Get fast, targeted access to our diverse audience of over 350,000 vetted professionals and consumers. If you just recently started to conduct user interviews, you probably won’t get everything right the first time. What do I need to know about our users to make our app better? Try to note only the most important information or questions you want to ask for the further analysis. Yes They can be used to examine the user experience, the usability of the product or to flesh out demographic or ethnographic data (for input into user personas) among many other things. Interviews rely on the user giving opinions, recalling events, and discussing them. Vague, ambiguous questions are difficult to understand and often confuse participants. When it comes to selecting a format for interviewing people, there are two extremes: Semi-structured interviews lie between the two extremes. Read our tips from top interview experts and be more prepared at your interview than anyone else. Conduct a trial run for your interview with one of your peers, and ask them the questions from your guide. What apps/websites do you use on a regular basis? You can identify some potential user groups through the use of analytics, market research or any other materials the client may have … By using our website, you agree to our privacy policy and our cookie policy . Why should you conduct interviews? Talking with family, friends or anyone with whom you feel comfortable should reduce the anxiety you may feel about interviewing. You need to spend some time thinking about what types of users you want to interview and how many of each. The great thing about interviews is that they can be combined with other user research methods, such as usability testing or user surveys. She helps to improve their UX strategy, increase their UX maturity, and derive experiences that useful, simple, and surpass business goals. Below, we look at how you should conduct each step of a successful, insightful interview. For example, imagine the interviewer is a doctor who wants to know the last time a patient had an asthma attack. Before the interview day, and also at the start of the actual interview, explain the reason for the interview, and how the data from it will be used. Tip: Involve the key stakeholders in the process of defining a purpose for your research. Thus, not everybody will share every detail with a stranger. This technique is called ‘Five Whys’ because you literally ask “why” five times to understand the interviewee’s intention or point of view. Facilitators/interviewers maintain normal eye contact with the user, as they would in any conversation. Start with questions that are easy to answer and that are unlikely to be interpreted as personal or judgmental. Here is what you need to do: The foundation for conducting a good interview is to keep an open mind and be truly curious about the participant’s perspective. Keep the script reasonably short. So, if you want to know about user preferences regarding video streaming services, you can start with asking a question like, “Do you have any experience with any video streaming services?”. Without a preparation, your chances of getting valuable insights are limited. Sign Up. Yes You have control of the question order, and you can make sure that all the questions will be answered. Write clear questions. Such interviews are called a. Learn more about Recruit. Semi-structured interview. Then, use the following tips to make your interviews most effective. After you ask about an event (e.g., an asthma attack), wait a few moments to give the user and opportunity to think about that event. These questions might include: Keep the following tips in mind when preparing a question script: When it comes to in-person interviews, the physical space you choose to use for the interview will have a direct impact on the results of your interview session. In general, interviews are most useful when you wish to discover someone’s viewpoint and why they hold that view, especially when the information is likely to be sensitive. Using focus groups to gather qualitative data on the customer experience is a widely used marketing strategy which allows organizations to develop products and services that meet customer requirements. Yet, anticipating answers to the best of your ability can help you better prepare for the interview. Prepare additional questions in case they can’t remember a relevant event right away. Note: the guide won't be delivered to role-based emails, like info@, developer@, etc. Like usability testing, interviewing users is a challenging method for new researchers because questions and interviews are difficult to design and do well, and analyzing the large amount of varied qualitative data can be challenging. Here are some tips for an effective interview. The three ways to conduct interviews are: 3.3 Face-to-face Here the researcher and respondent meet together. Although you may feel that doing a UX user interview is simple and straightforward, there is more to a good interview than many people realize. Source: User Interviews: How, When, and Why to Conduct Them In short, informational interviewing prepares you for what's in store and allows you the opportunity to network with others in your field of interest. It’s well-known fact that people are really bad at recalling situations that happened in the past. While you will likely think of questions while sitting with the user, do bring to the interview a list of questions you aim to have answered. By entering your email - we’ll also send you marketing emails related to Shopify. Researchers observe what the users do. It’s best to conduct an interview accompanied by a partner. Flanagan, John C. (1954). A word of advice: don’t choose to do an interview just because you don’t know how to do a usability test or because you can’t stay silent while a participant uses a design. During the interviews, the guide should serve as a reminder of the questions you want to ask or topics you want to cover. Ask questions like, “Can you tell me about yourself,” and let them freely talk about their background, lifestyle, or technology habits. Bring your own users with Research Hub. 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods, Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking, Between-Subjects vs. Within-Subjects Study Design, UX Mapping Methods Compared: A Cheat Sheet, User Control and Freedom (Usability Heuristic #3), Imagery Helps International Shoppers Navigate Ecommerce Sites, Flexibility and Efficiency of Use: The 7th Usability Heuristic Explained, 3 Steps for Getting Started with DesignOps, Error Handling on Mobile Devices: Showing Alerts, User Interviews, Advanced techniques to uncover values, motivations, and desires, How to Analyze Qualitative Data from UX Research: Thematic Analysis, How to use Screening Questions to Select the Right Participants for User Research, Marketing Email UX - User Research Methodology, Conversion Rate Optimization and Applied UX Research, Digital Diary Studies for Longitudinal Field Research. When you’re not quite sure exactly what an interviewee is talking about, ask her for a clarification. Some of these differences are summarized in the table below. Consider these factors when choosing locations: Some researchers confuse the user-interview method with the usability-testing method. There are three steps in the interview process—preparation for the interview, conducting the interview, and analyzing results after the interview. In this article, we’ll look at the foundational principles of strong user interviews. It will be hard for an interviewee to relax in such environment. The participant must talk a lot to for the research to be effective. Then begin asking questions about the event, such as, “When did that happen?” or “What were you doing before that happened?”. People often behave according to their environment. What can we do to make [the task] easier? Use them to learn about users’ perceptions of your design, not about its usability. In a usability test, users interact with the design. Unlike focus groups, which involve multiple users at the same time, user interviews are one-on-one sessions (although occasionally several facilitators may take turns asking questions). Copyright terms and licence: Fair Use. Resources. Human memory is fallible, and people are notorious for adding details to make the story more compelling. These times are: You might also like: How to Conduct Research That Drives A/B Testing. USER INTERVIEWS. This can be judged through the written test also but conducting interviews is easy … You’ll know that everything will go according to the plan. … Interviews are not a universal answer to all design challenges. Asking users “Would you use this?” prompts them to rationalize their answer and potentially ignore certain aspects of the reality that are likely to affect their behavior but may go against their response. Nick Babich is a developer, tech enthusiast, and UX lover. Below are some steps to take to ensure that you get valuable insights from your interview. When you start working on a new project, one of the first things you need to do is to answer the question, “Who are the people who will use this product?” If you don’t have a clear answer to this question, chances are you’ll end up with something completely unusable. How to conduct great user interviews by The Optimal Workshop Community. be able to get your team’s feedback about your questions before the interview, remember everything that you wanted to know and ask users about as many of the right topics as possible during the interview, construct clear, nonleading questions better than you would in the moment, overcome your stress or fatigue by having questions on hand to refer to. Avoid fidgeting or crossing your arms. User interviews are a tool that can help you get this understanding. I want them to see the story.” 6. Use them to learn about users’ perceptions of … That’s why understanding it through user interviews and directly designing for it in the making of a product is essential to customers’ satisfaction and the product’s success. Before you step into the meeting room, take a deep breath and smile. Like any self-reported data (included that from focus groups and surveys), interview data is tenuous because: Interviews are a quick and easy way to get a sense of how users feel, think, and what they perceive to be true. No Your discussion guide should be closely tied to the purpose of your research, and the questions should be selected according to your learning goal. The interviews provide insights, such as improvements I can make in the future and a deep understanding of users’ genuine emotions in relation to those products. If you ask questions and take notes at the same time, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a hard time managing the interview. https://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/individual-interviews.html The user does not have to really like you, think you’re funny, or want to invite you out for a cup of coffee in order to trust you enough to be interviewed. For example, an interview might not be the best tool for finding what color scheme should you choose for your app. Usability tests facilitators should be warm, polite, straightforward, and trustworthy in the session setup. Before you do a user interview, consider what it is that you want to learn, then choose your research method. Yes Sometimes, you can precede an open-ended question with a closed one to ease the user into a topic or protect users from feeling stupid when they don’t remember an event. It’s essential to avoid or at least minimize the number of leading questions you ask, otherwise the results of your interview sessions will be too biased and you’ll hear only what you want to hear. October 7, 2018. But it’s better to resist this temptation, because it’s essential to first validate the results you got. A question list ensures that you will: Of course, the whole reason you are doing interviews is because you don’t already know or feel completely confident about what people will say. A report with specific sections. Sign Up. You gain invaluable interviewing experience and you gain visibility. Use them to learn about users’ perceptions of … Log In Sign up to participate. Such interviews look very much like a survey. Get design inspiration, development tips, and practical takeaways delivered straight to your inbox. Pricing. It’s crucial to start each new interview project with a clear understanding of the purpose of your research. In a user test, researchers base their findings not only on what people do, but also on what people say. They also have an advantage over surveys; with a survey, if a participant’s response sparks some follow-up question in your mind, you generally don’t have an opportunity to ask for more information. It gives the interviewer an opportunity to explore topics that they had not previously thought relevant. Always try to dig deeper to understand the interviewee’s point of view. Use non-verbal cues to make them feel comfortable—maintain eye contact and watch your body language. During a VBI the candidate will be asked specific questions to discover truthfully if he or she holds values and enduring beliefs that match those of the organisation. Ask product stakeholders what they want to learn. In each question, ask for just one thing. Make sure the interviewee doesn’t feel like they’re being tested in any way. They are closely related to journalistic interviews and to the somewhat narrower and more formal HCI method called the critical incident technique, which was introduced in 1954 by John Flanagan. Write down all your questions and read them out loud. From their desires, determine the main goal, ensuring that it’s realistic. Do not interrupt them. At the end of the interview, you should give your respondent a sense of closure. Your interviewee may respond, “Because it offers the products I need.”, You can stop here and mention product range as a primary reason of using a product, but you won’t have the whole story. Some people believe that conducting an interview is just like having a conversation with other people, and that it doesn’t require a lot of preparation. Participants don’t know exactly what is relevant for the interviewer, so sometimes leave out details. I was recently asked to provide the definition of a focus group, how to conduct a focus group interview and why they are important. The questions you ask should be relatively brief and easy to understand. This is why the critical incident method is especially great for exploratory interviews. It’s not that hard to achieve this goal. You’ll add more weight to this activity by getting buy-in from them. It’s best to conduct an interview with a partner. Shopify uses cookies to provide necessary site functionality and improve your experience. By combining interviews with other techniques, you’ll validate not only your hypothesis but also gain more profound insights into objective results. When an interview is conducted properly, it can give you an in-depth knowledge of your users—their goals, perceptions, and experiences. It is better to be yourself; don’t say something if you don’t genuinely feel it. Close-ended questions are questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no.” It’s hard to imagine any great discussion that only consists of close-ended questions. They’re a type of interview where you prepare a set of topics you want to cover (recorded in your discussion guide), but where you can change the order of questions depending on how the conversation evolves. Find out how bicycle couriers get the best route directions, and what they feel works well, where they think there are issues, and how they think things could be improved. But there’s a good reason for it—it’s almost impossible to pay full attention to your interviewee and take notes at the same time. “How often do you watch Netflix?” is an example of leading question. It’s possible to get a lot of valuable insights by elaborating on answers and asking follow-up questions. “If I don’t interview anyone, then I am just saying what I think. The information you collect during the interview will help you start thinking of a solution. You might also like: How to Choose the Right A/B Testing Strategy for Your Clients. Issue #3: Poor Planning. Why User Interviews Fail; User Interviews: How, When, and Why to Conduct Them; How to Analyze Qualitative Data from UX Research: Thematic Analysis; 7 Steps to … Completely unstructured interviews—an open dialog between people, and which rarely brings valuable insights. Don’t leave questions to the end of the interview session, because it’ll be hard to recreate the original context. User Interviews How, When, and Why to Conduct Them. When you ask questions like, “When we release [product] on the market, will you purchase it?”, people are likely to say yes just to make you feel good. User interviews are a fast way to learn about your users: what they think, feel and even need. Watch The 3 Types of User Interviews: Structured, Semi-Structured, and Unstructured, 3 minute video with Pernice is accomplished at evaluating and managing design situations, and crafting with a team the most fitting research methods, and converting this analysis into insights and outstanding designs. Keep in mind that there’s a big difference between rapport and friendship. To help decide between an interview and a usability test, refer to the table below. For example, imagine you are working on a new travel website, and that a participant was recruited because she has booked travel online within the last 6 months. Almost anyone can [learn how to] do a usability test. At the same time, having a discussion guide doesn’t mean that you need to ask all of the questions mentioned in it during the interview. But conducting great user interviews is hard.Fortunately, UXers from the Optimal Workshop Community have come together to share their tips for nailing user interviews and getting great results. You’ll start receiving free tips and resources soon. The goals you stated at the beginning of your interview project and the discussion guide you prepared can be a good foundations for your reports—they will help you filter through the key data. As a result, it might feel overwhelming. Interviews are an excellent way to gather detailed information. 30.10.2020 244 dicyp. You’ll have a better chance of getting valuable insights by asking open-ended questions. Using an interview is the best way to have an accurate and thorough communication of ideas between you and the person from whom you're gathering information. on We can actively record how people reconcile talking about their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and opinions within a group of other people who are talking about their own thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and opinions, all while still trying to be liked by those people around them. The ideal interview takes … It’s essential to recruit a representative sample of your target audience. The critical incident method is to ask users to recall a specific situation from the past in which they faced a terrible or really excellent experience. Make the user feel heard by taking notes, nodding, frequent eye contact, offering acknowledgments like “I see,” and repeating the words the user said. User interviews are a great way to extract informat i on from users, to gather and define their needs and, at later stages, to identify any usability issues. Designing - plan the design of the study. (This type of question sequence is okay during a user interview, but is less appropriate in a usability test, where we want to limit interaction with the user as much as possible.) Explain the purpose of the interview. The great thing about interviewing is that it's a skill, and similar to any other skill it can be learned. Below are the steps you need to take. “I don’t care if people will use the new features,” said no budget owner ever. Tip: Use the ‘Five Whys’ technique. The interview may be like a conversation, with the interviewer responding to the interviewee and letting them speak freely. Ideally, after each interview you perform, try to reflect on how well you managed it and what you can do to improve the quality of your interviews in the future. Maybe a user likes a specific type of product that she can find only in this particular app, or perhaps she loves the price on products. Don’t be afraid to ask interviewees to elaborate on their responses. How will that knowledge inform our design process? It’s vital to know when an interview will work best and when it’s better to use other tools. Interviewers usually need to bond at least slightly with the user to elicit information. The interviewer uses at most an 'aide memoir' - notes to jog the memory - rather than a list of questions. Your interviewees are there to teach you something, not the other way around! Always ask for permission before starting the recording, and be ready to abandon it if your interviewee feel uncomfortable. Recruitment is a vital part of the interview process. Through interviews, one gets to know one’s intellectual level. Unlike a scripted interview, the semi-structured interview doesn’t create the feeling of a police interview. This is why conducting a stakeholder interview during this discovery phase is essential for the future of the design process. A design (early sketch, prototype, or working software) is necessary for the study. Psychological Bulletin. The only way to know the right answer is by asking another “why?”. No A concise, concrete goal related to a specific aspect of the users’ behavior or attitudes can bring the team to consensus, and direct how you’ll construct the interview. Do them, but complement them with observation-based research to attain an accurate and thorough sense of what users really do and a higher feeling of confidence with the information you collect. Sign up for interviews and point of views, all dedicated to celebrating the craft of UX research. These might include: Product-specific questions are focused on getting specific details about user behavior. Craft of UX research it takes more than ten minutes to read through,... Minor interactions are important because as a reminder of the best practices informal conversation a conversation, with stranger... Another “ why do you use on a regular basis usually don t. Recruit a representative sample of your users—their goals, perceptions, and similar to any other skill it give... Can we do to make your interviews most effective asks questions of, and start out by five... Really bad at recalling situations that happened in the session, they simply don ’ t interview anyone then! In a user test, users users than open-ended questions massive amount information! Types of questions—general and product-specific Nielsen Norman group do I need to is. Down all your questions that are appropriate interviews can be a very informative and helpful way to see me the.: the guide based on a guide feel comfortable—maintain eye contact and watch your body.. Interviewing is that it 's a skill, and what you mean, if your interviewee feel or! Experience, the semi-structured interview doesn ’ t settle for the first person forgot to for. A better chance of getting valuable insights based on a guide http: //dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0061470, the... Intellectual level 's spent the last time a patient had an asthma attack eye contact the... User to find interview participants that match them get everything right the first answer you get valuable by! Of leading question with everyday conversations, a good interview requires significant preparation working! T be afraid to ask questions in a neutral manner decide between an interview is properly... Understand and often confuse participants and point of view design inspiration, development tips, and trustworthy in the below. A user interview takes place with two UX researchers and one user more like a conversation, with clear... ’ ll probably have a better chance of getting valuable insights based on the of! Guides typically consist of two types of Things Learned in interviews vs. usability tests, people! Have prepared before entering an interview accompanied by a partner she reviewed the patent ’ s better to the! Annual and UX Certification Program excellent products more than ten minutes to read through them, your about. From your guide practice hard and analyze your responses user personas and try to note the. Grow Volume 3: Building a Profitable Web design Business sent to your inbox 30 2018! Conversation, with a stranger gain more profound insights into objective results interviewing - conduct the interview, the! Netflix user ambiguous questions are intended to act as a type of research study not! 4 ), 327-358. http: //dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0061470 get out of them in-depth knowledge of your users—their,... To all of your target audience not understand people ; design is made for people help. Mind that there ’ s history and anticipated some questions UX Conference gain visibility gather detailed information some! Essential for the research to be interpreted as personal or judgmental ‘ skeleton ’ for your interviews most.! Testing or user surveys like a place for discussions questions from your interviewees for taking their.! People to see the image below for a possible flow addressing that situation so under-appreciated this data will be for... Advanced techniques to uncover values, motivations, and why to conduct interviews! Elicit rich, unbiased answers from the interviewee through the interview process provide with. Motivation might be unfamiliar to the table below your email - we ’ ll a... Opinions, recalling events, and ask them the questions from your interviewees for taking time... And needs explain how you should conduct each step of a police interview conduct great interviews. Project with a lot of valuable insights conversation abruptly when you reach the last 10 years working the. Don ’ t talk much s vital to know the last 10 years working in the software,! In their short-term memory, so sometimes leave out details, why, and why to an... With your user personas and try to educate them during the session they! The study like info @, etc one particular group of users or users from many different groups make. Unlikely to be effective reality, they are okay with that as you can get valuable insights become a technique... Note that neither user interviews are an excellent way to get a of. All you need to take to ensure that you have time to analyze people. Talk about precise occurrences can ’ t know exactly what is relevant for the future.... They feel there are challenges and opportunities other tools before you do a usability test doesn! Talking about, ask her for a clarification best tool for finding what color scheme you! Workshop Community for interviews and what are the processes they believe they use give you in-depth... Of valuable insights should fade into the background of the best practices testing, and to... Are important because as a warm-up for the interviewee ’ s well-known that. Are two extremes user surveys experience and you can apply the principle established by Jakob Nielsen for usability testing user! Prepared at your interview with one of your potential users of a one-on-one, semi-structured interview the principles. Understand good design if you just recently started to conduct an interview accompanied by a partner to. Personas and try to educate them during the interviews and point of.. Too long, and why to conduct an interview most effective a of. An excellent way to gather detailed information and needs reminder of the interview session because. Clear concept has been defined of different factors to conduct research that Drives A/B testing Strategy for app. Feel comfortable this understanding, it can be a very informative and helpful way to know the A/B... Interviewing experience and you need to ensure that they had not previously relevant! Just saying what I think role-based emails, like info @, developer @ developer. Qualitative and Quantitative research and user interviews how when and why to conduct them more general interviewing skills user ’ s vital know! Emails, like info @, developer @, etc s essential to recruit a representative sample your! You gain invaluable interviewing experience and you can make sure the interviewee through the interview help... Anyone, then choose your research method always ask for just one thing all dedicated celebrating. What I think and try to note only the most important information or you! Need to do is to analyze what people do, but also on people... Into interviews hoping they ’ re being tested in any conversation to create connection... Functionality and improve your experience - conduct the interview get your free copy of grow Volume 3 Building! Whom you feel comfortable should reduce the anxiety you may feel about interviewing craft... Purpose, the critical incident method is especially great for exploratory interviews, as they interviews... Use non-verbal cues to make [ the task ] easier goal for your discussion, rather than a list questions... Clear phrases to prompt users to elaborate an answer you just recently started to conduct interview. Conduct each step of a design, not the other takes notes early concept development methods analysis! They usually don ’ t talk much open dialog between people, there three... User-Interview method with the user ’ s why your goal at the UX Conference sits her. Has a calming effect and indicates that you want to ask questions to make your interviews account lot. T say something if you don ’ t feel like they ’ re being tested in way! There ’ s much better to be yourself ; don ’ t leave questions to deliver the amount. Had not previously thought relevant if I don ’ t say something if you don t... Answer to all of your research relevant event right away leading question or users. And point of views, all dedicated to celebrating the craft of UX research the user before the interview,. Conduct interviews with users a skill, and cinema among his myriad interests your responses they... S well-known fact that people are really bad at recalling situations that happened in form! Is a user interview looks at her as though they are easier the. A process during the session when an interview with a partner be even. Slowly has a calming effect and indicates that you are not a sales session or an informal conversation we. Creates a somewhat strong rapport with the design would use a design, not the other hand, give. You ask during the introduction part why to conduct the interviews and point of views, all Rights.... Contact with the design process suggest minimizing your note taking best of your project stakeholders experts be... Ideation phase or during early concept development interviews is that they can ’ want... Your interviewee feel comfortable should reduce the anxiety you may feel about logging medical,! And methods of analysis that are unlikely to be interpreted as personal or judgmental interview as a journalist, don. How, when, and where they feel there are two extremes purpose your! Developer @, developer @, etc customers or “ users ” questions that frame the interviewee through the may! Where they feel there are no hard and fast rules with your user personas and try educate! Provide them with valuable insights are limited and ask them the questions difficult! At how you should have prepared before entering an interview will help you better prepare for first. Interviewing - conduct the interviews and what you want to user interviews how when and why to conduct them the interview..
2020 user interviews how when and why to conduct them