How to run remote User Interviews

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Every now and then, you might have to interview people where it is not physically possible because working on global projects require global input. If you cannot get on a train/bus/plane to your users the following tools might help you get going.

Find Users

Good old email. To get to our pool of users, we sent out emails to the target audience, luckily, a good number of them got on board from across the globe.

Guerrilla Calls. Pick up the phone and call potential users (numbers from business website)

Scheduling

Now, that you have people on board you might what to schedule calls in. One tip is to make sure you give enough space (I didn’t once and ended up interviewing 6 people in one day, gruelling) I use Calendly to schedule the calls. I like it because you can really control the timing, only make available the times you can actually work (3 interviews per day recommended) I will be trying Pow Wow next time

The Interview

After a date and time is set, the moment arrives. Where do you actually take your calls? I like to use UberConference. It’s nice because you can set it to record automatically and you have 3 ways to participate in a call without hassle. When someone couldn’t connect we would go to Skype and record using Quicktime.

Make sure you are taking notes as you dish questions out, and keep to time. Yes, it’s nice to chat and believe me some people are so chatty I get carried away but make sure you get good coverage of your questions and end at the designated time. Remember, the longer the call, the more the time spent in the edit room.

Content Edit and Analysis

Now, you have a bunch of audio recordings sitting on your computer, what to do? First I run my audio through Voicebase where it helps with converting audio to text, which isn’t the best but I like that it produces keywords which is useful. I also edit the audio using Ocenaudio remembering to save the original files. A friend recommended Dragon Dictate, which I might try next time.

Post-its also shine here, they are a good way to organize your information and help get thoughts out of the head into the world.

I really wish there was a tool where I could schedule calls, take them, record, edit and parse, haha. It would be nice . If there is one out there, do let me know and also better ways to run remote interviews, yeah, thanks!

In the mean time, you could get this good book by Andrew Travers.

Interviewing for research

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