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How to do user interviews for better User experience

Portrait Felipe Restrepo
Felipe Restrepo
7 min read

Planning for your products and perfecting them seems like a difficult task. After all, you need to find out what works, what doesn’t work, and make changes based on the information you collect. Let’s look into why user interviews matter and ways to make improvements, so you can increase usability for your products.

How user interviews can help you understand your customers' needs ?

Some people overlook user interviews and their importance. They think a few questions will offer them enough information from the interview. However, you can learn and make various improvements if you hold effective user interviews.

As you hold interviews, you’ll enjoy some of these benefits.

Find Out How Users Feel

You can’t figure out how the users feel unless you ask questions. Sure, you can create surveys, but you’ll miss out on important details if you don’t talk with them. Holding interviews gives you the opportunity to directly interact with customers and do the following:

  • See how they react to your questions
  • Look for signs of how they feel
  • Ask follow-up questions based on their answers

If you interact with them through interviews, you can find out what users feel. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the questions if you think you’ll find out more information. As you pay attention and listen to how they feel, you can figure out where your product design falls short.

Boost your product quality: Discover strategies for continuous improvement

As you interview and ask questions about the product, you can figure out how to improve it. Your users will share how their experiences went and what frustrated them. As you find out this information, you can see what aspects of the product cause the most issues.

You can even ask them about which parts frustrate them the most. From there, you can make changes and adjustments based on the answers. Users stand out as the perfect source of information, so you need to work with them to increase usability.

Ensure a smooth and successful product launch

If you take the time to talk with your interviewers, you can identify problems. Identifying problems can help your business in multiple ways:

  • Solve the problems to avoid issues when you release the product
  • Look into the issues and find similar ones
  • Overcome potential issues that could lead to larger ones later on

If you want to minimize issues, you need to talk with the users and make improvements based on their experiences. Doing so will help you make a better and more appealing product design.

Turn your user interviews into a source of valuable insight

Now that you understand why user interviews matter, we want to offer some tips. That way, you can look at your current review process and make some improvements to it.

What environment for a successful interview?

If you want users to open up, you need to create a comfortable environment. This involves finding a spot where you and the users can relax, talk, and discuss the experience. This approach can benefit you in multiple ways:

  • Allow the user to relax and trust you
  • Help the user avoid distractions
  • Ensure the user can offer opinions without others overhearing

The interview environment needs to be a place where the users can focus on the interview. Make sure you set the room to a comfortable temperature. Otherwise, users may find the heat or cold distracting during the interview.

You should figure out what you like in your office or home to make it comfortable. From there, you can make changes to help the users feel more comfortable. However, don’t make it too casual, or the users might not take the interview seriously.

Listening: a pillar of user understanding

Sometimes, interviewers become focused on asking questions. However, a good interviewer needs to listen and understand what the user wants to say. A good listener can provide more benefits than one focused on asking questions.

  • The listener will learn what the users experienced
  • The users can focus on what they think rather than answering the questions
  • The listener can figure out how to adjust the interview to get more information

Listeners get more information than those who talk. Due to this, you’ll get more out of the interviews if you focus on listening to the users.

The users understand their experiences and how they feel. If you give them the chance to discuss what they enjoyed or disliked, you can make changes. This works great when you work with the average user since you appeal to your general audience.

Asking Questions is essential to determine the thoughts of your users

While listening matters, your interviewer also needs to ask questions. If the interviewer doesn’t ask questions, the users may ramble or go off-topic. This means the interviewers should prepare some questions to help with the conversation.

While interviewers should ask questions, they shouldn’t treat them like a checklist. Instead, the interviewer needs to listen to the users and ask questions related to their comments.

For example, a user may mention some struggles with the settings menu on the phone he or she tested. If this happens, you can ask why the settings menu seemed confusing. You could also ask what about it seemed confusing or what could be better.

When you ask related questions, you can keep the conversation going. You can find out how the users feel and see what you should change about the product.

Talk About the Interview Before the Test

Before the user tests your product, you should let them know you plan to hold an interview afterward. As you do this, you’ll make the process easier for you and the user.

  • The user doesn’t feel surprised when the interview happens
  • The user understands he or she needs to talk about the experience
  • You don’t have to explain why you plan to hold an interview after the user experience test

Not only should you bring up the interview, but you should talk about what you plan to ask. If you do this, the user can prepare for the interview by knowing what they should focus on. That way, they’ll consider those details while they use the product.

This approach works great if you want to focus on specific parts of the product. If you don’t want to influence the interview, you shouldn’t bring up what you plan to talk about. That way, the users can focus on the products and their experiences rather than the questions.

The most relevant answers are the ones you don't expect

Sometimes, interviewers may expect certain answers when they ask questions. You should avoid these thought processes if you want to have a great interview:

  • Don’t ask questions with yes or no answers
  • Don’t stay on a question until the users give the answer you want
  • Don’t make statements that can influence the answers

If you influence the answers or expect certain ones, you won’t learn as much from the interview. Instead, you need to focus on how the users feel and let them answer honestly. Otherwise, they’ll say they love the product and leave you without any information to make changes.

As they provide answers to your questions, you should ask follow-up questions. These questions should encourage them to elaborate on the subject. This will involve asking them to explain further, asking for clarification, and similar questions.

Final Comments

Product design stands out as a difficult part of business management. If you want to succeed with your product designs, you must improve the user experience. As you hold interviews after users interact with your products, you can figure out what you need to improve.

Make sure you look into your user interviews and apply the tips above. As you do so, you can increase the usability of your products and draw in more customers.

If you want to learn more about testing your users, read this article : Moderated remote usability testing: the key to understanding your users' needs"