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Adrian Howard (@adrianh) Effective Customer
Interviewing
nuxcamp.uk
Hello!
You don’t have to 

copy the slides
http://slideshare.net/adrianh
Ask questions!
Eh?
I ♥ feedback
Swear jar is running…
Chatham House Rule
“When a meeting, or part thereof, is
held under the Chatham House Rule,
participants are free to use the
information recei...
Who are you?
Stand up!
(yes… you’re going to have to start doing stuff already)
A–B–C
A = Speaker

B = Interviewer

C = Observer
Speakers:
Shut your eyes…
Interviewers:
Ask the speaker about their
best restaurant experience.
Interviewers:
Do not take notes
Observers:
Watch what happens. 

Write observations down.
🕑

2 minutes
Reflection
Tip:
Drink
B = Speaker

C = Interviewer

A = Observer
Speakers:
Shut your eyes…
Interviewers:
Ask the speaker about their
best vacation experience.
Interviewers:
… and one more thing …
Interviewers:
After the first question – you
cannot speak again. Shhhhh!
Interviewers:
Do not take notes
Observers:
Watch what happens. 

Write observations down.
🕑

2 minutes
Reflection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Christopher_Macsurak_Fran_Lebowitz.jpg
– Fran Lebowitz
“The opposite of talking isn't li...
Tip:
Use silence
Tip:
Pay attention to 

body language
C = Speaker

A = Interviewer

B = Observer
Speakers:
Shut your eyes…
Interviewers:
Talk with the speaker about how
they decorate & furnish their home.
Interviewers:
… and one more thing …
Interviewers:
After the 1st
question you only ask
“Can you tell me more about X?” 

(where X is something the speaker
has ...
Interviewers:
Do not take notes
Observers:
Watch what happens. 

Write observations down.
🕑

4 minutes
Reflection
– Arthur Bloch
“Every clarification
breeds new questions”
Tip:
Reflect back what 

the speaker said
… and relax …
Why do we interview?
“If I had asked my
customers what they
wanted they would
have said a faster
horse”
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_ford_1919.jpg
“If I had asked my
customers what they
wanted they would
have s...
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_ford_1919.jpg
“If there is any one
secret of success, it
lies in the ability ...
What is an interview?
An interview is not a…	 quiz

	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 survey

	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 negotiation

	 	 	 	...
Rapport & Empathy
Learn new things
(In)validate

our assumptions
Who do you interview?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/artfulone/14206229674/sizes/l
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joncandy/5561310462
Tip:
Bribes
Tip:
Look for bored people
Go where your customers are
Tip:
Don’t look scary
Tip:
Go with somebody
Use your organisation
Tip:
Sales, Marketing & Support
Use social media
Intercept recruiting
Recruiters
How many?
–Bill Vaughan
“We learn something
every day, and lots of
times it's that what
we learned the day
before was wrong.”
Don’t just use interviews

for validation
buildlearn
measure
productdata
ideas
buildlearn
measure
productdata
ideas
buildlearn
measure
productdata
ideas
More interviewing tips…
Tip:
Be polite
Tip:
Ask open questions
Tip:
Avoid leading questions
Tip:
Avoid fortuneteller questions
Exercise time!
Today you found a startup!
Startup 1
Exploring exciting ways to create
a great experience eating out
Startup 2
Helping people have the
vacation of their dreams
Startup 3
Democratising professional
interior decoration
What do you want 

to find out?
🕑

Individually write down topics. 

One topic per post-it.
🕑

Group them as a team.

Then label groups.
🕑

Write questions 

for topic groups.
🕑

Write cross-cutting

questions
Reflection
A = Speaker

B = Interviewer

C = Observer
Interviewers
Gather info on your startup.

Think about the list of topics.
Interviewers & Observers
Try and note down the things
the speaker tells you
🕑

5 minutes
Tip:
• Silence & body language

• Reflect back

• Ask open questions

• Do not ask leading & fortuneteller questions
Reflection
Tip:
Observations vs Insights
Tip:
Interview in pairs
Tip:
Consider recording
B = Speaker

C = Interviewer

A = Observer
Tip:
• Silence & body language

• Reflect back

• Ask open questions

• Do not ask leading & fortuneteller questions

• Obs...
C = Speaker

A = Interviewer

B = Observer
Tip:
• Silence & body language

• Reflect back

• Ask open questions

• Do not ask leading & fortuneteller questions

• Obs...
Analysis & Synthesis
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Customer_journey_with_touchpoints_English.png
http://memegenerator.net/instance/54379154
You should interview 

your customers regularly
You should interview 

your customers regularly
You should interview 

your customers regularly
You should interview 

your customers regularly
You should interview 

your customers regularly
You should interview 

your customers regularly
STALK

before you

TALK

before you

SELL

before you

BUILD
Practice, practice, practice
Do retrospectives
http://trvrs.co/book
Questions?
Agile & Lean UX News — bit.ly/leanuxnews
Adrian Howard (@adrianh)

quietstars.com
“I get it you should too” — @...
Effective Interviewing
Effective Interviewing
Effective Interviewing
Effective Interviewing
Effective Interviewing
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Effective Interviewing

At its core user experience work is about understanding the people who use our products and services. Good interviewing practices are essential to doing this well.

This workshop will show you how to interview people to discover their needs, desires, and pain points. In a series of mock interviews you'll learn basic techniques, mistakes to avoid, and lightweight analysis and synthesis techniques that work well in the collaborative environments many UX practitioners work in.

Effective Interviewing

  1. 1. Adrian Howard (@adrianh) Effective Customer Interviewing nuxcamp.uk
  2. 2. Hello!
  3. 3. You don’t have to copy the slides http://slideshare.net/adrianh
  4. 4. Ask questions!
  5. 5. Eh?
  6. 6. I ♥ feedback
  7. 7. Swear jar is running…
  8. 8. Chatham House Rule
  9. 9. “When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed”
  10. 10. Who are you?
  11. 11. Stand up! (yes… you’re going to have to start doing stuff already)
  12. 12. A–B–C
  13. 13. A = Speaker
 B = Interviewer
 C = Observer
  14. 14. Speakers: Shut your eyes…
  15. 15. Interviewers: Ask the speaker about their best restaurant experience.
  16. 16. Interviewers: Do not take notes
  17. 17. Observers: Watch what happens. 
 Write observations down.
  18. 18. 🕑
 2 minutes
  19. 19. Reflection
  20. 20. Tip: Drink
  21. 21. B = Speaker
 C = Interviewer
 A = Observer
  22. 22. Speakers: Shut your eyes…
  23. 23. Interviewers: Ask the speaker about their best vacation experience.
  24. 24. Interviewers: … and one more thing …
  25. 25. Interviewers: After the first question – you cannot speak again. Shhhhh!
  26. 26. Interviewers: Do not take notes
  27. 27. Observers: Watch what happens. 
 Write observations down.
  28. 28. 🕑
 2 minutes
  29. 29. Reflection
  30. 30. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Christopher_Macsurak_Fran_Lebowitz.jpg – Fran Lebowitz “The opposite of talking isn't listening The opposite of talking is waiting”
  31. 31. Tip: Use silence
  32. 32. Tip: Pay attention to 
 body language
  33. 33. C = Speaker
 A = Interviewer
 B = Observer
  34. 34. Speakers: Shut your eyes…
  35. 35. Interviewers: Talk with the speaker about how they decorate & furnish their home.
  36. 36. Interviewers: … and one more thing …
  37. 37. Interviewers: After the 1st question you only ask “Can you tell me more about X?” 
 (where X is something the speaker has previously mentioned)
  38. 38. Interviewers: Do not take notes
  39. 39. Observers: Watch what happens. 
 Write observations down.
  40. 40. 🕑
 4 minutes
  41. 41. Reflection
  42. 42. – Arthur Bloch “Every clarification breeds new questions”
  43. 43. Tip: Reflect back what 
 the speaker said
  44. 44. … and relax …
  45. 45. Why do we interview?
  46. 46. “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse”
  47. 47. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_ford_1919.jpg “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse” – Henry Ford (did not say this)
  48. 48. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_ford_1919.jpg “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own” – Henry Ford
  49. 49. What is an interview?
  50. 50. An interview is not a… quiz survey negotiation pitch date conversation
  51. 51. Rapport & Empathy
  52. 52. Learn new things
  53. 53. (In)validate
 our assumptions
  54. 54. Who do you interview?
  55. 55. https://www.flickr.com/photos/artfulone/14206229674/sizes/l
  56. 56. https://www.flickr.com/photos/joncandy/5561310462
  57. 57. Tip: Bribes
  58. 58. Tip: Look for bored people
  59. 59. Go where your customers are
  60. 60. Tip: Don’t look scary
  61. 61. Tip: Go with somebody
  62. 62. Use your organisation
  63. 63. Tip: Sales, Marketing & Support
  64. 64. Use social media
  65. 65. Intercept recruiting
  66. 66. Recruiters
  67. 67. How many?
  68. 68. –Bill Vaughan “We learn something every day, and lots of times it's that what we learned the day before was wrong.”
  69. 69. Don’t just use interviews for validation
  70. 70. buildlearn measure productdata ideas
  71. 71. buildlearn measure productdata ideas
  72. 72. buildlearn measure productdata ideas
  73. 73. More interviewing tips…
  74. 74. Tip: Be polite
  75. 75. Tip: Ask open questions
  76. 76. Tip: Avoid leading questions
  77. 77. Tip: Avoid fortuneteller questions
  78. 78. Exercise time!
  79. 79. Today you found a startup!
  80. 80. Startup 1 Exploring exciting ways to create a great experience eating out
  81. 81. Startup 2 Helping people have the vacation of their dreams
  82. 82. Startup 3 Democratising professional interior decoration
  83. 83. What do you want 
 to find out?
  84. 84. 🕑
 Individually write down topics. 
 One topic per post-it.
  85. 85. 🕑
 Group them as a team.
 Then label groups.
  86. 86. 🕑
 Write questions 
 for topic groups.
  87. 87. 🕑
 Write cross-cutting questions
  88. 88. Reflection
  89. 89. A = Speaker
 B = Interviewer
 C = Observer
  90. 90. Interviewers Gather info on your startup.
 Think about the list of topics.
  91. 91. Interviewers & Observers Try and note down the things the speaker tells you
  92. 92. 🕑
 5 minutes
  93. 93. Tip: • Silence & body language • Reflect back • Ask open questions • Do not ask leading & fortuneteller questions
  94. 94. Reflection
  95. 95. Tip: Observations vs Insights
  96. 96. Tip: Interview in pairs
  97. 97. Tip: Consider recording
  98. 98. B = Speaker
 C = Interviewer
 A = Observer
  99. 99. Tip: • Silence & body language • Reflect back • Ask open questions • Do not ask leading & fortuneteller questions • Observations vs Insights
  100. 100. C = Speaker
 A = Interviewer
 B = Observer
  101. 101. Tip: • Silence & body language • Reflect back • Ask open questions • Do not ask leading & fortuneteller questions • Observations vs Insights
  102. 102. Analysis & Synthesis
  103. 103. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Customer_journey_with_touchpoints_English.png
  104. 104. http://memegenerator.net/instance/54379154
  105. 105. You should interview your customers regularly
  106. 106. You should interview your customers regularly
  107. 107. You should interview your customers regularly
  108. 108. You should interview your customers regularly
  109. 109. You should interview your customers regularly
  110. 110. You should interview your customers regularly
  111. 111. STALK before you TALK before you SELL before you BUILD
  112. 112. Practice, practice, practice
  113. 113. Do retrospectives
  114. 114. http://trvrs.co/book
  115. 115. Questions? Agile & Lean UX News — bit.ly/leanuxnews Adrian Howard (@adrianh) quietstars.com “I get it you should too” — @tonytphd “A treasure chest of recent lean & agile material” — @davidpetersimon “It’s one of the best newsletters out there” — @LadiesThatUXATL “You should subscribe” — @brownpf

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