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Quality time with the user

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Interviewing the user one on one never grows old. But it is an art difficult to truly master and fully capitalise on. In this talk, I would like to share and discuss experiences and best practices. Also, I will look at some unconventional ways of improving our skills as an interviewer.

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Quality time with the user

  1. 1. Quality Time with the User Hamburg (UX Camp), 29.07.2017 How to make interviews count Shared under Creative Commons (CC-BY-ND).
  2. 2. I am a shy person 2 Foto Foto
  3. 3. 3 Foto I am also curious & empathetic Foto
  4. 4. Interesting combination. 4 Social anxiety Strong interest in people
  5. 5. My survival script* 5 Violent Outbursts Helpless Desperation Social Anxiety Emphatic Curiosity Experiencing as a child in my family. *= See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis
  6. 6. My survival script has set me up 6 User Researcher Life Coach Teacher Trainer
  7. 7. Empathy and a strong drive to please They define what comes natural to me and what are fields of growth My STRENGTHs §Active Listening §Reading expressions §Curious / non-judgemental My CHALLENGEs §Neutral/non-supportive attitude §Silence §Making people „suffer“ §Resolutely taking control 7
  8. 8. 8That brings to my first piece of advice: https://flic.kr/p/LoMXs
  9. 9. Know yourself, before you know others
  10. 10. 10 Probably your most important research project: What kind of person are you? https://flic.kr/p/3gtnCj What is your “UX”? § Receive feedback (a lot!) from colleagues, participants, friends and strangers § Watch yourself while interviewing § Watch yourself while watching yourself interviewing ;-) § What are your scripts, drivers, triggers (transactional analysis)?
  11. 11. Learn something profoundly new „Uncovering a new way of looking at the world, of understanding the beliefs and desires of a group of people represents a change in ourselves. Being changed, we advocate for that understanding, ... so that they [the team] can bring new things into the world that will better support others.“ From „Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries – User Research War Stories“, New York 2016 The value of user interviews Steve Portigal
  12. 12. Quality Time with the user? § 30–60 min. § Ideally in “context” § Semi-structured https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/young-man-categorically-against-giving-interview-606511394
  13. 13. Value the obvious not so obvious Your obvious is totally wrong.
  14. 14. Be humble! 14 §Your are attempting to enter somebody else‘s world. §They are the masters of their world. §Don’t assume, don’t judge. §Ask obvious questions! Bildnachweis: https://flic.kr/p/4WtVKR Nothing is your obvious here!
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. Calm? – Interviews are a strain! 16 Listening My next Question? Time left? Remaining Topics? Overall Interview Structure! My notes? Did I start the recording? My posture?
  17. 17. Yes, calm. (Deliberately control your cognitive strain*) 17 Listening Watching Feeling Time left? My notes? Overall Interview Structure! * = Practice will make this easier ;-)
  18. 18. You can practice “Knowing nothing“ 18 Mindfulness through Meditation §Better control of thoughts and feelings. §Practices an open, non- judging attitude.
  19. 19. 19 Every day when I get up … Humans are not well suited for averaging their lives. https://www.reddit.com/r/gifs/comments/2mr1xo/every_morning/ (from the movie „Groundhog Day“, Columbia Pictures 1993)
  20. 20. Stories, not generalizations There is no every day.
  21. 21. Aim for concrete experiences 21 When you wake up in the morning, how do you start your day? Please remember waking up today (yesterday, last Sunday): What were your first thoughts and actions? §When was the last time, that you ...? §Can you remember a concrete situation where you ...? §What was your happiest/worst experience with ...?
  22. 22. Work towards the tipping point* 22* = Again, Steve Portigal’s words (and model). Question StoryQuestion Answer Question Answer Tipping Point
  23. 23. 23 When as a researcher entering somebody else ‘s world, it normally starts out awkward. https://flic.kr/p/6rxa3H
  24. 24. Admit the awkwardness Be O.K. with being not O.K.
  25. 25. This is not love §An “awkward” start is completely normal §Do not compensate by over-comforting the participant. §Relax: If you are not at ease, they are not at ease. https://flic.kr/p/SJdeBz Aim for trust not for love.
  26. 26. A proper invitation Always practice your „Rahmungskompetenz“ § Who are you? § Why are you doing this? § Brief overview of what is to expect § How long will it take? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Astaire,_Fred_-_Never_Get_Rich.jpg
  27. 27. Of course, there is awkward. And then there is
  28. 28. When you are called from a young woman’s bedroom.
  29. 29. Use every opportunity to Sharpen the saw Life is research
  30. 30. The easy stuff §You can meditate § Interviewing Users, Steve Portigal § Validating Product Ideas, Tomer Sharon § Just enough research, Erika Hall Read BooksPractice Mindfulness More books on research: https://www.goodreads.com/list/created/68146420-hans- joachim-belz (WORK IN PROGRESS) https://flic.kr/p/aht7Wt
  31. 31. Slightly more challenging: Practice deep listening in real life 31
  32. 32. 32 Earth is strangely gripping. Explore! – Nano, nano! :-) Mork and Mindy: Putting the Ork back in Mork, ABC 1980
  33. 33. You still got questions? 33 @minutefforts / @Anstrengungslos hans-joachim.belz@anstrengungslos.de www.anstrengungslos.de
  34. 34. Beratung,Training, Coaching und Transformation Innovativ, digital und kundenzentriert – wir helfen Ihnen ihr Potential auszuschöpfen

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