The value of user interviews

Getting the most out of your moments up-close with the user requires patience and planning

Updated May 24, 2019

The common pitfalls

During the research and discovery phase of your project, you'll operate in a number of different observational roles.

You might start viewing users from afar, but eventually you'll need to talk to your potential users. A user interview is unlike other forms of research in that you're trying to gather a better understanding of the problems that the user you are interviewing is having.

This is an extremely easy thing to screw up because humans are terrible at the one thing you need the most — listening. This should be the easiest thing in the world to do, but as humans who want to help people we are naturally wired to attempt to help right away. The moment we begin focusing on the possible ways to solve their problem, we stop listening and begin prescribing.

This is an issue that strikes multiple industries as everyone from doctors to mechanics begins the process of

listening to someone answer your questions and not immediately jumping to the process of attempting to solve their problems

During this process, you need to work against

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