One of my clients, who has spent her career getting to know customers, is in the midst of conducting a series of generative interviews. Under time pressure to finish (and analyze) these interviews in a less-than-ideal length of time, she is setting up all sorts of tools to help her get great results quickly. She says, “I want to improve my skills and generate more tasks-per-million–a denser, richer interview–if you will. I need to whittle down the five minutes of my stumbling and stuttering to just two minutes.”
- I pull my own questions from the transcript–just the questions–and critique them. This way I can see where I should have asked him to tell me a story or get more detail.
- I’ve decided I can’t use adjectives because when I use them, I am leading the participant.
- I have a bad habit: I’m programmed to take notes. I find myself writing instead of listening intently to the participant. I need to get better at just remembering key words they say, so I can get back to them in the conversation, instead of writing lots of notes.
I am impressed with the power of her approaches.
If you’re going to the IxDA 2011 conference in Boulder, Colorado in February but haven’t signed up for a workshop, I’m teaching about interviewing styles.