UX is evolving and the only way to ensure relevant, compatible designs is by validating them through user feedback.
Now, in the UX research spectrum, there are various ways to obtain user insights but one of the most popular methods is user interviews.
What are user interviews?
User interviews refer to a qualitative UX research method involving an interview between a researcher and a user on a common topic of interest.
They are more or less like journalistic interviews of the good old days when truth-seeking was a norm and confirming biases an exception.
Although quick and easy to conduct, they are anything but simple. If not orchestrated properly, their utility deteriorates and relying on these insights can lead to subpar designs.
Tips for making the most out of user interviews
Having defined what user interviews are and made an attempt to explain why it’s important to hold them well, here are a few tips for you to make the most out of them.
As obvious as this may sound, a lot of UX researchers/designers spend all their time focusing on the topic of the interview and no time on the user they’ll be interviewing.
In addition to being a user of your product/service, they are regular people with a routine. They use your solution because it eases a day-to-day activity in their life. Understanding their background helps you gain more insight into the data they provide.
If you haven’t been recording user interviews yet, get ready to have your mind blown once you start.
Recording your user interviews not only gives you the ability to revisit them later but also helps you notice the user’s body language, state of mind and emotions during the interview.
For an interviewer not recording their interviews, all these nuances are very difficult to notice and track.
Although the name of the UX tool is user interview, it doesn’t necessarily have to be like one.
Having a casual conversation with the interviewee and letting them expand on their thoughts will help you gather more data.
Digressing from the questionnaire is completely fine as long as you don’t digress from the topic of the discussion. By letting users expand their thoughts, you can possibly gain the additional insight you potentially couldn’t have gained had you stuck to the dimensions you were well aware of.
Interviewing users is a mentally draining task and going from interview to interview without enough breaks in between can lead to a cognitive overload.
Too much data can lead to the interviewer losing clarity and lead to the efforts and time put in by users and the interviewer going to waste.
Although not equal, just like a surgeon doesn’t go from surgery to surgery, a UX designer shouldn’t go from interview to interview.
User interviews are a great way to validate your product, concept and/or designs, and are also very easy and quick to conduct.
That is why they are bread and butter when it comes to research in fast and agile environments.
If you are a UX Designer/researcher, the insights we have shared will definitely help you get more from your interviews henceforth.
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