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This script draws upon, and directly mirrors in areas, the work of Michael Margolis in his Google Venture's Usability Testing work


More Context / Discovery Question examples by Michael Margolis

from his PDF document on UX Research Workshop

Types of Questions for Discovery Research

  • Specific Examples: Who did you call from your cell phone yesterday?

  • Complete List: What are all the payment apps on your phone? Are there any others?

  • Activities: What do you typically do to get ready for a trip?

  • Reenactment: Please show me exactly how you do that.

  • Sequence: Please walk me through a typical day. How do you start? And then what do you do next?

  • Inputs and Outputs: What information do you need to gather before you can do x? How and where do you get that information? What do you do with it when you’re done?

  • Guided Tours: Can we take a look at your email account together?

  • Projection: What do you think would happen if. . .?

  • Changes over Time: How does that compare to the way you did that a year ago?

  • Exceptions: Under what circumstances do you do that differently?

  • Suggestive Opinion: Some people have very negative feelings about using cell phones in cars while others don’t. How do you feel about it?

  • Identification: Who do you think would use something like that? Who wouldn’t?

  • Outsider Perspective: How would you describe <feature or activity> to someone who hadn’t done that before? What advice would you give to somebody who was going to try it?

  • Comparisons: What’s the difference between Tweeting and sending an email? How do you do that differently when you’re at home vs. at work?

  • Successes and Failures: What would be the worst case scenario? Can you tell me about a time when this didn’t work?

  • Fill in the blank: So in that situation, you. . . [pregnant pause]?

  • 3 wishes: If you had 3 wishes to make this better for you, what would they be?

Follow-up Questions for discovery research

  • Why?

  • Point to participant’s reactions contradictions, paradoxes, non sequiturs, unexpected reactions, or laughter. Why do you roll your eyes when you say that?

  • Clarification: When you say “her” you mean your daughter, right?

  • Reflecting Back: So, what I hear you saying is______. Is that right?

  • Native Language: Why do you call your computer “my brain”?

  • Silence: Trust your question and wait for participants to fill in the gaps. Or try leaving pregnant pauses: “When that happened, you felt. . . ?“