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Interviewing Users

How to Uncover Compelling Insights 

Published: May 2, 2013 Paperback: 176 pages, ISBN 1-933820-11-X Digital: ISBN 1-933820-81-0

by Steve Portigal

Interviewing Users

Portigal's common-sense guide to interviewing is an excellent primer on methods and techniques. The sidebars, case studies, photos, and illustrations bring the information to life."

—Brenda Laurel, PhD, designer, researcher

Interviewing is a foundational user research tool that people assume they already possess. Everyone can ask questions, right? Unfortunately, that's not the case. Interviewing Users provides invaluable interviewing techniques and tools that enable you to conduct informative interviews with anyone. You'll move from simply gathering data to uncovering powerful insights about people.

Interviewing Users will explain how to succeed with interviewing, including:

  • Embracing how other people see the world
  • Building rapport to create engaging and exciting interactions
  • Listening in order to build rapport.

With this book, Steve Portigal uses stories and examples from his 15 years of experience to show how interviewing can be incorporated into the design process, helping you learn the best and right information to inform and inspire your design.

“Interviewing Users” Blog

From All This ChittahChattah » User Research Interviewing

David’s War Story: Let it Bleed

Part 68 of 68 in the series War Stories David Hoard is an interaction designer and here he shares his second story. Years ago we were re-designing a device to cool a patient’s blood during open heart surgery. This protects the body during the procedure. The client arranged for us to witness a heart operation, […]

Steve teaching Immersive Field Techniques at UX STRAT

Steve will be leading a full-day workshop on Immersive Field Techniques at UX STRAT in Boulder on September 7.

Ari’s War Story: Chicken Run

Part 67 of 68 in the series War Stories Ari Nave is Principal at The King’s Indian. My very first field research was in the north of Ghana along the Volta River north of Keta Krachi, trying to unpack the usage rights and other factors that enable the sustainable use of a common pool resource […]

Facing Your Fears: Approaching People For Research

I’ve always found intercepts – where researchers stop people on the street and ask them to participate in a quick study – to be challenging. (I also prefer to have longer interactions with people and even have them prepare for those research conversations, but that is a bit outside the point here). In Facing Your […]

Carol’s War Story: Driving Force

Part 66 of 68 in the series War Stories Carol Rossi is the senior director of user experience research at Since is an auto website we spend a lot of time hearing about how people shop for cars. A couple of years ago we ran a shop-along study where we conducted in-home interviews […]