User Interview Guide

User Interview Guide


What is a User Interview Guide?

A framework to help you conduct effective interviews when carrying our research. User interviews are a quick, easy and effective way to get close to the end customer. Making assumptions, delegating, or ignoring such a vital step risks pushing the wrong solution for the business.

Why are they useful?

A few interviews may be all it takes to reveal the human story or experience that will drive change. A project team that wants to fix a problem for users, and that has fresh insight into people’s unmet needs, will be motivated and heading in the right direction.

How to use a User Interview Guide

The tool works as a practice exercise for a minimum of two teams. Each team works together to draft a guide. Then, members of opposite teams pair up and decide who is ‘A’ and who is ‘B’.

The pair then use their guides to run one-to-one interviews with each other. ‘A’ interviews ‘B’ first, and the pair swap after a set period of time at the facilitator’s instruction.


  • Prepare a discussion guide with topics to cover and questions you’d like to ask.
  • Ask WHY even when you think you know the reason for the answer.
  • Assign roles to each team member (i.e. interviewer, note-taker, observer).
  • Mix up questions about a person’s life, values and habits, with specific questions relating to your challenge.
  • Be aware of body language and non-verbal cues.
  • Encourage stories by asking open questions. “Tell me about the last time you...” “What do you think about...” “What has been your experience of...”