Prepare For User Interviews
Create an interview guide with your team members
The Interview Preparation Guide helps your team brainstorm questions and create an interview script. This guide allows your team to create alignment and consistency on what to cover during interviews.
Create an interview guide
Designers, Business Leads
40 - 60 minutes
Before You Start
- You have created at least one problem statement
- To make sure that your interview is focused around the core problem of your project, you should create a problem statement (“How might we..?” question) with the following method:
Create a Problem Statement
Materials you will need
Templates for Download
Templates for Virtual Collaboration
Explain the Interview Arc
Explain the interview arc to the team members. An interview is a conversation with a beginning, middle & end. At the beginning the interviewer introduces him- or herself, then the project is discussed. The interviewer tries to establish a good relationship with the interviewee so that he or her will speak openly and honestly about their experiences (“stories”).
Run a silent brainstorming (brainwriting) session on what questions to ask the interviewees for the “Introductions”, “Build Rapport”, “Evoke Stories”, “Explore Emotions”, and “Question Statements” sections of the interview arc.
Before the brainstorming starts, explain how to formulate interview questions. For example:
The questions should be open-ended, such as “W questions”, i.e., who, what, when, where, and why.
“Leading” questions should be avoided, e.g., “Do you like your current health insurance?” So, the questions should not lead to a possible answer that is only “yes” or “no” but should inspire the interviewee to explain something in context.
If necessary, help the participants reformulate questions.
Align Questions to Interview Arc
Each participant places their questions on sticky notes along the interview arc (one question per sticky note). For example, a question starting with “How was it the last time when you…” could be placed under the “Evoke Stories” section. Participants should briefly explain why they want to ask the question and why they placed it in that particular section.
Select Questions for Interview Guide
Once all the participants have moved their questions to the timeline under the interview arc, they can vote for the questions that should be part of the interview guide. For less controversial subjects, you can have the voting replaced by a discussion (or do both to conclude this step). The selected questions are used for the interview guide.
You can now use the selected questions to build your script for the interview. Along with the questions, the full interview script includes an introduction and some housekeeping rules for the interview.