Deemed as the most common user research strategy, user interviews can bring more value to your discovery phase. While many user interviewers can go wrong, here are a few tips to get the best from them.
Tips to get the best from user interviews
- Prepare a set of well-crafted interview questions
Open-ended questions will help avoid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses and draw more from your users. Though short and vague answers are not much welcomed in user interviews, the fault here is with the interviewer who does not frame the questions well. For instance, instead of asking, “Do you like to use the product X?”, it is better to ask, “What do you like about using product X?” a still better way of framing this question is “Tell me how you feel about using product X?”
- Right follow-up questions help dig deeper
When you find the interviewee talking about something relevant to your research, find ways to make them expand on that.
- Avoid jargons
When you work in a field for so long, you catch up a lot of jargons that become a common component of your communications and understanding. Nevertheless, understand that most users need not be familiar with those jargons and hence you must ensure your conversation is free of any jargons.
- Learn to tackle awkward silence
Learn to embrace awkward moments of silence since some best answers can always come after a pause. The pause can be a moment of reflection or the interviewee might need some time to think. Sometimes they might even provide more information to fill the space as they are equally uncomfortable with the silence.
- Neutralize your reactions
Researchers must be highly conscious of the effects of your behavior on the interviewee. Never react strongly to people’s answers as such reactions can change the way they respond to the next question. Also, if they find some answers pleasing you, they are most likely to think of exciting you with answers in the similar vein. This will make you forgo the chances to find out the truth.