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Insights from a Teenage Mind

As a UX Researcher at User Insight, I have had the opportunity to interview a wide array of Users from corporate executives, to stay at home parents, and every thing in between. But one thing they all have is, well, they are all grownups.

I recently had the pleasure of testing an app that is being built for teenagers. To accomplish this, User Insight recruited a group of teenagers ranging in age from 13-19 years old. Now I will admit, I was skeptical going into these interviews. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how the teens would respond to the app, or to me, and I was anticipating the stereotypical teen responses: impatience, frustration, sarcasm, eye rolling, and so on and so forth.

As a Researcher, I do try and approach every interview as objective and opened minded as possible, leaving my opinion at the door, but I was skeptical of how these interviews would play out.

My first respondent turned out to be a 13-year old boy, slight in stature, and somewhat withdrawn and shy. It seemed to me that the interview was going to play out as expected, but after we found a topic or two that he enjoyed, he began to talk, and I began to realize how wrong I had been.

Over the next hour, this “boy” as I had labeled him, began to speak with wisdom and poise beyond his years. His thoughtfulness and insights about the app and its potential exceeded not only my own expectations, but also that of the team observing the interview. But it didn’t stop there. Over the course of the remaining interviews, I was continually impressed by the teens.

That day I was reminded of a timeless adage; never judge a book by its cover. A lesson I learned as a young man, and a young man once again reminded me of it. If you need help interviewing teens, User Insight can help!