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Product Design

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

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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.

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August 29, 2017 at 1:35pm
When we conduct the interviews depends on the project but ideally we would like to gather qualitative data from interviews to inform the product decisions we make before starting a new product or feature.
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We also conduct interviews and supervised tests at various points in our product development workflow to try and validate our goals before certain release points of the product.
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What are some of the tools you use to conduct and document user feedback?
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Zoom for communication when the interview is conducted remotely. Zoom is great because it has the ability to record the meeting.
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Google Slides to help facilitate the interview if you need to show specific examples of things or concepts
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If you are conducting a remote interview or test that involves a beta or unreleased build of a mobile application I would suggest utilizing Lookback to observe behavior in the app.
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What do you do to prepare for the interviews?
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We start by defining goals for the interviews. It’s important to know what type of data you want to collect and what the means to the product/project. These goals will inform the questions you ask.
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We create a protocol for all of our interviews and tests. This ensures that we cover everything we need cover during the interview and also serves as a stepped checklist for the interview. Include your questions and tasks (if testing) in the protocol.
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We also practice the interview protocol several times internally so we feel comfortable conducting it and then we make any adjustments needed based on the practice.
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I hope this is useful and I didn’t blow up this thread too much 😬
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August 29, 2017 at 8:42pm
Totally agree that having a plan to start is important. I'm curious though, how do you phrase your learning objectives?
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@jason it really depends on the type of test and the stage of your product. What I found most useful is ran a dry-test on your prototype/survey/other-test and ask yourself what can you will be able to understand with the results. If the results of the dry-test are not convincing then maybe you're asking the wrong questions.
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If you have a more specific example I might be able to help more
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August 30, 2017 at 12:53pm
Andrea that's great feedback, will take a look at Tomer Sharon's work.
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I agree @brandon, creating protocols/scripts and practicing with the team is something I need to work on more. Thanks!
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@claudio No problem, let us know how the next interview or test you conduct goes!
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Will do! We actually have two later today!
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August 31, 2017 at 2:46pm
Led one interview yesterday and shadowed another one. One thing I realized yesterday is that the mood of the interviewee impacts the quality of the feedback obtained through interviews. The customer I spoke with was very happy, was very open, and was willing to explain things in detail. On the other hand the other interview was a bit rushed, the customer was multi-tasking, and wasn't in a great mood and her answers were short and lacked depth. I did prepare a script and entered the interview with a clear understanding with what we were trying to get an insight into, which helped. But at the same time, after listening through the recording, I realized I have to practice my speaking skills, as I stutter and mumble quite a bit. I'm also working on how to best approach remaining flexible within the conversation while also guiding the conversation and knowing how to dive deeply into a particular topic.
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That is awesome! It’s important to identify areas in the conversation you want to hear more about and ask the participant elaborate further in a way that doesn’t feel confrontational and keeps the conversation flowing. One thing I try to avoid is following up on a participant’s response with “Why”. I think this makes people feel like their answer or response was incorrect. Instead I ask participants “Can you please elaborate on that”.
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It also helps to set the expectation early in the interview hat there are no wrong answers and the participant’s opinions is extremely valuable to you. This is especially true if you are conducting a test and asking questions. You want to be clear that you are testing the product, not the participants themselves.
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Has anyone explored using the Jobs To Be Done style of interviews? If so, I'm curious what you're experience was like and what you'd do differently to improve..
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@Jason, my company actually encourage every employee read that book and plan our roadmap based on that methodology
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It is not much different with what we currently do. When we see new users signed up, we will ask them what do they hire us for? I have seen patterns that the user use a few software together to run their business, and only use us for one or two particular task. Then that's an opportunity for us either sell other products related to their business, building an ecosystem to empower our user run their business all in one place or thinking about integration with other products.
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April 9, 2018 at 3:15pm

@claudio I think Michael Margolis has good and quick insights you could check to get you started:

https://library.gv.com/the-gv-research-sprint-start-recruiting-participants-day-1-8fa0bc1c8e71 from the Sprint book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9ZG19XTbd4

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