Wednesday, July 10, 2024

How To Conduct A User Interview

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More Tips On How To Conduct User Interviews

How To Conduct User Interviews Like A Pro (UX Design)
  • Make your user feel heard

Listen to what theyre saying, take notes, show empathy, make eye contact, nod, concentrate on their words, and give them your undeniable attention. Dont interrupt them always allow them to finish their thoughts.

  • Take your time

Ensure your user has enough time on their hands to answer the question. Embrace the short silences if they appear, and let them think about the answer theyre going to give you. If necessary, repeat the question and slow down the pace of the interview.

  • Avoid professional terms & jargon

Assuming that the person sitting on the other side is familiar with all these extensive UX phrases is a no-go. Leave terms like user flow,wireframe, or low-fidelity for meetings with your fellow UX companions.

  • Dont neglect the importance of the end

Once the user interview is at its end, make sure to ask your user if they have any questions for you. A quick, informal chat might give you another sip of unspilled details. Dont forget to thank your participants for taking their time and effort to join this interview.

Sentence Completion And Drawing

Last but not least I sometimes ask people to complete a sentence. I also ask them to draw something like a process, how they recall the interface, etc. Some people are more visual thinkers than others so it can really help. How many times did you end up in a conversation where someone just said wait let me show you and started drawing a chart to explain to you?

After The User Interview

Finally, when the user interview is over, thank the participant for their time and effort. This will allow them to provide feedback of their own and clarify any doubts that they have about the session.

After the participant leaves, the first thing that you must do is read through the notes that were taken down. Write down your notes, remarks, and impressions about the session such as specific points that you noticed that would be important for the analysis. You should do this right away because your memory is fresh and you remember more.

User interviews provide qualitative data rather than quantitative data therefore analyzing this data would be time-taking and challenging. You should discuss this with the entire team within this analysis process. As it was mentioned earlier, there can be 3 main reasons to conduct a user interview. For these 3 specific reasons, the outcomes of the analysis would be different.

  • If you interviewed to empathize with the user, you can analyze the information on how the design solution must be created and what should be done to overcome the users pain points.
  • If you conducted user interviews for the ideation stage, you can analyze the information you received and conduct a brainstorming session with the team to come up with new ideas.
  • If you interviewed to test a prototype, you can discuss with the team what changes must be done to the prototype and how you can make it better.

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User Interviews A Beginners Guide To Learn Everything

Think, you just got an incredible product idea in your mind and now you want to implement it.


But before going any further you must find out whether someone would be interested in buying this theoretical product of yours or not?

Moreover, Does the Idea solves the User Problem? Infact, Are you really aware about the real User Needs? Do you understand their Pains and issues?

So, what a person should do to gather all this information?

The easiest way to gather this knowledge is to conduct USER INTERVIEWS.

User interviews is one of the many but important User Research Methods, conducted by a UX Researcher to explore and understand people by interacting and listening to them.

And In this guide, we will understand

  • What is User Interview?

  • When to Conduct User Interview?

  • How to Conduct User Interview

  • DOs and DONTs in a User Interview

  • Tips for a Great User Interview

So, lets Begin

What Are We Going To Do Today

5 Steps to Conduct most effective User Interview

Hi there, and welcome to tutorial fiveyoure powering through your UX research short course! Throughout the previous tutorials, weve built up a solid overview of user research, touching on a variety of methods and techniques. As promised, well now focus on two specific techniques in detail, starting with user interviews. In this tutorial, well consider why and when you might conduct user interviews as part of the research process. Then well set out a clear step-by-step guide, covering everything from goal-setting and logistics to writing effective interview questions. By the end of this tutorial, youll be ready to plan and conduct your own user interviews.

Weve broken up the lesson as follows:

Ready to master the art of user interviews? Lets go.

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Combine Your User Interview Findings With Other Research Techniques

Once youve gotten through your full list of user interviews, youll probably be ready to jump back into building. But its important to first validate your findings through other research methods.

User interviews give you personalized feedback, but theres always a chance that youre dealing with outliers or fringe cases. Try some of the other research methods we listed above like heat maps, analytics, tracking, surveys, and usability testing to see how more quantitative data relates to or informs your interviews.

Whats Their Day To Day Like

We wanted to understand what jobs users are typically trying to do, and how they get those jobs done.

  • Whats your process for getting code from development to production?
  • What tools or services do you use to do that?
  • How do you feel about those tools, services, and processes?
  • Why did you pick those tools and services in the first place?
  • What was that process like?

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Ux Research Is Important

To meet the needs of your actual users, it is vital that you do UX research to understand your target market.

Its always important to conduct UX research when you want to launch a new product or new features. In fact, user research is the first thing you should do when embarking on a design project, because it has a significant impact on the product-design cycle. By getting to know your potential or actual users through user interviews, you can design an optimal product that users will enjoy. Plus, your research data can back up your product and design strategies and marketing ideas.

You cant successfully launch a product or feature if no one wants to use it. In fact, if you unnecessarily make assumptions about your target users, all the time, effort, and money you put into your product could go to waste. Research not only informs you about your target market and users needs and preferences but can also help you eliminate any erroneous assumptions regarding a product and its design. Through UX research, you can correct any errors and make the necessary changes to your product, then move forward with its release. In this way, you can avoid failure and make your product as great as possible for its users.

Do The Interview Like A Smooth Conversation

How To Conduct User Interviews (UX Design)

Start the interview with a warm-up session. Discussing rights, signing forms and switching on a voice or video recorder interfere with your interviewees state of mind. Find our tips on recording a UX interview here.

Depending on the difficulty and sensitivity of the topic and the scheduled length of the interview, this warm-up phase can go shorter or longer. But weve found that it usually takes five to seven minutes.

Try to make the transition from this part to your central topic smooth. Again, consider the interview guide your friend and build a logical bridge between your warm-up questions and your main topic.

This is key to conducting insightful user interviews. Not only the questions follow in a meaningful order but the interviewers tone of voice, body language and gestures signal interest in all the answers, not only in those marked as important in the interview guide.

This way, the respondent can participate in a normal conversation where they do not feel tested on or experimented with. Aim to really understand users. Let them talk, not just answer.

Dont just focus on open-ended research interview questions about their central problems, frustrations and pain points regarding the topic. It involves more than simply embracing silence, trusting your respondents and efforts thus far. You recruited these people because they have something interesting to tell you give them time and room to do so.

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Choosing The Right Type Of User Interview For Your Project

When choosing an interview method for your project, I would suggest asking yourself the following three questions. The answers to these can guide you to selecting the interview method that makes the most sense for your situation.

  • Where are you in the UX process? Is your product new, or are you refining an existing experience? Are you trying to identify a user problem, or are you adjusting the product to solve for an already existing issue?

  • What kind of interview method would glean the type of information you need? Do you need to observe people going through an experience, or will a conversation suffice?

  • What practical aspects might affect your interview method decision? What is your projects timeline and budget? How many people on your team are going to play the role of interviewers? How are you planning on synthesizing and presenting your data?

  • Keep in mind that just because one interview type worked well for a project, it wont necessarily work well for another one. Plan ahead and make sure you pick the type of interview that will benefit you and your client the most.

    Dont Be Afraid Of The Truth

    When you look at the questions a lot of people ask of their users, its clear they are afraid of the truth. User interview questions should cause users to think and reflect and that may mean they have some rather negative things to say about your product.

    If you find that your user interviewing is not yielding a lot of good data, it may be because you are afraid of the truth, and you are asking a lot of softball questions.

    Dont be afraid to ask really direct questions, such as, what do you like least about this product? Or, perhaps even scarier if your product has a subscription component, if you were to leave us, what would be the number one reason?

    You want to know the truth. Ask the uncomfortable questions.

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    Make Interviewees Feel Comfortable

    When the users arrive and after offering a coffee or glass of water we at UX Studio usually guide them to the interview room while making a few warm-up remarks or asking some casual questions. Meeting the respondents at their location of choice really makes them more comfortable!

    Here, you can also see why remote interviews can get more complicated. You lose all these options to create a relaxing atmosphere.

    Once you have everything set and your respondent has relaxed enough, quickly introduce the research youre working on, thank them for the interview, and summarize participants rights and the terms of participation. After this point, signing an informed consent form and discussing the details of a possible recording follows.

    Guide Users Without Giving Them Answers

    How to conduct a user interview

    No matter the method, you want to make sure that youre not guiding users to the answers you want them to have. Everyone wants to get the right answer, so theyll be looking for any clues from you about what theyre supposed to be doing. We want things to go wrong thats where we get the insights that can make the product better before it launches.

    To make sure users are giving us their honest reactions, we keep our fingers off the scale by using open-ended questions. Asking a user to search for a sofa, for example, directs them to the answer, because its using a computer term they can complete. Instead, well ask them to buy a sofa, so we can see how they would naturally approach that process. That doesnt mean that its totally freeform. Were still very much testing for completion of a goal. Were just allowing the users to be authentic with their answers.

    Learn more about mobile usability testing and how we used it to build a better app for Everything but the House

    As they complete the tasks, well have them talk through their process out loud. We want to know whats going on in their head, so we need them to narrate for us. When theyve completed the task, well then have them go through a second time, so we can ask questions about the different things that they did. This is how we start to connect the dots between the metrics and the users goals so we can see if the prototype is helping them get there.

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    Do User Interviews When You Need Exploration

    Do user interviews if your question or problem needs further exploration or you need insight into how others relate to your topic. Also, if you want the option to ask back and react to what your respondents have to share.

    Interviewing works great in the early phase of developing a concept or product. Also, it can really provide insight when researching existing solutions by asking peoples opinions on and experience with it.

    User interviews provide an understanding of how your target audience talks about an issue in a more intimate setting. What do they mention as their main problems, needs, wishes and joys regarding a process, service or solution? Also, it can reveal how they express themselves when talking about such factors.

    When preparing products and thinking about users, you can also create personas.To learn more, read our post on personas here

    User interviews collect what people say about a topic and how they say it during the interview session. Do not confuse that with how they think or feel about the question in general. It takes time and practice to differentiate these realms easily.

    Planning can start once interviews have clearly proven themselves the best method for researching a topic.

    How To Conduct The Best User Interviews Dont Interview

    Have conversations with them, instead

    have conducted and attended countless user interviews in my current job at Hinderling Volkart and before that. At some point, I noticed a thing that goes wrong a lot of times but more about that later.

    Last year I bumped into Swiss documentary filmmaker Paul Riniker . Hes produced over 70 documentaries, hes been a journalist, and hes been lecturing for more than 20 years. When talking about his process to learn about the topics and people he is documenting one of his quotes struck me:

    «I dont interview people. I have conversations with them .»

    When Paul conducts research for his documentaries he gets deeply involved with his subjects, their lives, needs, pains and joys. Its about getting to know and understand people on a personal level and deeply comprehend why they are and behave the way they are and do. Doing so requires trust.

    Back to the beginning. In a user testing, I attended recently it dawned on me. Our users were exposed to an alien lab environment A cold room with a mirrored wall shielding the observers on the other side, bright light, cameras and tech gadgets cabled up. This reminded me more of an interrogation than a natural environment you would enjoy being in A place where you dont belong and stay voluntarily.

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    Consider The Time And The Resources

    No golden rule says how to plan these elements, as the difficulty of the topic and that of recruitment can influence this.

    Once you have everybody on the same page about interviewing, start developing a research plan and specifying the main questions to answer in connection with the topic.

    Calculate sufficient time for interviews, especially if you work in a bigger or remote team. Poorly prepared questions or dissimilar interviews can ruin your efforts.

    How To Write Interview Questions

    How to conduct a qualitative user interview?

    This is an important part of the interview process. You need to have a list of questions prepared for the interview to keep the whole process focused on a particular topic. The key to successful interviews is to ask open, non-leading questions. The open questions prompt the users to go into a more detailed answer instead of a simple yes or no answer. When conducting user interviews its important to be aware of the words we use. The usage of words highly influences the way the participant responds. The leading question always results in biased or false answers. This will prevent you from uncovering new insights and experiences from the user. If we need more insights about a particular question or topic we can ask the users to elaborate with questions like Can you explain this in detail or Can you tell more about that?

    Before starting the interview just give a quick intro about you and the purpose of this interview. For example: Hi! Im Kishore. Im conducting research as a part of my project to build a crowdsourcing platform to rent camera gears! I would like to ask you some questions related to photography and your experiences about renting a camera gear. Please be comfortable. There are no right or wrong answers. Before we start the interview, do you have any questions?

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    Conducting An Impactful User Interview

    Planning and preparation are more than half the battle when it comes to user interviews. But you still need to ensure the actual interview sticks to your plan.

    Manage Projects like the Pros. Try Planio.

    Here are the time-tested tactics and best practices you can use to get the most out of your user interviews.

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