CIRCA:Interviews

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Interviewing is something you do as part of a number of methods. Because interactions with humans has an ethical dimension, it is important to think about interviews, secure ethics clearance, structure them, and archive the results appropriately.

Contents

Why you might want to interview people

Interviewing can take place as part of informal or formal processes.

  • Interviews can be useful for understanding stakeholders in design situations.
  • Interviews can help develop personas for a human-computer interface design process.
  • Interviews can be part of a project like an oral history project, and you may want to digitize the interviews.
  • Interviews can be part of usability testing where you interview participants before and after.

Things you should think about when developing an interview strategy

  • What is the reason for interviewing?
  • Who will be doing it and how will they be trained?
  • Will different interviewers get different results? Are you (the interviewers) part of what gets documented in the interview?
  • Will you practice interviewing each other as part of the training? Is it important to interview yourselves to record your perspectives?
  • What will you do with the interviews? Will they be recorded? Will you record audio or video? Will you gather or shoot pictures of documents and objects discussed in the interview?
  • Do you need ethics approval before you interview? How will you get that?

Example Protocol for Interviews

Here is an example of an interview protocol.

  1. Identify people to interview through some process or using criteria.
  2. Contact people and see if they are willing to be interviewed.
  3. Get their consent to be interviewed in the form needed for ethics.
  4. Conduct a first interview and record it to audio (or video).
  5. Have interviewer write a short Research Note summarizing what was learned from the interview within 24 hours of interviewing. Circulate this to team to see if there are issues to follow up.
  6. Conduct a second interview and record it.
  7. Have interviewer were a second short Research Note summarizing what was learned and circulate.
  8. Have interviewer write a Chronology with the questions asked, the time stamp for the asking, a summary of the answer, and a few keywords. These could be entered into a database.
  9. Send a copy of the two recordings with a Thank You note.

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