How To Prepare and Deliver Effective Users Interviews
a) Nondirected Interviews:
How to Get More Out of Your Research Questions published by Mike Kuniavsky, July 2002
b) Face to Face With Your Users: Running a Nondirected Interview published by Mike Kuniavsky, January 2003
= must have
Talking to your users is indispensable when you want to develop to run a reliable survey or when collecting info to develop a more usable and effective Intranet interface. The uses to which interviews are put to, are indeed many more and the valuable advice provided in these two articles can indeed be applied to many different situations.
In my case, or wherever you indeed want to interview users to improve an interface design, you need to talk to your users before you start designing or developing anything and you need to attentively talk to them to understand what exactly needs to be refined and improved.
Mike Kuniavsky has written two valuable essays on preparing and conducting "nondirected" interviews with users.
The essay 'Nondirected Interviews: How to Get More Out of Your Research Questions' deals with how to design appropriate questions for an interview. Kuniavsky offers five practical guidelines 'to help you frame questions in a way that elicits honest and accurate responses'.
In the essay 'Face to Face With Your Users: Running a Nondirected Interview' Kuniavsky focuses on actual interviewing techniques and provides 10 Guidelines 'for how to ask questions that will limit (though likely never eliminate) bias'.
I have already learned a lot about questionnaire design and interviewing techniques when studying at my university. Nevertheless, I found these two essays extremely valuable, because they concisely summarize the most important points to keep in mind while doing interviews and they do provide vivid and relevant application examples.
I think these two articles can serve as excellent checklists when you are preparing yourself for an interview with your users, no matter how high is your level of experience.
The author, Mike Kuniavsky will also publish a book about user research techniques in April 2003.
If you are interested in learning about actual design techniques that can be applied during interface development, you should have a look to my review of "Wireframing Techniques for Web Page Design".
You can read the original post here.
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