We interview to gain empathy. By interviewing users you will begin to better understand a person’s behaviors, choices, and needs. We suggest interviewing in-person and in pairs so that one person can converse while the other captures.
How to interview for empathy
Even when you think you know the answer.
Never say “usually” when asking a question
Instead, ask about a specific occurrence. “Tell me about the last time you ____.”
Stories reveal how users think about the world.
Look for inconsistencies
What users say and do can be different. These inconsistencies often hide interesting insights.
Pay attention to nonverbal cues
Be aware of body language and emotions.
Don’t be afraid of silence
When you allow for silence, you give users time to reflect on their answers—which may lead to deeper responses.
Ask questions neutrally and don’t suggest answers
“What do you think about buying gifts for your spouse?” is better than “Don’t you think shopping is great?”
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