- Write up a preamble and practice it
- Introduce yourself, state your purpose and why you are looking for information
- Be transparent about the purpose of your research
- Build an outline of a discussion guide
- Start the discussion really broad, then narrow down
- Remember this task you are testing is a small part of someone’s day – ask about their whole day
- Structure your questions as open ended as possible
- Start with who, what, where, when, why
- If you can answer the question with a yes or no – make sure you ask why as a follow up
- Q: Have you ever used a kiosk before?
- A: No
- Q: Why not?
- A: I can never figure out where to pay…
- Dry Run your conversation
- This will help you feel confident and you can work out a lot of kinks beforehand
- Test the technology, pack extra batteries, have a plan B
- Friendly professionalism is important
- You don’t have to wear a suit but dress “friendly/professional” to give you some legitimacy and be non threatening
- Be friendly, fearless and engaging
- Make a connection with the person, don’t read survey questions!
- This takes practice, start with “friendlies”, practice pressing for additional information
- Ask the question! (don’t give permission to back out)
- Don’t start your question with, “you don’t have to answer this, but…” rather just ask the question and if they are uncomfortable, graciously move on
- Have your recording materials / waivers ready before you approach
- Nothing is worse than starting to talk to someone while you are trying to find the record button
- Assign responsibility ahead of time
- Have one person designated to take notes/photos/recordings while the other asks questions
- Keep technology as unobtrusive as possible
- This will help respondents feel comfortable
- Don’t forget to take pictures & small video clips
- You’ll want this to tell the User story (good for your portfolio too!)
- NO leading!
- Save directed questions to the end – If you come up with a potential solution, explore that at the end so you don’t influence their perspective
- Don’t interrupt
- You may have a great idea or want to help verbalize but allow them time to think, don’t be intimidated by silence, that means they are thinking
Additional sources of information:
Inside My Toolkit: Road Warrior Edition by Rachel Walsh
On the Road Again: Traveling in Pairs by Rachel Walsh
To learn more about our research and what our research can do for you, contact us at our office in Atlanta, Georgia.