How to Design a Quiz That Will Keep Your Audience Engaged


How do you create an online quiz that you can guarantee users will complete and share with family and friends? Engaging an audience en masse is no mean feat. Designing a successful online quiz is regarded as one of the best content marketing achievements, purely because you need to keep the attention of users for a considerable period. In today’s world, where attention spans are at all-time lows due to the sheer volume of content available to consume, constructing a popular quiz requires significant planning.

Back in 2013, the New York Times website designed an online quiz which would eventually become its most popular landing page of the year. Its quiz, titled ‘How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk’ asked respondents to answer how they would pronounce specific words. At the end of the quiz, they were then linguistically-matched to their most suitable region of the United States. Sometimes quizzes can have significant revenue-driving qualities.

For instance, Zenni Optical’s quiz raked in over $1m in revenue, with its quiz designed to help glasses-wearers find frame styles that best suited the shape of their face and their personality without having to venture in store. Imagery can also play a key role in user engagement. Lottoland’s blog quizzes are short and snappy but their highly relevant and humorous imagery helps to contextualize their questions based on lotteries around the world.

If your employer or client tasks you with designing and developing an online quiz for their target demographic, here are some key pointers to ensure you provide the best possible user experience:

Tailor your quiz to your ideal reader

It’s best to accept from the outset that your quiz won’t appeal to everyone. In fact, it’s best to specialize your quiz to a dedicated niche. If you generalize too much, you’ll disengage those who are really enthused in your topic and bore those who don’t care about your topic either way. Instead, write your quiz for your perfect respondent; the person that would really get a kick out of answering your questions. This will also help you to develop the right tone of voice for your questions.

Choose an intriguing quiz title

It’s no secret that websites with mass engagement such as BuzzFeed maximize click-throughs to their landing pages using intriguing page titles. Your quiz title should be no different. It should clearly communicate what users can expect from the quiz and give them a reason to care about answering it.

Avoid filler questions which may bore or confuse respondents

One of the rules any engaging online quiz abides by is ‘all killer questions, no filler questions’. According to Qzzr, the typical online quiz takes just 2 minutes and 27 seconds to finish. You don’t have much time to play with, so make sure you only hit your users with the most interesting and challenging questions that might just create a talking point at the end.

Massage user egos with shareable scores

Qzzr says that almost half (45%) of all shared online quizzes are from users who achieve the best possible score. Meanwhile more than three-quarters (76%) of shares are from those who achieve minimum scores of 80% or better. Incorporate percentage scores at the end of your quiz to help users quickly understand how well they’ve performed. Position social media share buttons close by, in case users wish to show-off and challenge their pals to try and beat them.

Finally, don’t be disheartened if your first quiz doesn’t take off as planned. Practice makes perfect. If your first quiz questions or even the quiz title itself fail to generate worthwhile click-throughs, learn from it and be self-critical of your performance. As with all forms of design, don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for your demographic.