FAQs and live chat. If most people find these resources helpful, they validate your support strategy. If not, it's a cue to improve these areas. Understanding this aspect ensures that you offer assistance that benefits your customers.

  1. How could our product better meet your needs in the future?

This question aims to collect suggestions for future improvements. Whether adding new features or refining existing ones, the feedback helps roadmap planning. If multiple customers highlight the same issue (like with pricing), that's a vital sign that needs attention. 

  1. How did you find the speed of the site?

This question evaluates how site speed impacts user satisfaction. Slow loading can frustrate users and may even lead them to abandon the site. If multiple people report this issue, it signals a need for optimization.

  1. What language options would you prefer for our website/app?

This question identifies the language preferences of your user base. If a significant portion prefers another language, it makes sense to offer that option. Adding new languages can broaden your reach and make your platform more inclusive.

  1. Would you like a follow-up from our team regarding your feedback?

This question gauges interest in further communication. A 'yes' suggests the respondent is engaged and open to dialogue, indicating higher loyalty or interest. A 'no 'means they provided feedback but aren't looking for a discussion.

  1. Would you be interested in future updates or newsletters?

This question gauges customer interest in staying connected with your brand. A 'yes' indicates a satisfied customer likely to engage with future offerings. A 'no' could suggest they're not fully satisfied or not interested in long-term engagement.

UX Survey Templates

Here’s a list of the eight best user experience survey templates that are free to use:

  1. Client Feedback Form

Find out what clients think about your business. Use this form as a case study to gather thoughts on customer service and more. Make changes to the template to focus on specific aspects of customer interaction

  1. NPS-Enhanced Software Survey

Experts have made this ready-to-use template to improve your software's Net Promoter Score (NPS). Gather critical insights to elevate your product.

  1. Basic NPS Inquiry Template

Easily gauge customer loyalty with this template. Customers rate their likelihood of recommending you from 0 to 10. Adapt the template to explore additional areas.

  1. Support Team Feedback Form

Assess the performance of your customer service team. Adapt the survey to delve into aspects you are particularly interested in.

  1. Quick Response Customer Survey

Send this brief survey to understand customer perceptions. It encourages customers to elaborate on their answers. Make adjustments to fit your needs.

  1. Product Feedback Survey

Use this template to collect comments on your products. It aims to identify issues and suggest resolutions.

  1. Snapshot Product Assessment

Collect rapid feedback on your products. Use this form to get concise and actionable comments from customers.

  1. Comprehensive Client Feedback Form

Capture detailed information on how your customers feel about your products and services. This is useful for pinpointing specific areas for improvement.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it. We have provided an in-depth guide to creating a successful UX survey. It covers all the essential aspects, from defining objectives to crafting engaging questions, ensuring accessibility, analyzing results, and implementing changes. 

We’ve included a curated list of 20 UX survey questions and eight templates, each serving a unique purpose in understanding the user experience. 

Two major takeaways from this content include: 

  • Align the survey with clear objectives: Understanding what you want to achieve with the survey sets the foundation for success. It guides every subsequent step.

  • Asking relevant and engaging questions: Crafting clear, interesting, and unbiased questions that cover various facets of the user experience is vital. It helps in capturing genuine feedback and insights. 

You can follow these guidelines to uncover profound insights that drive success in your product or service.

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The Basics of User Experience Design

Download our free ebook The Basics of User Experience Design to learn about core concepts of UX design.

In 9 chapters, we’ll cover: conducting user interviews, design thinking, interaction design, mobile UX design, usability, UX research, and many more!

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