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How to Make the Most of User Interviews

December 20, 2021

UX design focuses on creating products that offer excellent, meaningful experiences for users. Therefore, UX designers must keep the user in mind when working on all aspects of product design, including branding, usability, and functionality. Another UX design concern is creating products that give users everything they need, from efficiency to fun and pleasure. However, there is no single way to define a good user experience because a design’s success depends on how well it meets the needs of the particular consumers who are using a product.

To meet the needs of your actual users, it is vital that you do UX research to understand your target market. In this article, I’ll provide some useful tips for conducting user interviews.

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UX Research Is Important

It’s always important to conduct UX research when you want to launch a new product or new features. In fact, user research is the first thing you should do when embarking on a design project, because it has a significant impact on the product-design cycle. By getting to know your potential or actual users through user interviews, you can design an optimal product that users will enjoy. Plus, your research data can back up your product and design strategies and marketing ideas.

You can’t successfully launch a product or feature if no one wants to use it. In fact, if you unnecessarily make assumptions about your target users, all the time, effort, and money you put into your product could go to waste. Research not only informs you about your target market and users’ needs and preferences but can also help you eliminate any erroneous assumptions regarding a product and its design. Through UX research, you can correct any errors and make the necessary changes to your product, then move forward with its release. In this way, you can avoid failure and make your product as great as possible for its users.

Conducting User Interviews

Of course, you also need to make sure that you conduct your UX research properly so you can obtain the information you need. Since user interviews are an essential method of UX research, I’ll share some tips on conducting and maximizing the benefits of user interviews to ensure you get all the information you need about your users. User interviews inform product design, as well as the iterative design and evaluation process through which you can reliably improve your product.

Preparing a Set of Questions

To obtain specific information, it is best to create your list of questions beforehand. Knowing in advance what questions you need to ask the users you’ll interview prevents your wasting time during sessions. Plus, experts should check and validate most research instruments—such as survey questionnaires—before they’re implemented. This ensures that you’re asking the right questions. So, as soon as you know the specifics of the product you’re working on, ┬áprepare your questions ahead of time.

Asking Open-ended Questions

The best strategy for getting qualitative data and deeper insights is asking open-ended questions, which let users share their opinions, suggestions, and even concerns. A simple yes or no question puts them in a box, limiting their responses, but an open-ended question allows them to expound on their answers. They might even mention an idea or thought they’ve had that you didn’t know to ask about.

Keeping Calm and Letting the User Speak

Once you’ve asked a question, let the users do the talking. You need them to open up and share their ideas or thoughts about the product. There is no need to be nervous because you’re the one conducting the interview. Being awkward or uncomfortable might make the person you’re interviewing nervous, too. Try to relax and calmly ask your questions. Hang upon each user’s words and don’t interrupt.

Don’t Prompt Users

While prompts may be typical for other types of interviews, it’s best to let users express themselves on their own during user interviews. Prompting them or asking follow-up questions might influence the users’ answers and, thus, corrupt the data you’re trying to collect.

Record Sessions and Take Notes

When conducting user interviews, it is always best to record them and write down your thoughts. This prevents your missing anything that the interviewee is saying when you’re taking notes. Moreover, you can always go back to the recordings later to review any parts of the interviews you may have forgotten or that were unclear to you. You must capture all relevant data from your UX research sessions to realize the full value of conducting user interviews.

Capture Your Insights Immediately after Interviews

It’s not always possible to write down all the helpful information that users share during interviews. So, after each interview, try to find a moment to record the main insights on your phone, as well as your general impressions of the interview. In this way, you can ensure that you won’t miss or forget anything. Everything will still be fresh in your mind, and you’ll be able to capture complete feedback relating to the concerns or responses of the user.

Convert Your Recordings to Text

To enable you to concentrate during your interviews rather than worry about taking notes all the time, you should use a voice recorder. With an automated audio-to-text converter, you can quickly transcribe your recordings and save your transcripts in whatever format you need. Converting your audio-to-text files also lets you easily add your own annotations to the files.

Review Your Notes and Analyze Your Data

Once you’ve gathered your notes and annotated transcripts, you must thoroughly analyze your data. This is a crucial step in leveraging your user research to improve your product designs, so be sure to conduct an in-depth analysis of all user interviews. You can also make use of direct quotations or ideas from your audio recordings or transcripts when reporting on your analysis of the data.

Conclusion

As you can see, UX research is vital part of creating a product design. You should allow plenty of time for conducting thorough UX research, including user interviews, to get the data you need to create excellent products that customers will love. By following the tips I’ve provided when conducting user interviews, you can gather essential information about your users and derive maximal value from your user interviews. Never neglect to both take notes and make recordings to keep your research data safe, in case of any emergencies.

Your notes and recordings from your user interviews are the tools you need to help your team design and successfully launch a great product that offers a fantastic user experience. The process of creating and launching a new product or feature might not be easy or quick, but you should never sacrifice UX research to fast-track a product’s release.  

Marketing Manager at Audext

Kiev, Ukraine

Marta KukaAs a Marketing Manager, Marta always does her best to try new ways of making the products she works on more attractive and valuable. She endeavors to make these products well known to users worldwide. Marta is passionate about marketing, User Experience, and writing. She believes that User Experience should be a priority for all digital marketers. Marta has a Master’s degree in Advertising, Media Communication, and Journalism.  Read More

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