July 18, 2023

How to conduct user interviews like a professional?

If you are familiar with the Design Thinking Process, the phase of the user interview must resonate into you.

A user interview is not just an informal talk with your users, you need to apply methodology.

Source : https://www.nngroup.com/articles/design-thinking/

User interviews are the most precious way to confront your product to the market.

This phase is very important because your purpose is to know what a user is trying to do and what problem he/she has to face.

Why user research will help you to build a Rocket Company and become the next Unicorn ?

1.Product Benefits

UX research provides data about the end user of the product. The research will allow you to understand the way the user manipulates your product, and it will define the pain points and the potential opportunities (or what I call the “marvelous features” or “killer features”).

2. Business Benefits

UX Research brings a lot of value to businesses. Some insights can help you to redefine your business model and be more efficient in the way the user interact with your product. Moreover, iterate with the design reduce the cost of the development team.

3. User Benefits

One of the considerable value of user experience is that it’s unbiaised user feedback.

Consider yourself as a Detective

Credit : Unsplash

Have 2 interviewers

It’s very profitable to delegate responsibilities in a user interview according to 2 distincts roles :

The main interviewer who’s consider as the facilitator of the entire session, lead the conversation by asking questions, close the interview.

The Assistant interviewer or notetaker : his/her role is to record key details of the participant answers and can go further into some questions if it’s necessary. Moreover, he/she’s the timekeeper. Taking notes in real time, help you to capture compelling quotes and insights.

The introduction of the user interview is very important, it creates a positive atmosphere :

  • Introduce yourself
  • Explain why this research is necessary and how much you are grateful that she/he accepted the invitation
  • Invite the user to introduce herself/himself

The questions must be formulated appropriately otherwise your data will be biased and that’s a common mistake.

The first step of Design Thinking Process is to identify the real issue of your users. Moreover, qualitative studies like user interviews helps you to get some strong arguments about the pain points.

How do you build a terrific user maintenance guide ?

  • Don’t ask leading or directed questions because that would influence the participant, if you want to go deeper into that notion : here’s an article that I wrote 10 cognitive biases very designers must know
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Don’t ask yes/no questions
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Reformulate : it will help you to clarify and go deeper into the problem that he/she faced
  • Don’t mention other users
  • Make note of questions that don’t work
  • Be neutral
  • Repeat the answer to go deeper into the problem
  • Use silence : it can be a powerful tool, which indicates that you want to learn more of what the participant has to say
  • Record the user interview if possible
  • Summarize findings and make recommendations

After the User Interview

When the user interview is over, be grateful to the participant, thanking them for time and effort. This will allow them to provide feedback and clarify any doubts that they have about the session.

Write down your notes 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.

To go further on this notion, we will talk about Atomic Research on the next article.

Stay tuned !