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What Is An Interview?

We all know what an interview is, but how is it defined in the terms of the user experience? A user interview, in particular, is a method of gaining information by asking questions directly related to your objectives concerning the user's experience with your product/service. It should be conducted by two people, one person to interview and the other to take notes.

Why Should You Interview?

“Ask and ye shall receive”. The best way to find out what a user is thinking, is to ask them. Interviews are a great way to understand the user’s thought process, as well as their behaviors, motivations and values. It also can be vital in helping garner information from a user that they might not even know they possess. This information, in turn, helps you to modify the product/service to best assist the user in achieving their desired goal.

How to Conduct the Interview:

There are three equally important components of an interview: preparation, conducting the interview and the analysis.

  • Prepare for the Interview
    • Determine and record your objectives
    • Identify the types of users you want to interview
    • Create a Discussion Guide/Script : This consists of questions that   directly relate you objectives. Be sure not to include leading questions.
  • Conduct the Interview
    • It is vital to make the user feel at ease. Start out with small talk and an explanation of why you are conducting the interview. If a user feels at ease , they are more likely to provide candid, honest answers
    • Try to keep the interview under an hour. Use the script to keep the interview on time and focused.
    • Maintain eye contact with the user and Don't get lost in your notes. This is a key part of creating a sense of empathy. This shows the user that you can relate to what they’re saying and will encourage them to provide more information.
  • Analyze Your Findings
    • Based on the information you’ve gathered, you can create an affinity map or an empathy map to consolidate the outcomes


Interviews: How to do a user interview 

A short description on how to conduct a user interview from by Google Ventures.

How to ask a question: conducting research for your startup

Google Search User Experience researcher Tomer Sharon shares interview techniques to help you get better answers in your customer research. Learn more at



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