Quick Answer Builder Guide


At a Glance

Quick Answer Builder lets you create Quick Answer templates to empower your colleagues to run tests based on your organization’s needs and best practices. This article walks through the three steps to build a Quick Answer template that anyone on your team can use.


Quick Answers are available on the following subscriptions:

Flex plan Seat-based plan
Essentials  Startup 
Advanced  Professional 
Ultimate Premium 


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Creating a Quick Answer Template

Quick Answers allow anyone to get fast feedback from customers on the UserTesting Platform. With the Quick Answer Builder, you can create your own Quick Answer templates customized for your team’s needs. To get started creating a custom Quick Answer:

1. Choose Manage Templates from the navigation menu on the UserTesting Dashboard.
1 choose manage template.png

2. Click on the Quick Answers tab, then select Create new.

2 click on QA.png


3. Next, you're taken to a screen that displays three steps for creating your custom Quick Answer:

3 three steps.png

  • Step 1: Test title: Enter a title and description so that colleagues know when to use the Quick Answer template. This is how people will find your Quick Answer in the Template Gallery.
  • Step 2: Test plan: Write the tasks and questions contributors will answer when taking the Quick Answer test.
  • Step 3: Quick-start form: Create the form where colleagues enter test details, such as links or descriptions of activities they want to test.

You can work on these steps in any order, and your work is saved as you move back and forth among them. 

💡Tip: You may find it helpful to collaborate with other researchers on your team and to draft a research plan before you start building a custom Quick Answer. Refer to "Tasks: An Overview" and "Ways to Collect Insights: Quick Resource Guide" for inspiration on how to frame your test plan.

Let’s look at each step separately.

Step 1: Test Title

In this step, you create the template card people click on in the Template Gallery to use the custom Quick Answer. When colleagues visit the Template Gallery, they see the templates displayed as tiles:

start with template.png

1. Begin the Test title step (Step 1) by entering a title that succinctly and clearly conveys the purpose of the Quick Answer Template. For example, “Compare two websites.”


2. Next, enter a test description that expands on the purpose announced in the title, briefly explaining to colleagues why they might want to use this template. For our example, something like “Understand which website users prefer based on how easily they complete the same activity on each site.”


Note: As you enter text, a preview of the template card appears in the sidebar. 

3. Enter the "Help..." text. 

  • This test is good for: use this field to explain how using this test helps better understand people’s needs, and identify opportunities for improving existing features or creating new ones.

Example text would be: “Comparing websites’ ease of use, strengths, and weaknesses” and “Testing your website against a competitor’s site.”

  • What you need for this test: use this field to enter requirements for using the template, such as a publicly accessible link or the product a colleague wants to test.

Example instructions: "Links to the two websites that you want to test and a description of the task you want users to compare on both sites."

QAB_guide_28.pngNow, having in place the card that colleagues use to launch the test, let’s then create the test plan. Remember that you can come back and change anything in this step at any time.

Step 2: Test Plan

In this step, you add the instructions, tasks, and questions contributors will see when they take the Quick Answer test. Here are the instructions for this step:

  • Enter the scenario. As with standard unmoderated tests, scenarios inform contributors as to how they should approach the test. An example scenario might be: “Describe your experience as you use two websites. Remember to explain your thoughts and actions out loud.”


  • In the Test plan area, drag into the drop area the tasks and questions you want contributors to do and answer, just as you would with a standard unmoderated test. You can also toggle on Contributor View to record contributors’ faces as they complete the tasks.

in test plan area.png

Using placeholders

Because this is a Quick Answer template, you can add placeholders to tasks and questions. These placeholders are fill-in-the-blank spaces you add to the template, and colleagues provide the specific information to go in the blanks before launching a Quick Answer test.

As you write tasks and questions, insert placeholders where these details should appear. You can provide a placeholder in any task and use any words as long as you use the placeholder format described below.

In this example, we use %{website_a} and %{website_b} as placeholders for the two websites we’re comparing.


Here are some rules to keep in mind when creating and using placeholders:

  • Format placeholders with a percent sign % and place text within two curly brackets { }.
  • Placeholder text can use numbers, lowercase letters, and underscores.
  • Placeholder text can’t use spaces, uppercase letters, or special characters.
  • You can use placeholders in all assets, tasks, and questions. You cannot use placeholders in the starting instructions scenario.
  • You can use the same placeholder more than once. For example, a single test might include “How satisfied are you with %{website_a}?”, “What did you prefer about %{website_a} over %{website_b}?” and “Rate the difficulty of navigating {%website_a}.”


  • %{product_name}
  • %{description}
  • %{competitor_a}
  • %{competitor_b}
  • %{my_url_1}


  • %{space between words}
  • %[straight_brackets]
  • {missing_percent_character}
  • %{Using_Capitals}
  • %{$pecialch@rac+ers}

As you add placeholders, they appear in the sidebar on the right.

as you add placeholders.png

Note: The yellow warning symbol indicates that you have not yet used the placeholders in an input block on the Quick start form, which is the next step.

In your Test plan, you can create a series of related tasks using the same placeholder. You can also pair a verbal response with multiple responses, ratings, and written responses. To pair these, add the same placeholder to each. For example:

  • Verbal response: Talk about your experience booking a flight on %{website_a}.
  • Rating scale: Rate your experience booking a flight on %{website_a}.

Key takeaways

Mark at least one question as the Key takeaway. Only multiple choice, rating scale, and written response questions can become Key takeaways. Check the Make this the Key takeaway box to make one the Key takeaway.

  • If a multiple choice question is the Key takeaway, it must have exactly two answers.
  • If a rating scale is the Key takeaway, it must use a 5-point scale.

key takeaways mult choice.png

Note: At least one task must be marked as a Key takeaway; otherwise, your template will have an error, and you won’t be able to publish it.

This is what the Key takeaway looks like on the Results tab in the Platform:

key takeaways results.png

Sidebar label

To display other results on the Results tab, add a Sidebar label to your tasks as shorthand for a question or task.


Sidebar labels allow you to organize contributor responses to specific tasks. They are located on the left-hand side of the Results tab:

sidebar labe;.png

Here are some tips to follow when creating a Sidebar label in the Test plan step:

  • Summarize the task or question in 3–5 words to remind people what prompted the answers.
  • Add the same Sidebar label to pair the data from two questions or tasks. For instance, you'd want to view “website pros” and “website feelings” on the same tab on the Results page.
  • To provide richer video content, you can add the same Sidebar label to a verbal response as to a task marked as a Key takeaway (since Key takeaways cannot be applied to verbal tasks).
  • You can use placeholders in Sidebar labels (as shown below).

placeholders in sidebar.png

Note: Results without a Sidebar label appear only on the Metrics tab.

When you finish the Test plan, move on to the Quick start form. Remember that you can come back and change anything in this step at any time.

Step 3: Quick Start form

In this step, you create the template’s Quick Start form and briefly explain to colleagues why they might want to use this template.

The Quick Start form appears when you click the Quick Answer card in the Template Gallery.


The Quick Start form is where you ask colleagues to provide the variable content to “fill in” the placeholders you added to the test plan. For example, you'd ask colleagues for the link for %{website_a}, and the link they then enter gets placed in the test plan everywhere you added %{website_a}.

You will build your Quick start form using input blocks, which, along with instructions, contain a placeholder, a text entry field, and a label for that text entry field. You can add "hint" and "helper" text, if needed. 

Let’s see how this works. 

1. Complete the first input block for your colleagues to name the test when they use your template. The placeholder and label are already provided, so you can enter any Hint text or Helper text you need.


2. Next, you need to add an input block for each unique placeholder in your test plan.

Click Add input block to create more input blocks to fill out. In this example, we would end up adding three more input blocks, one for each of the three placeholders we have in the sidebar on the right.


3. Fill out Placeholder text for this information block for each input block. Every placeholder in the Test plan needs to be added to the Quick start form. 

As you add a placeholder to an input block, the warning symbol changes to a checkmark.


If your placeholder is for a link, change Text to URL in the dropdown menu to the right of the placeholder. 


4. Enter the field’s Label text. Labels appear above a text field and tell colleagues what to enter.


5. Enter Hint text to provide help on how to word the variable content.


6. Enter Helper text to provide help about the variable content itself.


 Repeat steps 3-6 for each input block.


7. If you need to make changes to the Quick Start form itself, do either of the following:

  • To delete an input block, click Delete.
  • To reorder input blocks, use the Move handle to drag it up or down the list.



8. To preview the Quick start form, click Preview Form.



9. Lastly, click Review. This checks all three steps to make sure there’s nothing missing.


If there is an error, then select Close and edit the step that’s been flagged. Double-check that all fields in the step(s) have been properly filled out, and that each placeholder is in an input block. If everything looks good, click Publish.

Lastly, if you ever need to edit a Quick Answer template after it’s been published, click the “...” menu next to the template and select Unpublish.


Best Practices for Building Your Quick Answer

The best Quick Answers are:

  • Actionable - Help colleagues make a decision or act upon the information they learn. Choose Key takeaways that generate actionable results.
  • Reusable - Quick Answer templates can be used over and over. Create templates that are likely to be used often, like “Validate a prototype” or “Compare two websites.”
  • Specific - Tailor templates for particular situations. Instead of creating a template for usability testing, consider focusing one Quick Answer on testing prototypes and another on testing graphics on a live webpage.

Here's another best practice to keep in mind as you create your custom Quick Answer.

Add flexibility to the template

People who use your template can’t update the scenario or add tasks or questions. To add flexibility to the template, add a task with a placeholder such as %{content} or %{task_to_be_done}, or even %{openquestion}. Then use these placeholders so people launching the test can add details to the scenario or an extra task. For example:

Add the placeholder in the Test plan. In this example, we add %{content} as a task.

test plan.png

Learn More

Need more information? Read these related articles.

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out our University courses.

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