UX Book Club #2: Interviewing Users - How to Uncover Compelling Insights

Hey all! Time really flies and we're going to have our 2nd Book Club meetup! 

Following a great conversation in August about Lean UX, we recognise that getting fast & qualitative validation from real users is extremely crucial. With research activity built into every iteration, outsourcing research work to specialised research teams is simply not lean enough. 

Eventually, teams have to embrace the use of lightweight, continuous and collaborative research techniques in order to build up small & informal qualitative understanding of their users to validate their MVP. 

Supporting this need, this month, we will talk about one of the foundation user research tool (and book), Interviewing users, that many people assume they already possess.

Interviewing Users provides invaluable interviewing techniques and tools that enable you to conduct informative interviews with anyone. 

Come join us for an evening of great conversations (and coffee / food), learning how we can move from simply gathering data to uncovering powerful insights about our users!

Additional Reading Material:




Format of Book Club:

• Overview / Summary of the book (15 mins)

• Breakout into groups (45 mins)

• Sharing of discussion from each group (30 mins)

• Conclusion / Wrap up

• Carry on with awesome conversations till cafe closes!

Do I need to read the book first prior to coming for the meetup? 
No! It is not necessary to read the whole book! Having a general idea, reading a few chapters definitely will help. 

The meetup is also open for people who have questions to ask about the topic of interviewing users.

If you have any questions regarding the Book Club meetup, please feel free to post it in the comments below :)

See you soon!!

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  • Michael O.

    Great to meet everyone today and it seemed we gravitated towards 2 groups : "team of 1" and the "tea of many (not sure if that is the right description)".

    Some useful tools note during the discussions:

    Couple of us also shared processes and techniques to help the user interview process. I find the Lean UX method particularly useful in a team of 1 setting (http://www.slideshare.net/clevergirl/ux-jackson-2013-oneday-lean-startup-workshop) and have adapted some learnings from the book. Particularly find the sections on documenting and impact of research worth going through in more detail.

    Some tips I thought were pretty interesting:
    "What did I know before this interview & is now confirmed after it"
    "What new thing have I learnt (after the user interview)?"
    "When to shut up (and listen)?"

    Hope everyone could share some of what they thought was useful!

    1 · October 23, 2013

    • Charmaine

      Thanks for the nice summary.

      October 23, 2013

    • Charmaine

      Argh! why is enter to send!! I also wanted to add that I used userscout as part of my various recruitment for the user study I conducted earlier. I actually got about 5 responses to my posting, and interviewed one of the people who responded to it. The interesting thing is that she was not actually the one had the userscout account, but it was her sister who saw it but didn't qualify. So you could use it as a place to post and reach more people too, in addition to FB.

      October 23, 2013

  • Charmaine

    I forgot the time -- it was that interesting!

    1 · October 23, 2013

  • Maish N.

    Another method we're using to document observations across research activities (desk research, user research, website analytics, etc.) is to use a Google Form linked to a Google Spreadsheet. The form has the following fields: Source, Observation, Quote. We call the spreadsheet the Observation Database. Everyone in the project team has got access to the form. This way we just focus on collecting observations throughout the research process. Remember we're collecting observations at this stage (observations = interesting stuff I saw, was told or learnt). Insights come as a result of synthesising the observations.

    1 · October 23, 2013

  • Maish N.

    It was a wonderful session. Nice to meet and see how practitioners are carrying out user research.

    Also, as a resource, Steve Portigal interviewed yours truly on PebbleRoad's research process! In this interview we shared our process and linked to some templates and deliverables we use. Check out these resources at, http://www.uxbooth.com/articles/interviewing-the-interviewer-part-2-a-chat-with-maish-nichani/

    October 23, 2013

  • Kiat L.

    Thanks for coming by, it was great to hear different insights and opinions about interviewing as well as on the subject of user research.

    I learnt that while interviewing is a great way to get insights - It is not always do-able and its heavily dependable on the organisation you're dealing with.

    Several factors to consider like recruitment of users to interview, dealing with stakeholders (especially in local) being a Seagull (fly in, poop, and fly out - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seagull_manager).

    The sheer amount of obstacles and mindsets of people, management simply makes user research difficult or skewed. Insights may not necessary derived from the written documentation and can appear in the form of things that weren't mentioned by the user.

    Another thing I learnt was in certain industries like eCommerce, people are just so fixated over A/B testing and[masked]% of change in the data??? Data can help drive day to day decisions but Insights can help create new opportunities.

    October 23, 2013

  • Kiat L.

    Hey guys, gentle reminder of the book club this evening :) See you at Cups n Canvas. Do come by early to enjoy your dinner there too!

    October 22, 2013

  • Nawaz A.

    Something came up in the last minute and I am unable to attend.

    October 22, 2013

    • Kiat L.

      No worries Nawaz! Have a great evening :) See you soon!

      October 22, 2013

  • Rio

    Would people be interested in a "mock" user interview to put Lean UX to practice right there?

    October 22, 2013

  • Kiat L.

    @Julien you've got a physical copy to bring along?

    October 18, 2013

  • Michael O.

    Thanks Kiat!

    October 17, 2013

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