Using Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice questions are one type of survey-style questions. They can make a big impact on your research by allowing you to measure participants’ overall opinions and preferences.

Multiple choice questions are great for:

  • Learning what stands out most to a participant on a site
  • Determining what participants would do when they reach certain points in the navigation
  • Gauging preference for specific designs or elements of your product
  • Evaluating content
  • And much more—they’re only limited by your imagination

5 steps to writing an excellent multiple choice question

1. Provide a “None of the above”, “I don’t know” or “Other” option

 This will prevent your data from being skewed, providing an “out”  in case none of the other answers apply to the participant, or if the participant is confused.

2. Provide clear and distinct answers

Make sure your answers are mutually exclusive, and each answer can stand alone. Otherwise, it will not only confuse participants, but it will compromise the value of the feedback.

3. Avoid asking leading questions or yes/no questions

When participants can easily predict which answer you want from them, they’ll be more likely to choose that answer, even if it isn’t accurate.

4. Ask the participant to “Please explain your answer aloud”

Although most participants realize that this is implied, it never hurts to include this small prompt for participants to re-articulate any concerns or issues they encountered in previous tasks. Plus, it makes for some excellent sound bites that can be passed along to your team.

5. Decide whether participants can select more than one answer.

In some scenarios, it might make sense to let participants choose all answers that apply to them. You'll see the option to do this when you're creating the task.

MultipleChoice.pngTip: If you're allowing participants to select more than one answer, this text will be included with your task: You may choose as many as you like.

See below for an example of how the task will appear to participants during the test:


Additional Resources

Writing Usability Tasks (UserTesting University)
Master Class: Test Creation (UserTesting University)

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