What are framing questions?

When conducting user research it is important to start on the right foot. A good starting point is to define what exactly it is you want to accomplish through this research. This is where framing questions come into play. Framing questions normally follow the format of "5Ws and an H". These questions have been around for quite some time normally used by reports these questions answer who, what, when, where, why, and how.

  • Who? - "Who" questions help determining your prospective audience helps you define demographics and baseline criteria for recruiting.
  • What? - "What" questions help clarify what actions a person takes. These could be when dealing with a situation that you hope your solution is solving, or actually working with your product.
  • When? - "When" questions give you timing and usage insights. Is the expectation that people will use your product as part of a routine? after a trigger? How long will they use it?
  • Where? - "Where" questions give context. These will let you know a lot about the users technological and timing limitations.
  • Why? - "Why" questions give emotional insight and rational drivers for a persons behavior.
  • How? - "How" questions give detail into explicit steps and actions people take to solve a problem and reach their goals.

Using these questions you can set your objective questions you would like answered in your user research.