Product Management

How do you run a great user interview?

You're in discovery and searching for the problems you need to solve. Who do you speak to? Where do you find your potential users? And what questions do you ask to get the insights you need?

  • Freelance UX consultant at Eurostar

    Before you can run a great user interview, you need to establish your research goals. What do you need to learn about, and why? Look at your analytics, any past user research, and any knowledge about your customers from other teams around the business. What do you know about your customers already? Where are your knowledge gaps? Are there any assumptions you’re making that you haven’t tested yet?

    I like to do this as a workshop. I ask my product team, plus representatives from other departments, to come armed with customer knowledge and data. We sketch a map of our customers’ journey, then add post its showing what we know, and what parts we have questions about. Doing this in a group helps us pool our knowledge and surface questions we might have missed.

    After capturing all our questions, we group them into themes, look back at our product vision, and decide what big research questions we need to answer first to get there. For each, we ask, “What’s the best way to answer this?” Questions about customer attitudes or the ‘why’ behind something are best answered through exploratory interviews; questions about what people are doing are best answered through analytics; and questions about new features are best answered through lean prototypes and demand tests.

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  • CEO/Product at OnCare

    My best tips are all in the What Customers Want book, but essentially the most important questions are:

    • What is the most frustrating or time-consuming part of [job they are trying to do]?
    • Why is it frustrating or time consuming?
    • Why is that important to you?

    You don't need anything else except to write down what they say in a way that summarises what they are trying to increase, decrease, or feel.

    Never, ever, ever, run 'focus groups'. They're a nightmare to coordinate, and one loud person will lead the opinions of everyone else.

    I'd also recommend you look at...

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