As founders of products understanding the user is crucial in bridging the gap between an idea and its successful execution. User interviews serve as a tool in achieving this goal.

Unlike data that tells us "what" is happening user interviews uncover the "why" behind user behaviours, preferences and pain points. In this guide we will delve into the nuances of conducting user interviews. Shed light on their potential to bring about transformative outcomes.

Setting the Scene- Recognising the Importance of User Interview

During the stages of product development founders often rely on intuition or market research.

While these methods are conversations, with potential or existing users provide unparalleled insights. The benefits can be summarised as:

  • Revealing user needs.
  • Highlighting possible obstacles or challenges.
  • Providing context regarding how users would utilise the product.



Crafting Crafted Questions

The effectiveness of your interview heavily relies on asking the questions. Here's how you can ensure that.

  • Open-ended questions- When it comes to asking questions it's better to phrase them in a manner. For example of asking "Do you like Feature X?" you can ask "How do you feel about Feature X and why?" This approach encourages people to provide answers and deeper insights.
  • Avoid leading questions- It's important to avoid questions that might influence the response. To get feedback it's best to stay neutral in your questioning. For instance instead of saying "Don't you think our app is faster?" ask a question that doesn't sway the respondent.
  • Focus on Experience and Behaviour- When conducting interviews it's helpful to focus on users experiences and behaviours. Asking questions, like "How did you handle a task before using our product?" can reveal any pain points or areas for improvement.


Curating the Interviewee List

Remember that quality is more important than quantity when selecting interviewees. Conducting a smaller number of in-depth interview can often provide valuable insights than conducting numerous surface level ones.

Ensure that you interview representatives from user segments if your product caters to demographics. This way you'll gain insights from a range of perspectives.

It's also beneficial to include both users who can highlight whats working well and disgruntled users who can shed light on areas where improvements are needed.

Consider interviewing users of your competitors products. They may offer insights into what aspects are lacking elsewhere and potentially uncover opportunities, for your own product.

Examining the Data- Identifying Patterns

Once you have collected the feedback the next step is to understand it.

  1. Transcribe and Categorise- Transform your conversations into written form. Classify the feedback into themes such, as 'Issues with Usability' 'Requests for New Features or 'General Feedback'.
  2. Identify Commonalities- Look for recurring patterns in the feedback gathered from interviews as they often highlight opportunities or challenges.
  3. Take Action on Feedback- Determine insights. Prioritize them for your product roadmap.


Real life Impact- User Interviews in Action

Lets look at a hypothetical scenario.

A founder named Jane is developing a gardening software platform.

Although her research indicated that users were interested in purchasing plants through her platform, her user interviews revealed a crucial perspective.

Users expressed an interest, in receiving guidance on plant care, which was not initially emphasized on her platform. Through deeper questioning on this line of interest, Jane learned that her competitors were not offering this feature or anything comparable.

Without a huge addition to the existing functional requirements, incorporating expert gardening tips and care schedules into the platform meant Jane has successfully met a user need, distinguishing her platform from others.



When it comes to developing a product, user interviews play a role in grounding your work on real needs, rather than just assumptions.

As entrepreneurs it's important to master the skill of listening to your users and the art of analysing their feedback. This combination of empathy and data analysis can lead to the creation of a product that deeply resonates with its users.

So, as you navigate through your journey always remember that your users are your guiding compass. Simply ask for their input listen attentively. Then take action accordingly.

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