User interviews – the secret to intuitive designs
UX is evolving, and the only way to ensure relevant, compatible designs is by validating them through user feedback.
While there are numerous ways to obtain user insights in the UX research spectrum, user interviews remain one of the most popular methods.
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’re 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’re anything but simple.
If not orchestrated properly, their utility deteriorates and relying on these insights can lead to subpar designs.
How to conduct User Interviews?
Having defined what user interviews are, here are a few tips for you to make the most out of them.
Study the interviewee’s background - UX Research
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.
Record the UX interviews
If you haven’t been recording user interviews yet, get ready to have your mind blown once you start.
Recording interviews gives you the ability to revisit them and also helps you notice the user’s physical and emotional state during the interview.
For an interviewer not recording their interviews, all these nuances are very difficult to notice and track.
Prioritise the natural flow of conversation
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. Letting users expand their thoughts can possibly fetch you insights you might have never found had you stuck to the dimensions you were well aware of.
Keep a gap of a few hours between the interviews
Interviewing users is a mentally draining task. Going from interview to interview without breaks in between can lead to a cognitive overload.
Too much data can lead to the interviewer losing clarity and cause participant efforts to go 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. They 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.