Methods > Gather Insights > Exploratory Interviews

Exploratory Interviews

Submit an example

Purpose

  • Allows you to understand the problem you are trying to solve from the perspective of the user.

Outcome

  • Tested assumptions about behaviors, beliefs and needs of your target audience.
  • Gathered information allows you to understand the problem better, create new ideas and prioritize features.

Time

15 - 25 days

Participants

2 people

Difficulty

Hard
Tip: it’s best to get an expert on board to help you run these methods.

Materials

Recording device (audio/video), Camera Release forms, note taking material, post its for synthesis

How to use it?

1. DEFINE
Define your topic for investigation (questions or assumptions).

2. RECRUIT
Recruiting takes time for interviews. Depending on the amount of time it takes for recruiting, your project will take longer. (see our recruiting guide)

3. SET IT UP
Follow up with the interviewee to set a time and place to meet (remote or in-person), remember to send a reminder them prior to session. On the day, ensure you have a notetaker for the interviews.

4. PLAN
Build an interview guide (this is not a script, interviews should be conversations and your guide is just to keep you on track, not to read from).

5. CONDUCT
Before interviewing, read through our 101 guide for interviewing. Start the interview with an introduction. Open up with easy questions and draw out to specifics. Avoid asking leading questions, use storytelling techniques such as; tell me the last time you did X, tell me about how a normal day is for you, show me how you do something. Listen carefully, take notes. Audio record and take pictures.

6. SYNTHESIZE
With a full understanding of each user response and behavior, take time to review your data and start synthesizing insights soon after your final interview. Extract key findings: what was surprising or unexpected? What assumptions were confirmed? Use anomalies and edge cases to push your own product concept. Avoid confirmation bias by forcing yourself to move beyond your current product concept. Ensure your team is represented; multidisciplinary backgrounds give different perspectives and see opportunities and challenges better.

7. COMMUNICATE
Create a concise summary document that is useful to you and can also be used to keep stakeholders up to date.