About Interviewing

”An investigation may take six months. A quick interview, profile, a day.”
Diane Sawyer

What I’ve learned from my first interview is that when designing for services, interviewing is a key method in order to design with people not for people, the more interviews you have, the more efficient and effective your designed service will be.            I interviewed my master’s project expert (is someone who has specialist knowledge in the area of your project) which is the senior consultant at MRCMH transportation consultancy based in Edinburgh.                                                                                                 The interview is a process and it has three stages: pre-interview,  interview and post-interview.

2013-03-11 09.02.31w  Pre-Interview stage: Involves a lot of planning and communication; set a target which you want to achieve as an outcome of the interview; make sure the questions you will ask wont be misleading (to enable the interviewee to be engaged into the interview I prepared several service design methods and tools such as stakeholder mapping, customer journey map, rip and mix etc); have your documentation up to date, prepare a consent form; make sure your online presence is professional before contacting your expert; know who is your expert; approach your expert in a formal context to set up a meeting.                     Interview stage: It’s for first impressions; wear what you are comfortable in and look professional but not over-dressed; avoid drinking coffee or energizers as they can cause nervousness and increase feelings; make sure you have charged batteries on the phone, camera, recorder and they are functional; be there in time; set the camera in a way that wont be distracting ( I took a small camera with me and set in an angle of the interviewee); make sure the consent form is signed; engage with the interviewee and smile but do not be over talkative; have a good active listening; keep the eye contact and be aware of the body language: try not to go beyond an hour with the interview because it will cause boredom; at the close of the interview be positive.
Post-Interview stage: It’s for evaluation and analysis, summarise the interview eyther by editing the video from one hour to three minutes long or write the key points you’ve got out of it; further on keep your expert updated and get feedback eyther by e-mails, skype or meetings; set up a project management system.

Here is a very inshighful post about seventeen types of interview questions from Steve Portigal.

From Field Stories to Strategic Design

This paper written by Bas Raijmakers and Geke van Dijk from research and innovation agency STBY and Katherine Gough from Nokia Design discusses how information gathered through observations can be interpreted and re-told to present insights and evidence to help make business and strategic decisions. The paper is based on a workshop at the service design conference in Paris in October 2012, and the paper is published in  Touchpoint 4-3 ‘Cultural Change by Service Design’, You can read/download the paper here.

Video from the IIT Institute of Design exploring how ethnographers use interviews to see the world through the eyes of others.

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