User interviews are an important part of user research. They help you understand your users and their needs. However, you make a mistake if you think they're only for UX designers. Here's how to use them to create successful products.

Why are user interviews so important for your product success


User interviews are an important part of user research. They help you understand your users and their needs, which can have a huge impact on your business. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why user interviews are so important, and how to do them effectively. We’ll also cover the benefits of user interviews for startups using lean methodology. So whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing user research for a while, make sure you keep reading!


User interviews


What are user interviews

User interviews are a type of research method used to gather feedback about a product, app, or service. Typically, businesses will use user interviews when they’re in the early stages of product development and are looking for feedback about the product concept.

In my experience, I see most teams stop doing interviews after the launch. It’s a terrible mistake. Also after the launch, interviewing users is the best way you have to understand why someone would use your product or not and how you can improve.


Why are user interviews important

User interviews are one of the activities with the highest return on the time invested. By understanding your users, you can make better product decisions that ultimately lead to an improvement of all your KPIs.

There are three main reasons why user interviews are important:


A – User interviews help you get to the real needs of users

Through user interviews, you can understand the user’s real needs. This is especially important in the early stages of product development when there are many potential directions you could take the product. By understanding the user’s needs, you can ensure that you’re building a product that meets their needs and will be successful.


B – User interviews are important because they save you time and money

If user interviews are done well, they can save you a lot of time and money. By understanding the user’s needs early on, you can avoid building features that the user doesn’t need or want. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. It has been calculated that for every dollar (or Euro) spent validating the needs of your users, you save 100 dollars in development costs.


C – User interviews help you build better products

By understanding how users interact with your product, user interviews help you uncover user needs that might not be apparent from other types of research methods. This way you can remove blocks and avoid potential problems. When done well, user interviews can help ensure that products are designed with the user in mind.


Why user interviews are important

Why user interviews can’t be replaced

When you do research, you know there are also other methods to use apart from interviews. There are surveys, A/B testing, usability testing, and so on. However, user interviews are unique and can’t be replaced. In fact, all the other methods only tell you what, when, and sometimes how. But you have to talk to users to understand why.

This difference is what is referred to as quantitative vs qualitative research.

Especially when you start, you won’t have large amounts of data, so qualitative research (so interviews) is your best ally.


How to interview users and customers

Now that we’ve seen why user interviews are crucial, let’s look at how to nail them. User interviews are generally conducted one-on-one, though they can also be conducted in groups. They can be conducted in person or over the phone. The interviewer will ask a series of questions about the product, app, or service under discussion. The goal is to get an understanding of how users interact with the product, what they like and don’t like about it, and what their needs are.

It’s a good idea to treat your interviews as an experiment. This means deciding upfront what you want to test. By doing this, at the end of a round of interviews you’ll have data you can use, as opposed to a bunch of chats about different topics. I’ve been writing about structuring an experiment in this post.


What to look for when you interview your users

User interviews are an important tool for product development because they provide invaluable insights into how users actually use and experience a product. They can help uncover user needs that might not be apparent from other types of research methods. When done well, user interviews can help ensure that products are designed with the user in mind.


Are user interviews only designers’ stuff?

Let me get this straight: talking to users is not just designers’ work! User interviews are often associated with designers and user experience professionals. However, client-side researchers and other members of product teams can also benefit from conducting user interviews. User interviews provide a way to gather in-depth information about how people use a product or service. They can also help to uncover user needs and pain points. conducted properly, user interviews can be an invaluable tool for any product team.


User interviews and lean startup

User interviews are a digital startup’s best friend. By talking to actual users, you can learn what people want and need, what they like and don’t like, and what they might be willing to pay for. Lean startups especially rely on user interviews to quickly validate their assumptions and test their product ideas. So if you’re starting a digital business, make sure to put user interviews at the top of your to-do list. Trust us, it’ll save you a lot of time and money in the long run.



Read further: 9 research methods every team should master


How to prepare for user interviews


1 – Have a clear goal in mind

What do you want to learn from this interview? What information will help you move your project forward? Going into an interview without a clear goal is like driving without a destination in mind – you’ll probably end up somewhere, but it might not be where you need to be. So before you start asking questions, take a moment to think about what you’re hoping to achieve. With a clear goal in mind, you’ll be more likely to get the information you need to create a great user experience.


2 – Make sure your users are from the target group you need

Make sure you talk to people who actually represent your target market or user group. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing a product that does not meet the needs of your target market. For example, if you are developing a new game for teenage girls, you will want to make sure that your user interviews include girls in that age group. Otherwise, you may end up with a game that is too difficult or too easy for your target audience. By taking care to select the right users for your interviews, you can help to ensure that your final product is a success.


3- Plan your questions in advance but allow for flexibility

First of all, be sure of what you want to ask. What do you need to know to test your idea? Once you know it, strike the right balance between flexibility and structure. On the one hand, you’ll want to have a good sense of the topics you want to cover. But on the other hand, you’ll also want to leave room for the conversation to take unexpected turns. The best interviews are often the ones where the interviewer is able to pivot seamlessly from one topic to another, based on the needs of the user. So when you’re planning your questions, make sure to leave some wiggle room. That way, you can be sure to get the most out of your user interviews.


How many users do I need for my interviews?

The question of how many users to interview is a common one, and there’s no easy answer. In general, the more users you interview, the more reliable your data will be. However, there’s no need to interview hundreds of people – five or six users should be enough to give you a good idea of the range of experiences and opinions out there.

Of course, there are always exceptions – if you’re studying a niche market, for example, you may need to interview more people in order to get a representative sample. Ultimately, the number of users you need to interview will depend on the specifics of your research question.

You can read more about the number of users you need for each test here.


Can you use user interviews in quantitative research?

User interviews are a great tool but sometimes there are better alternatives. In principle there’s no problem with interviewing users for quantitative research, but it will cost you a lot of time. Other methods, like surveys, polls, A/B testing, are more effective.



The bottom line is user interviews are an essential part of any product’s success. If you don’t have regular user interviews, start now. And if you think they’re only important for UX designers, think again.

Everyone on your product team can and should be talking to users to get insights that will help make your product better. Lean or not, interviewing users is a key ingredient in your recipe for success. So what are you waiting for? Get out of the building and talk to your users!

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