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How to Structure Interview Sessions

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By Brad Hunt

Posted in Research

Interview Template & Guidelines

Four stages of design research

  • Generative research (“what’s up with..?”) — this is the research you do before you even know what you’re doing e.g. interviews, field observations, existing literature.
  • Descriptive research (“what and how?”) — this is when you already have a design problem and need to do what you need to understand the problem from the perspective of the user (and not your own).
  • Evaluative research (“are we getting close?”) — this is where you start thinking of solutions, and testing those solutions against the problems you identified.
  • Causal research (“why is this happening?”) — after you’ve implemented a solution, this is where you evaluate how your users responded to the change, good or bad.

Structure for summarizing interview sessions

  1. Summarize the goals and process of the research (What did you want to find out? Who from your side participated and in which roles?)
  2. Describe who you spoke with and under which circumstances (number of people, on the phone or in person, etc)
  3. Describe how you gathered the data.
  4. Describe the types of analysis you’ll be doing
  5. Pull out quotes and observations
  6. Group quotes and observations that typify a repeated pattern or idea into themes; for example “participants rely on pen and paper to aid memory,” or “the opinions of other parents are trusted.