Aug 31, 2021 | by Budi Tanrim
The alternative of hypothetical questions
Do you enjoy exercise and stay healthy?
How often do you go to the gym?
Those are an example of hypothetical questions. It triggers people’s ideal selves—people speculate a story, which is not necessarily helpful for understanding their behaviour and needs.
In fact, a hypothetical question requires people to remember facts without context. In this situation, people are prone to cognitive biases. As a result, their answer will not be useful for us for product discovery.
You can ask, “Tell me about the last time you went to the gym.” It will trigger their past behaviour, not their perceived behaviour.
Then, you may ask, “What happened next?” When you want the participant to tell the next part of their story. But, sometimes, people skip a few steps in detail. If you are curious and want to understand them, you should ask, “What happened before that?”
If the participant doesn’t give enough information, ask a probing question, “Tell me more about that.”
Slowly, you build an understanding of their behaviour, habits, and environment. You also get the scenario: a beginning, a middle, and an end.