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Conduct user interviews
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Conduct user


Conduct interviews

Whether you're conducting interviews in person or online, it's important to be prepared before you talk to real users. You want to make the most of the limited time you've and learn as much as you can about their unique perspective. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for interviews:

Prepare for the interview

Gather material

Create a checklist of things you'll need for the interview, such as a computer, a printed list of questions, or paper and pencil. If you'll be working with new equipment or technology during the interview, learn in advance how it works.

Research the users

Take time to learn as much as you can about the people you'll be interviewing. If the users you're going to interview provide personal information before the interview, be sure to write it down. This might include their name, demographic information, relevant experience with the product you're developing, or details about how they found out about the interview. You can use this information to further the conversation during the interview and build rapport. If you work for a company, you can also check them out on sites like LinkedIn to make sure they're who they say they're. You don't want to accidentally interview someone who works for the competition!

Write down interview questions

Create a list of questions you'll ask all users you interview. It's considered best practice to make the questions relatively consistent for all users, but this list is just a guide. You can deviate from the prepared questions as needed to learn more about the user and their problems.


It's always a good idea to practice the questions you'll be asking users before you've a real conversation. This will give you time to make changes to the questions you plan to ask and ensure that the conversations go smoothly. Practicing is also a good way to determine if the length of the interview is appropriate or if you need to add or delete questions from your list. You can practice asking interview questions in front of a mirror or with a trusted colleague.

Meet the participants

First impressions count!

When you first meet users at the beginning of an interview, you want the conversation to be successful. Here are a few things you can do when meeting interview participants:

Build rapport

Building rapport is all about creating a professional but friendly interaction. Light conversation, such as asking how the user's day was, can help build rapport before the interview begins. Simple questions and inviting gestures can make the user feel comfortable so they can share their true feelings at the beginning of the conversation.

Thank users for coming

Before the interview begins, thank the people you're interviewing for taking the time to meet with you and share their perspective. Saying thank you is part of building rapport and can make users feel that their opinions are valued.

Gather basic information

When meeting with users, remember to ask for basic information relevant to the interview, such as name or demographic details.

Conducting the interview

Conducting interviews to empathize with users is all about making the user feel comfortable and asking lots of questions. Here are a few things to keep in mind when conducting interviews:

Follow interview etiquette

Speak clearly and concisely when asking questions, and remain professional no matter how users answer a question. Show that you are actively listening as users give their perspective, such as by nodding, making appropriate eye contact, or taking notes.

Ask open-ended questions

Avoid asking questions that would result in a simple "yes" or "no" answer. Instead, ask questions that begin with "why." For example, avoid asking "Do you like going shopping?" and instead ask "Why do you like or dislike going to the shopping?" This way you can have a more in-depth conversation and elicit useful information for the product you are designing. If the participant gives a short "yes" or "no" answer, you should ask a follow-up question to get the participant to tell you more.

Take notes

Interviews tend to move quickly. Without taking notes, it can be nearly impossible to accurately reflect what the participants said!

As you observe and listen to the participants during the interview, write down as much as you can. Having a meaningful list of notes will help you create empathy maps and develop ideas for solving user problems. Below are some best practices to help you take notes during interviews:

Highlight meaningful quotes

The most obvious part of an interview is taking notes on what the user says. Interesting quotes are a good indicator of how users really think and feel. Including quotes in your empathy maps is a great way to present a real user's first-hand perspective, which can provide valuable insight as you develop your designs.

Document observations about participants

It's important to record not only what users say, but also their mood, facial expressions, body language, and behavior.

Pay special attention to external factors, such as noise or distractions, that could skew respondents' answers. All of these observations need to be taken into account when creating empathy maps.

Consider recording interviews

Ask participants if they are okay with you recording their interview. If they agree, recorded interviews can be very helpful later to review parts of the interview you may not remember or to take additional notes after the interview is over.

End the interview

After you have asked all of the interview questions, give users the opportunity to share their final thoughts on the topics discussed during the interview. Some participants may open up and share insights they did not reveal before.

Remember to thank the participants again. You want participants to leave the interview feeling good about you, your future product, and the brand you may represent.

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Table of contents
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Conduct interviews β€’

7/13 topics available

Competitive Audits

  • Introduction to competitive audits


  • Limits to competitive audits


  • Steps to conduct competitive audits


  • Present a competitive audit


Design Ideation

  • Understand design ideation


  • Business needs during ideation


  • Use insights from competitive audits to ideate


  • Use "How might we" to ideate


  • Use Crazy Eights to ideate


  • Use journey map to ideate


Goal statements

  • Build a Goal statement


User flows

  • Introduction to user flows


  • Storyboarding user flows


  • Types of storyboards



  • Introduction to wireframes


  • Paper wireframes


  • Transition from paper to digital wireframes


  • Information architecture


Ethical and Inclusive Design

  • Identify Deceptive Patterns


  • Role as a UX designer


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