A UX design agency can employ a variety of methods to help other businesses improve their user experience. One of these methods is conducting a user interview with participants who can be considered a part of your target audience.
Read on to know more about what user interviews are, when and how they should be conducted, and why they are so important in UI UX design company!
What are user interviews?
User interviews are a popular technique to get feedback from your users. Think of them as a qualitative research method in UX design. They are in-depth interviews that aim to delve deep into the mind of one single user and last about 30-60 minutes with only a few participants. UX design agencies usually don’t interview more than 12 people to gather data for a company, but in the case of larger-scale services, going above this number can be a good idea.
The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the needs, motivations, experiences, opinions, and fears of your potential customers.
Why are user interviews so important in UX design?
User interviews are a fast way to learn more about how your users percept the design of your products, your website, webshop, or application. As an interactive qualitative research method, it excels at finding golden nuggets of information that would be much harder to obtain through other high-scale quantitative methods like user surveys.
What’s more, user interviews don’t exclude the use of other UX design research methods. Most agencies recommend pairing them alongside just about any other approach, or as a follow-up to previous tests and market research. In order to get the full picture of what your users think of your products and services, a company should not limit itself to just one single research method.
As for the output of user interviews, what you get is a lot of qualitative data, such as transcripts, detailed notes, and even videos. All of this data can be then used to flesh out buyer personas and customer journey maps. It’s also a great way to test out prototypes to make sure everything is in order before launching a new product on the market.
When should user interviews be conducted?
User interviews should be conducted when you want to know exactly what a user thinks about the product, website, application, process, or any part of it that is being made or has already been completed.
They can also be conducted twice, at two different stages of the UX design process:
- Before your design is completed – to help you design a better buyer persona, clarify customer journey maps, and generate further ideas for the UX design process. This is so you can discover a broader range of information about your users’ attitudes, before delving deep into web or app development.
- During prototype testing – to get a clearer opinion about the current user experience of your website, application, or webshop. This is to get more direct information from your users, and as a way to make improvements based on specific customer needs.
How should user interviews be conducted?
Conducting user interviews is based on cooperation between a UX design agency and the business requiring this service. Companies hiring a UX agency can help in providing candidates for the interview and offer their input on the interview scenario. As for the user interview itself, it is conducted by the UX agency.
- To ensure the candid nature of this method, it is important that users are relaxed and can open up to give truly honest answers, and not the ones they think they should give. An experienced UX design agency knows that they should make it clear to the participating users that the interview is about testing the product and not testing them. This is also why it is important to make the interviewees feel welcome and explain the purpose of the user interview to them so they don’t feel confused.
- Professional UX design agencies conduct user interviews in a semi-directed form that usually lasts for about an hour. Semi-structured interviews represent an ideal combination of the two “extremes” used to interview users. For example, completely structured interviews feel more like surveys, feel much less natural, and don’t leave any room to explore topics you might not have thought of before the interview. However, UX design agencies refrain from conducting completely unstructured user interviews. Interviewing cannot be the same as common chit-chat: interviewers also need to know how and when to ask the right questions.
- This is also why user interviews need to have a clear goal and try to get answers to specific questions, such as what you need to know about your users to make your website better, and how the knowledge you gain from the user interview will change your design process.