To help the designer develop deeper empathy through well thought out questioning and follow up.
Interviews can run from 10 - 60 min depending on interview subject and the challenge
Small groups/groups of 2
We want for students to understand a person's experience as a user in the space so that we can determine how to innovate for him/her. By understanding the choices that person makes and the behaviors that person engages in, we can identify needs and design for these needs.
Get all of the potential questions your team can generate down in written format.Try to build on one another’s ideas in order to flesh out meaningful subject areas.
Identify and order themes
Similar to “grouping” in synthesis, have your team identify themes or subject areas into which most questions fall; once you’ve identified the themes of your question-pool, determine the order that would allow the conversation to flow most naturally. This will enable you to structure the flow of your interview, decreasing the potential for hosting a seemingly-scattershot interaction with your user.
Once you have all the questions grouped by theme and order, you may find that there are some redundant areas of conversation, or questions that seem strangely out of place.Take a few moments to make sure that you leave room in your planning to ask plenty of “why?” questions, plenty of “tell me about the last time you _____?” questions, and plenty of questions that are directed at how the user FEELS.
Never say “usually” when asking a question. Instead, ask about a specific instance or occurrence, such as “tell me about the last time you ______”
Ask why. Even when you think you know the answer, ask people why they do or say things.The answers will sometimes surprise you. A conversation started from one question should go on as long as it needs to.
Encourage stories. Whether or not the stories people tell are true, they reveal how they think about the world.Ask questions that get people telling stories.
Look for inconsistencies. Sometimes what people say and what they do are different.These inconsistencies often hide interesting insights.
Listen to nonverbal cues. Be aware of body language and emotions.
Don’t be afraid of silence. Interviewers often feel the need to ask another question when there is a pause.If you allow for silence, a person can reflect on what they’ve just said and may reveal something deeper.
Don’t suggest answers to your questions. Even if they pause before answering, don’t help them by suggesting an answer.This can unintentionally get people to say things that agree with your expectations.
Ask questions neutrally. “What do you think about this idea?” is a better question than “Don’t you think this idea is great?” because the first question doesn’t imply that there is a right answer.
Don’t ask binary questions. Binary questions can be answered in a word; you want to host a conversation built upon stories.
Only ten words to a question. Your user will get lost inside long questions.
Only ask one question at a time, one person at a time. Resist the urge to ambush your user.
Make sure you’re prepared to capture. Always interview in pairs.If this is absolutely impossible, you MUST use a voice recorder—it is impossible to engage a user and take detailed notes at the same time.
Materials: Paper, Pencil, recording deviceGeneral Introduction: 5 min