Interviewing Users

This is a nice synopsis of Steve Portugal’s virtual seminar on “Deep Dive Interview Secrets” culled from Twitter.

I conduct a lot of user interviews, and most of them by phone. Interviewing by phone makes the rhythm of the interaction much different, and the tips for in-person interviews are helpful.

I would also add that interview topics (but not questions) are great to keep the interview within the scope of research, but I tend to use them for the first two or three for a given project before internalizing them and leaving them aside.

Jotting notes during the interview also really helps when you’ve reached the end of a topic you are exploring, and need to transition to something else. I works well because you are returning to something the interviewee was previously discussing, which lets them know you’ve been listening, and it also provides for smooth transitions. I avoid jarring transitions at all costs because it can destroy the rhythm of the conversation and make people aware they are being interviewed.

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