How to conduct an interview:
The Five Whys:
- start by asking a broad, open-ended question about your participants habitsor behaviours. Then ask “why” to their response five times in a row.
- ask “why” questions that will require more in-depth answers
- write down what you hear, pay special attention to when it feels like you’re moving to a deeper level
- you may not get to the core detail until the fourth or fifth “why” question
- truly engaged listening can be just as important as the questions you ask in an interview
- ensure your body is on the same level as the person you’re interviewing (both sitting at the same level or both standing)
- make and keep eye contact. Smile and nod your head to communicate that ou are listening and that they have your full attention
- taking notes is further proof to the person that you’re listening and appreciate what they say
- keep focused on the person your interviewing – make them the centre of attention
- You are there to observe and learn, remember not to offer solutions to the interviewee
The Interview (60-90 minutes):
- no more than 3 research team members should attend an interview. Each team member should have a clear role (interviewer, notetaker and photgrapher). It’s important to not overwhelm the participant or crowd the location.
- Come prepared with a set of questions you want to ask. Start by asking broad questions about the person’s life, values and habits, before asking more specific questions that relate directly to your challenge
- write down exactly what the person says, not what you think they might mean – use direct quotes
- observe the interviewee’s body language and the context in which they are talking
- a smart way to find out what is valuable to a community
- what sort of group do you want to interview? What do you want to learn?
- hold the group interview on neutral ground, a shared community space where people of all ages, races and genders will have access to
- in a group interview, be sure to only have one person asking the questions, another team member taking notes and another capturing what the group is saying
- come prepared with a strategy to engage the quieter members of the group – either ask them direct questions or find ways to make the more vocal members recade for a while
- group interviews are a great way to identify who you may want a co-creation session with
- What kind of experts do you need?
- When recruiting experts, give them a preview of the kind of questions you are going to ask and how much of their time you will need
- Choose experts with varying points of view
- Ask smart, researched questions. What would you like to learn? Have a plan but make sure it is flexible so that you can pursue unexpected lines of enquiry
- Record the interview with whatever tools you have
Extremes and Mainstreams:
- Talk to people on either end of the spectrum apart from just mainstream people. Think about all the different people who may use your solution.
- When talking to an extreme user, ask them how they would use your solution, do they use something similar and how does it or doesn’t suit their needs
- make sure you are talking to men and women
- make the participants feel welcome and let them know that their voices are critical to your research
- determine who you want to talk to – think about factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, class, social position
- make sure you understand social dynamics before you begin interviews
Co-Creation Session (1-3 hours):
- Bring people you are designing for into the design process
- empower them to work alongside you
- you can co-create services, investigate how communities work, understand how to name your solution and what it’s logo should look like
- a community is far more likely to adapt a product or servive they helped to create
- who do you want in your co-creation session? – a group of people youo havve already interviewed or a particular demographic, e.g. teenagers
- arrange a space, get the necessary supplies and invite them to join
- use conversation starters, brainstorming, role plays, rapid prototyping or other activities to get your group engaged around the problem you are trying to solve.
- capture the feedback your group gives you
- make sure you treat your co-creation group as designers, not as interview subjects