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Product Design

Are you a product designer working in tech? This community is for you.


User Interviews

August 28, 2017 at 2:12pm
Hey guys! I’m a product designer at Managed by Q and am trying to learn what is the best way to approach interviewing users as a designer. Our product team conducts at least 4 - 5 user interviews every week. We are using interviews to test future designs with InVision prototypes, validate new features, and obtain feedback about the product. I'm new to conducting and interviewing users, and I’m curious to know how other product teams approach user interviews. Some of the things I'd love to learn more about include:
  • Does your team conduct user interviews? If so how frequently and for what purpose?
  • What are some of the tools you use to conduct and document user feedback?
  • What are some of the design tools you use to present and test designs?
  • Who leads the interviews and what is your role (as a designer) in the interview?
  • What do you do to prepare for the interviews?
Also wondering what books, talks, or resources out there have been helpful.

August 28, 2017 at 5:10pm
Hopping in to also learn from others’ responses, but here are two tips:
- To prepare, always make sure you have a larger research plan with clear learning objectives, and then make a detailed research protocol for each method/set of sessions you'll do
- if you've never led an interview, sit in on a few before leading your own. always invite another designer on your team to be a note taker, so you can be fully engaged and then recap with them directly after to pull out some insights while it's still fresh!
Hi! Some stray thoughts:
- come with a specific topic in mind but mostly listen to what the customer has to say
- ask "behavioral" questions instead of speculative questions. E.g., when was the last time x happened? vs would you do x in this situation?
Anything written by Erika Hall is a good
Place to start
- In my company, the PM help conducts user interview. Our support team has a close relationship with our merchants (users), so the PM usually gets contacts from them, pick a few merchants, and do a half hour or 1-hour call weekly to get general feedback on our products. Then the PM will write down the key takeaway in a google doc and share with the team.
- We also visit the merchants once a while, we can work at the merchants' business or shadow them.
2. Tools we use:
- User Testing, super useful at recruiting users, recording interview sessions,
- Invision, we share invision prototype through Usering testing with our user.
- Optimalworkshop: very useful for some quick tast and it is free
The designers either run the interview session themselves or the PM lead the sessions and designer ask questions
To prepare for the interview: - A doc with a list of questions I want to ask: - Start with questions around the user background such as, do you have employees, how many? How often do you go to the bank? - A prototype that users can click through and test a couple of times.
Books:InterviewingUsers, It is our research
Awesome thanks for sharing @matthew, @mitch, and @effy!
Definitely need to work on entering user interviews with clear goal in mind and having a document/script has helped a lot. Have also learned that interviewing users is not something natural for me, so I need to continue practicing—for some reason the fact that it's an interview makes the conversation feel different haha, especially when over the phone as I can't see the person I'm talking with.
I started reading Eriks Halls' 'Just Enough Research', and will take a look at the books you mentioned @effy
I started with just go meet the user. There is a coffee shop in mission, SF, I just go there buy a coffee every week and chat with the owner for 20-30 mins, and I learnt a lot.
I mean, the coffee shop use the product i designed
Depending on the product and the stage you are at you might want/can test your design/prototype/product less or more frequently and in different ways. Usually I've tried to have people looking at some of our design work every 2 weeks (you can't really do more often if you really work on the outcomes of your research, unless you have multiple research teams).
You can find a lot of insight from Tomer Sharon (ex Google and now Head UX at WeWork Since he joined WeWork he spent a lot of time in improving their design/research cycle and shared a lot of what they've done and how. They also built a tool to collect research design outcome pills to share across the company.
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