Archive for the ‘Dori Tunstall’ Category

As I embark on a series of on-site and phone interviews for a client, I’ve sought lots of inspiration on how to conduct a great interview. Two terrific sources I’ll share:

1. Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behaviors by Indi Young: Indi provides an exceptionally useful guide to interviewing, likening field studies to the work journalists do. The key to a non-leading interview is to remember your junior high journalism class–use “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why” & “how” and never “is that,” “did you,” “wasn’t it,” etc. She also provides a sample transcript of her own past interview and calls out which questions were leading.

2. Getting People to Talk: An Ethnography and Interviewing Primer: Now, I am aware of all the controversy around using traditional ethnographic methodologies for design research, and I don’t claim that the methods employed in the field for the purupose of design reseaarch is exactly what traditional social antrhopologists use, but I do know that this guide will be very useful for anyone going out in the field to understand users for the purpose of product strategy and design. Grad students Gabriel Biller and Kristy Scovel from Chicago’s IIT School of Design assembled a simple, entertaining piece on how to get the most out of interviewing in the field. Dori Tunstall is a featured contributor and according to her blog the video positions this type of research not just as laundry list of techniques, but as philosophy. For me the piece helped me understand not to take people’s words at face value and to make assumptions about their meaning, but to dig deeper to further understand what people mean by the words they use.