Probing questions: research within research

What are probing questions?

To dig deeper in the answers the user gave us, we make a specific kind of question called probing questions, where we try to gather more specific information about the feedback that we are being given.

Types and examples of probing questions

But, how are probing questions asked? There are two kinds of probing questions which we can use to dig deeper in our research:

Probing questions to gather more information

These questions are asked when we need to round up more and deeper information about what the user is telling us.

  • Can you explain to me what you just said?
  • What do you mean by that?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • What led you to that conclusion?
  • What were your intentions?
  • How should this be to improve its use?

Probing questions to uncover underlying reasons

In this case the objective of the questions is to discover more reasons or hidden motivations in answers that were given previously. These questions are used to find out why people act in certain ways.

  • Tell me why you did that.
  • Why is it so important to you?
  • Tell me why this feature surprised you.
  • Why did you choose that option first?



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Torresburriel Estudio

Torresburriel Estudio

User Experience & User Research agency focused on services and digital products. Proud member of @UXalliance