How To Conduct User Interviews

It is critical to conduct User Interviews that reveal valuable insights. When performed correctly, an interview can provide an in-depth understanding of the consumers’ goals, opinions, as well as experiences. Bad interviews, on the other hand, might provide you with incorrect information that can lead to a poor design. To perform a proper interview, there are several different elements that must be considered. Usually, the four major steps are included in this process such as kick-off meetings, Finding Potential Users, Conducting User Interviews, and Interview Analysis. In this article, we are going to further talk about each of these steps in a detailed way.

Kick-off Meetings

The first and foremost important step that plays an important role in user interviews is Stakeholder interviews. Stakeholders are the individuals making decisions about a UX design project. These people are the product’s owners, and they might range from company creators to C-level executives to PMs. As a result, stakeholder interviews become a very crucial and necessary step that cannot simply be ignored. It provides full understanding to the researchers as well as designers on the project and the following UX Research and Design phases.
You as a researcher should ask the stakeholder a lot of questions, including what the stakeholder’s position in the project is, as well as his or her goal, objective, and vision for developing the product. You should also ask them what type of information you would want to collect from the users. The kick-off meetings provide information on the product’s qualities and other important parameters. This is accompanied by inquiries about the product’s corporate goals as well as its overall business model.
You can also collect information from the stakeholder interviews about budgeting issues. Some stakeholders might have already chosen the specific users they want to work with, so you should also take this information into consideration. After the interview is finished, you are going to create an overall plan of their future inquiry and generally, what you are going to research in the next steps. Identifying stakeholders’ objectives for the UX design project is going to assist you in determining a course of action for the future phases, which include more analysis, product strategy, as well as testing.

Finding Potential Users

The selection process is an important element of the interview process. It is critical to gather a representative group of the intended audience. It is recommended to begin with the user personas and try to locate interviews that fit them.
Creating a list of possible candidates is the first part of creating the research panel. It takes some effort to get started, but in the long term, it establishes a sustainable procedure for rapidly and simply locating study volunteers. It also aids in narrowing the search by ensuring that you are reaching out to people who are really interested in contributing to the success of the product.
If the company you work for has Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn accounts, these channels might be excellent for publicizing any future research opportunities. You can even create surveys on these social media platforms for potential users. That way you will find out if the specific people are in accordance with the desired parameters. This is kind of a filter that helps you to sort the users out and choose the most appropriate ones for the project.
While you are in the process of finding the potential users, you also tend to discuss the budgeting issues as well on this stage. On top of that, you also write detailed questions for the potential users in the interview guide which helps the general process to become more specific.

Conducting User Interviews

Before you start to conduct user interviews, you should already have prepared the interview guide that will definitely help them in the next stages. Besides, it gives you the general information and idea behind the user you are going to interview. After this step is over, it is already time to conduct the actual interview with the specific people selected.
In most cases, researchers provide the users with the possible scenarios that might occur and ask them about how they would solve the specific problem. For example, How would you go about carrying out the task, What do you think will happen if you do this work? What other technique would you use to do it? and so forth. These sorts of assignments are good for usability testing.
After these specific questions, you will move to the next step which includes more general types of questions. This is also very important because that way they are going to find out the general point of view of the potential user about the specific problem or a process. The questions might be the following: What was the one aspect you liked the most? What was the thing you disliked the most? What would you change about the concept if you could? And so on. This type of question will give you more clarity about how do you feel about the specific project and what is your overall expression about it. On top of that, the essential thing is that this user insight should be recorded for further analysis.

Interview Analysis

The next crucial step in this process includes analysis of the conducted interviews and efficiently converting raw data into useful information for the stakeholders. The analysis of user interviews is a very distinctive stage in the course of research. The thing is that usually, user insights are only useful if they are used to draw conclusions later on. This necessitates that clients or stakeholders genuinely comprehend, appreciate, and remember these ideas.
In the process of the Interview analysis, most researchers make a transcript of each interview and they start marking out the most important aspects of it. Because qualitative information is typically unstructured and therefore difficult to evaluate, the first job is to standardize it among participants. Individual answers are assigned to more broad themes for this purpose. This is why generally making tags are a convenient method to assign comments to themes. A tag is a label that indicates to which topic a note represents. They usually color out the text according to the priority of topics and that way they create the categories of the most essential subjects. This is what the general user interview report looks like. It can have any type of format including the word document, spreadsheet, or slides.
On top of that, the user interview report also includes the overall summary of the conducted interviews. Because there is more relevant information, it may be simpler to detect patterns when all data is provided from the beginning of the report. Besides, a longer block of analysis makes it easier to go in a state of flow.
Modifying the scale, in addition to changing the viewpoint, is another way to have a better grasp of the information gathered. After you’ve discovered themes and gone deep into each of them in earlier stages, it is time to zoom out now and glance at the wider context. Determine how the themes are related to one another and try to better comprehend their relative significance, chronological sequence, or causal links. This is one of the major aspects of the User interview Report.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do user interviews work?

A user interview is a UX research approach in which a researcher questions a potential user about a relevant topic in order to learn more about that issue. It can give a comprehensive knowledge of the consumers’ objectives, ideas, and also experiences. User Interviews typically include four key steps: Stakeholder Interviews, Finding Potential Users, Conducting User Interviews, and Interview Analysis. The researchers ask stakeholders what kind of data they wish to gather from users. The stakeholder interview offers information about the product’s characteristics as well as other essential criteria. The selection process is also a critical component of the interview process. It is important to assemble a representative sample of the target audience. The next critical stage is to analyze the interviews that were done and quickly turn raw data into valuable information for the stakeholders.

What should I Prepare for a user interview?

Before the researcher begins conducting user interviews, they should have previously created an interview guide that will undoubtedly assist them in the following stages. Furthermore, it provides them with general information and an idea of the user they are about to interview. In the interview guide, they also offer comprehensive questions for potential users, which helps the overall procedure become more particular as well as clearer. The research questions should also be included in the interview guide. On top of that, a lot of researchers put the research goals at the top of the interview guide or next to the questions. The interview guide should include wide, open-ended questions that help the potential users to elaborate on their experiences. These questions will be supplemented with several follow-up questions trying to provoke further information and obtain clarity.

 

Written by Keti Getiashvili

Based on an interview with Giorgi Sosebashvili

Meet the authors

We are a 150+ people product design, software development, and growth marketing agency from Tbilisi, Georgia. Delivering hundreds of successful projects for industry-leader enterprise companies and startups earned us 100+ international awards, partnerships with Laravel, Facebook, and Google, and the title of Georgia’s agency of the year in 2019 and 2021.

If you are looking for a partner to extend your product or growth team or design and build a digital product, we are always open to a meeting!