Basic User Research (UR) Interview Points

Five points via Audrey Cheng:

  1. Open questions are better than closed ones. Instead of giving specific answers to choose from, keep it open and listen/learn. A “yes” or “no” gives very little information to work with. Knowing whether they like something versus “how do they feel about it” is a big difference.
  2. Past stories are better than future predictions. We’re not good at describing do or will do, but are good at talking about what we did. Our recollection of the past is something we’re naturally better at doing than anything else — don’t hope that they can be Nostradamus for you.
  3. Specific information is better than general info. Nailing down actual pieces of the puzzle is better than having a vague sense of the overall shape. You want to hear about the last time they used your service — don’t reach too far back in the past.
  4. Volunteered info is better than coerced info. Hearing what they want to say is more important than getting them to say what you want them to say. Ask them to tell stories about using the service to solve a problem they needed to solve.
  5. Avoid asking people what they want. Folks who are good at creating solutions learn more when mastering the problem — not just the users’ idea of the best solutions. If you’re in a collaborative design process, this can/will work much better.