Regular interviews and field interviews
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“Regular” Interviews and Field Interviews. CS 569. Interview types for this course. Open-ended/unstructured, structured, semi-structured. General guidelines: Have goals set. Avoid long/complex questions. Avoid jargon. Avoid leading questions, think abt unconscious bias .

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“Regular” Interviews and Field Interviews

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Regular interviews and field interviews

“Regular” Interviews and Field Interviews

CS 569


Interview types for this course

Interview types for this course

  • Open-ended/unstructured, structured, semi-structured.

  • General guidelines:

    • Have goals set.

    • Avoid long/complex questions.

    • Avoid jargon.

    • Avoid leading questions, think abtunconscious bias.

    • LISTEN. And note body language, etc.

      • Silence after a short answer: sometimes they’ll add on.

    • Be precise in recording/noting, don’t “fix”.


Four key issues

Four key issues

  • 1. You need goals (Research questions)!

    • Where do these come from in PRICPS?

  • 2. Consider relationship w participants.

    • Comfort, trust, IRB, are you a participant...

    • Examples?

  • 3. Triangulate!!

    • Independent ways of getting to same conclusion.

    • Examples? (data, investigator)

  • 4. Pilot!

    • ...your PROCEDURE and everything in it.


Interview sequence

Interview Sequence

  • 1. Introduce yourself.

    • who are you exactly, and why are you here?

    • reassurances about confidentiality, IRB procs,

    • IMPORTANT: ask their permission,

    • set up data collection (quickly/efficiently).

  • 2. Warm-up:

    • Ask non-threatening, easy questions, eg: background things.


Interview sequence cont

Interview sequence (cont.)

  • 3. Main interview:

    • In logical sequence, save hardest for the end.

  • 4. Cool down

    • Easy questions, to defuse tension if arose.

  • 5. Closing

    • Thank them!!

    • Put stuff away, signaling that the interview is over, any further conversation is not part of it.


Unstructured interviews

Unstructured interviews

  • No list of questions.

    • But you still need an agenda, checklist, to ensure everything covered.

  • Both you and interviewee can steer a conversation.

  • Advantage: lots of rich data, unanticipated, affords emergence of surprises.

  • Disadvantage: hard to analyze, can’t replicate.


Structured interviews

Structured interviews

  • Opposite of unstructured.

  • Fixed list of questions.

  • Only you can steer the conversation.

  • Disadvantage: no rich data, all anticipated.

  • Advantage: easy to analyze, easy to replicate.


Semi structured interviews

Semi-Structured interviews

  • Combines aspects of each.

  • Fixed list of questions, each of which is followed by conversation and follow-ups as appropriate.

  • Advantages: some rich data, some unanticipated, surprises possible, yet some of the data is easy to analyze to replicate.


Semi structured interview example

Semi-structured interview example

  • What websites do you visit frequently?

    • A: ........

    • Why?

      • A: ...mentions several but says she likes <w> best.

    • And why do you like <w>?

      • A: ...... <x> .......

    • Tell me more about <x>?

      • A: ......

    • Anything else about <x>?

      • A: ........

    • Thanks. Any other reasons you like <w>?


Example

Example

  • 1-2 minutes Steve Krug’s demo interview.

    • “Getting the user talking” (segment #2, min 3:13-5:00).

    • To discuss:

      • What kind of interview is this segment?

      • What part of the interview sequence was this?

      • Did you notice anything he did that violated the guidelines?


In class interviewing activity 20 25 minutes

In-Class Interviewing Activity(20-25 minutes)

  • Split up into pairs.

  • You have 15 minutes to do a semi-structured interview to research people’s lunch-going behaviors.

  • How:

    • 1. 5 minutes individually design the goals, questions, according to the guidelines/issues here.

    • 2. 5 minutes for A to interview B. (think of it as a pilot)

    • 3. 5 minutes for B to interview A. (think of it as a pilot)

    • Goal: hands-on practice with the interviewing process.

  • We’ll discuss your results in class (5-10 minutes)


Field interviews

Field Interviews

  • A special type of interview

  • Also known as “contextual” interview

  • Especially suitable for case studies

    • But not required; for some case studies a “regular” interview (or no interview) might make more sense.


Top mistakes in field interviewing

Top mistakes in field interviewing

1. Thinking you’re in the field when you’re not.

What is NOT “the field”:

Usability lab.

Conference room.

A place in “the field” where the work is NOT actually being done.

Solution:

Be prepared to move the interview to wherever the work really gets done.


2 accepting a representative user

2. Accepting a “representative” user.

  • You DON’T want to interview:

    • Someone who used to do the job.

    • Someone who tells others how to do the job but doesn’t actually participate in it.

    • Solutions:

      • You can interview other stakeholders, but don’t confuse them with users.

      • But ultimately, you want the users who really do the work.


3 using i can t see the work live as an excuse not to field interview

3. Using “I can’t see the work live” as an excuse not to field-interview.

Sometimes the work you need to see:

Is infrequent.

Takes place over long periods of time.

Is confidential.

So you assume you can’t see it.

Solution:

Conduct a retrospective interview.

Re-create the work done (RECENTLY).

Include the real artifacts.

Be careful not to let user skip things.


4 not getting low level details

4. Not getting low-level details.

Omitting details, one-word answers, filtering out everything except what you expected.

(Many of you probably did this in your practice.)

Accepting vague generalities.

“We usually buy fresh produce”

“You can tell it’s fresh from the date”

Solutions:

Make them describe a real instance.

Use past tense!!!

“Last time you shopped, what exactly did you buy?” (“Fritos and canned green beans.”)


5 not being honest about user s reactions

5. Not being honest about user’s reactions.

  • Users follow social conversational norms to be polite.

  • So remember that hesitantly appearing to agree/disagree sometimes means the opposite.

    • Do you think this dress makes me look fat?

    • Did you think the test was too hard to be fair?


6 establishing the wrong relationship

6. Establishing the wrong relationship

  • Examples:

    • I’m busy. Give me what I need fast.

    • I’m smart. So cater to my vantage point.

    • I’m important. So give all the data I seek.

    • I’m unimportant: talk about whatever you want.

  • Solution:

    • Apprenticeship model. Your job is to learn how to do that task.

      • Listen, learn, be humble, don’t judge.

      • People usually do things for a reason.


Field interview summary

Field interview summary

  • Interviews in a real-world setting.

  • Combines interview with the observation of the “context”.


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