User Interview Example Questions

The following are sample questions for a user interview. Please note that your questions need to be tailored to each individual project.

Questions for Getting to know the user:

  • Please tell me about yourself and your relationship to Yale.
    • If they are student ask — major, year, school?
    • If they are employee ask — what type of employment, and for how long?
  • Please tell me about your relation to the [project topic]?
  • Describe your typical day at [role environment]?
  • When you are on a computer and the internet, are there any challenges you face accessing information?

Questions for gathering user behavior:

  • What are the most important tasks you or other people need to perform in using [project website or application]?
  • How would you describe your past and current experience with [project topic, website or application]?
  • How often do you use or see yourself using [project website or application]?
  • How do you normally get to [project website or application]?
    • If answer is direct URL ask – Do you use a bookmark for this?
    • If answer is web searching ask – What terms do you typical search for?
    • If answer is a link on another site ask – What sites?
    • If answer is a bookmarked link ask – Do you remember how you first obtained the URL?
  • What devices do you typically use when visiting [project website or application]?
  • Do you or did you in the past use other websites and resources for the same purpose as [project website or application]?
  • Is there anything you or your users often look for on [project website or application] that is missing or hard to find?
  • Is there any way [project website or application] isn't supporting your needs currently?
  • If you had a question regarding [project topic] do you know who to contact?
    • If yes – how do you know?
    • If no – how would you go about contacting someone?

Questions for gathering opinion:

  • What do you see as the primary function of the [project topic]?
  • What do you see as the primary function of the [project website or application]?
  • What do you like about the current [project website or application]?
  • What don’t you like about the current [project website or application]?

Questions for gathering user awareness:

  • Are you aware that [project topic, website or application] offers [particular feature]?

Questions about the project goal:

  • What is your main goal when visiting the [project website or application]?
    • Ask follow up question - Do you have any secondary goals?
  • What would prevent you from achieving [project goal]?
  • What improvements could be made to make [project goal] easier or better?

Questions for projects that provide information:

  • How do you use the information on the [project website or application]?
  • Would you ever need to share these metrics with others?
    • If yes – who, what format and method of sharing?
  • Would you ever need to export [information or asset in project]?
    • If yes – when, why and in what format?

Questions for a project that has a process:

(ex: purchasing, submitting a request or creating assets)

  • How long do you expect the [process in the project] to take?
  • Do you remember the communication or any follow up after you performed the [process in the project]?
  • Under what circumstances would you want to receive an alert in [process in the project]?

Questions for closing out the interview:

  • What haven’t we asked you today that you think would be valuable for us to know?
  • May I contact you if we have any other questions or for possible further research for this project?