Suggested time: 30-90 min. for each preparation and interview

Gain a deeper understanding of people’s needs, motivations and behaviours through questions and conversation.

The more you can empathise with people, the better you can decide how to design and innovate for them. Interviewing people is a great way to understand their behaviours and the choices they make. It can help you to discern users’ needs so you can design for them with these in mind.

Here is what you'll need

Notebook and pen

Voice recording device


Follow these steps


Step 1: Prepare

Prepare for the interview by brainstorming questions. Order your questions by themes and move from evoking stories to exploring emotions. Ask open, non-binary questions that encourage the interviewee to answer with stories. You can start questions with, “tell me about the last time you…”


Step 2: Interview

Have one lead interviewer and one recorder. The lead is most focused on establishing rapport with the interviewee, following threads of conversation and asking questions at the right time. The recorder takes detailed notes including quotes and other details. The recorder may also support the lead with pertinent questions at the right times. As well as taking written notes, you may wish to use a voice recorder in case you miss something. Ensure to ask the interviewee before doing so.


Step 3: Summarise

Summarise your learnings with the team. Hopefully, you can better empathise with some of your users, thanks to what you have learnt from the interview. Add your summary to the topic map.

Talk it out with your fellow designers