Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tips on Ethnographic User Interviews

Key points for Ethnographic User Research

Keep the list of questions ready in your bag and in your mind (not in your hand).
Try rehearsing the entire conversation through one or two sample interviews. This would get you into the groove.
Always go in the team of two. Better if one person is a woman.
Take some time, especially in the case of home interviews, to make the person/family comfortable in talking to you.
If they are talking to you, never be in a hurry to ask the next question.
Idea should be about ‘broaching the topic’ and not ‘asking a question’.
Note all that is happening around. Do not focus the camera only on the person who is speaking. While the voice is getting recorded, camera can actually pan the surroundings.
Note the brands that are in use, around the subject.
Note the body language.
Take a round of the market, to see the environment, ads, messages, trends in that living habitat.
Never. Be too apologetic about the interviews. Some of the subjects are too keen to be interviewed.
You can prompt/help them for certain issues, if they are not the talkative kind.
Also note the people and their interactions around the subject.
Take a look at the architecture, interiors etc. and articulate in the report.
Carry visual concepts to illustrate the ideas, but use them after significant comfort has been approached.