How to Run a User Interview

Lecture 16: How to Run a User Interview

Link: How to Start a Startup

(You can find notes to the other lectures here.) 

Emmett Shear (@eshear)

If you’re building something that is just for you then you don’t need to talk to anyone else.

Most startups are not just built for the person that is using them.

The first question for any startup is who is my user and where am I going to find them?

You don’t want to talk to just one type of person.

In interviews you want to stay as far away from features as possible.

It is important to talk to many extremes of people.

If you ask a user if a feature is good they will tell you it is great. You cannot ask if a feature is actually good or not.

Get people to give you their credit card and you can guarantee they are interested in the feature.

Data doesn’t tell you where you need to go. It doesn’t tell you what the problems are that you need to address.

When talking to a user you’re going to get negative feedback about your favorite feature a lot of the time.

(When running a user interview) don’t show people your product.

If you just talk to who is easy to talk to you’re not getting the best data.

Record interviews. It stops you taking notes in the middle and you can play them for other people.

You don’t want to do interviews over email if you can avoid it.

The most interesting learnings come from the, “Interesting. Tell me more.”

Ask if you can record it. It is not polite to record people without their consent.

The crucial people to get your project started for the first six months are not who will be using it three years later.