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Discovery Interviews

Have a chat with your users to gain insights into what they need and want and how your product can solve problems they are facing.

One of the best ways to test your project’s objectives and direction is to talk to the people who are going to be using it. This activity should be done throughout all stages of the projects scope, as it is never not valuable.
Users can be random members from the target demographics or employees at the company the product is being made for. Each of them is an ‘expert’ in that subject matter and doesn’t have the disadvantage of having a financial or business bias for the product. If you are solving a problem that people think is an issue they’ll normally want you to succeed as it gives them value. Be sure to also seek some extreme edge cases of users, as they may offer insight into concepts you could never have imagined.

Use quotes and pictures of the users to help give personalities to the feedback during workshops and retrospectives. The data obtained from interviews is important and qualitative but only a small part of the overall quantitative data needed to obtain the best solutions. We encourage product managers to organise these interviews or at least gather names for us to ask.

Another method during the interviews is to keep asking why, normally 4 or 5 times to an open-ended question. This lets you move deeper into the reason a user might have answered that question. Be sure to record each time you step deeper into the answer. This is a great method to get to the human and emotional roots of a problem.

It is also handy to do some real expert interviews with professionals in the field that the product is being made for, even if they aren’t the ones who are going to be using. They can offer insight on their years of experience. For example, if you are building a product for medical patients, talk to some doctors or nurses as well.

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