User interview guide. 2022 Edition

What is a user interview?

Prior to the interview

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash
  1. What do you want to know about your users or what hypothesis do you want to confirm with concrete data?
  2. How can you use this information to improve your product design?
  • Find out how job seekers interact with mobile devices.
  • What are the familiar behaviours when it comes to cleaning tasks in the home?
  • Knowing the possible frictions in some areas of an online shop.

Online or on-site interview

Profile recruitment and sample size

Build a trusting relationship with users

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Structure your interview

  • Introduction: Presentation of the interviewer, objective and consent for recordings.
  • General introductory questions: these will help you to gain the user’s trust and empathise with them.
  • Specific questions.
  • Closing the interview.

Preparing interview questions

  1. What motivates the user to use a solution like yours?
  2. How have users performed with the product so far?
  3. What matters most to users when using similar solutions?

What to avoid at all costs

During the interview

  1. If the interview is face-to-face, make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment ready (PPE, gloves, gel, masks if necessary) and respect the necessary distance between people so that the user does not feel uncomfortable.
  2. Although it may sound repetitive, start the interview by explaining what the purpose is and what will be done with the data collected.
  3. Organise the questions to start with a few questions that are easy to answer and as open-ended as possible. This will allow the user to relax and reduce tension if necessary.
  4. Show the user that you have their full attention: take notes, nod and don’t forget about eye contact. In a video call, you can make direct eye contact by looking into the camera.
  5. Don’t be in a hurry and allow users to reason and respond. Talk to them slowly and calmly.
  6. Show empathy. This is one of the most important soft skills to work in UX and cannot be faked. This empathy can be active, showing concern for something that the user transmits, or passive, not asking questions again when detecting an uncomfortable situation.

Avoid leading and closed questions

And what about after the interview?

  • It was easy to find what I was looking for. The links at the bottom helped me a lot. And if not, I can always use the magnifying glass to type in what I need to find. Anyway, I think the website could be organised a bit better because there are too many things that are too much the same and sometimes I had to go back to where I came from.
  • Whenever I’ve looked for something, I’ve always found it. The truth is that I don’t complicate myself too much and I use the search engine for almost everything because it works very well. I use it a lot on my mobile because it even detects spelling mistakes.
  1. Introduction: objectives.
  2. The methodology used: selected criteria and methods; script used during the interviews and the questions asked.
  3. Main findings: you can present this information translated into tables and categorised according to the order of the questions to facilitate the understanding of the report.
  4. Recommendations to be implemented, along with their priority or urgency.
  5. Annexes with all relevant information about the process followed.




User Experience & User Research agency focused on services and digital products. Proud member of @UXalliance

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Torresburriel Estudio

Torresburriel Estudio

User Experience & User Research agency focused on services and digital products. Proud member of @UXalliance

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