# Question Blocks

Take a modular approach to research with question blocks.

Question blocks are a new component-based way to think about research.

NOTE

This is a preview of an upcoming feature. Question blocks are slated for release in summer 2020.

Design systems are taking hold with teams in organizations worldwide and with good reason. It makes sense to design in components. It scales, it stays consistent, it unifies practices. Developers have already been working with components for years. We think it’s time researchers move to this approach too.

Study design has followed two paths—a ready-made template or question-by-question. Neither of these is quite right for creating a meaningful study design though. A ready-made template can be a less intimidating way to get started but, in the end, you’ve probably made a lot of adjustments. A question bank can help you see how to structure a question or answer choices, but it still leaves you with the overwhelming task of putting it all together.

That’s where question blocks come in. We’ve created the smallest meaningful unit of a study that can be put together in several different ways. Kind of like a Lego kit for research.

Each block is a set of prompts and follow-ups that go together and have been field-tested in thousands of real-life design research projects.

Here are the core components:

  • A warm-up block that gathers valuable context for the study.
  • An inventory block that guides participants to show you everything they use, like, own, or need associated with your topics.
  • A process block that helps a person document what they do step-by-step.
  • An ideation block where you have participants engage in a creative activity, like a sketch or story building.
  • A story block that helps a participant retell a narrative with meaningful detail.
  • A key moment block that encourages participants to share a significant moment.
  • A task block where participants walk through an activity on your website or app.
  • A reflection block where participants think about the bigger picture.
  • A wrap-up block that asks participants to sum up their experience.

Question blocks can be mixed and matched to create all kinds of studies. For instance, a customer journey could look something like: warm-up + process + key moment + wrap-up. A persona study might include: warm-up + story + inventory + reflection. The blocks help you to create a research practice that is flexible and consistent and, above all, insightful.