I am a designer, working on a web application, a tool that will be used by multiple users, in collaboration, to create presentations. These users will create presentations for their clients. I now need to design the dashboard for such tool, and need to understand how the users would group and share among themselves the presentation they produce.

I want to send out a survey to possible users. What questions should I include to get really meaningful insights?
I have sent out forms in the past getting vague answers, probably asking the wrong questions.


  • Can you perhaps include some examples of past form questions. They might just need to be tweaked rather than having lots of changes made. I think Stephen Few has some nice references when it comes to dashboard design: perceptualedge.com/library.php#Articles
    – Michael Lai
    Jun 7 '20 at 23:09
  • Hi, thanks. Here some questions I asked: What are the tools you/your team use to develop new training materials? How do you organize the training material?Do you use a folder structure? If you do use a folder structure how do you nest categories? By Team, year period, clients, versions...
    – Henry R.
    Jun 8 '20 at 7:11
  • This is a slightly different question to the one that you have asked originally, and probably out of scope for UXSE since it is more related to the organisation of training material. But you can reference how some of the software used for technical writing structures their interface and folder structure like Adobe RoboHelp (adobe.com/au/products/robohelp.html) or Madcap Flare (madcapsoftware.com/products/flare).
    – Michael Lai
    Jun 8 '20 at 7:34
  • Thanks for your answer and valuable resources. My goal is to display on the dashboard in the clearest way the personal files created and shared ones, as an MVP, and collect info if a system of shareable folders is needed. Like Google Drive has My Files, Shared Drives and Shared with me.
    – Henry R.
    Jun 8 '20 at 8:13

Stephen Few, who is touted as one of the guru (or at least an authoritative figure in dashboard design), has written a lot about dashboard design on his website (https://www.perceptualedge.com/).

You'll find one of the articles in the Library section of the website addressing the type of questions that you need to ask to gather requirements for the dashboard that you want to design title Dashboard Design Requirements Questionnaire.

If you take a look at some of the questions that are asked, you can see that the main purpose is to establish some key considerations around:

  • The nature of the data that you want to display and how often it changes
  • The primary audience or user of the dashboard
  • The primary goal or purpose for using the dashboard, including the key actions that they will take based on the information provided on the dashboard
  • Details of each data item or category
  • Other information that will provide useful context for interpreting the data displayed in the dashboard (that might be from other data sources)

It is great that your are thinking about your users needs. This scenario screams a Card Sorting exercise. It sounds like you communicate with your users digitally so you would want to use a tool like https://www.optimalworkshop.com/optimalsort/.

I do recommend you read up on the topic however at a high level it is a great way to gain an understanding of how your users expect content to be presented in a parent/child relationship.

You can also do whats called an open card sort which will help you identify key items your users want on the dashboard that you may not have thought of.

Once you mockup or prototype your dashboard, I would send out a user test to ask users where they would find X or Y.

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