Listen to Steve on the UI Breakfast podcast

I had a great conversation with Jane Portman about interviewing users (to coincide with the launch of the second edition of Interviewing Users).

Do listen to our fifty-minute conversation on the episode page, embedded below, and at Google, and Apple.

I think some of our fear is that that are questions are kind of probing and confrontational, inappropriate, but you can even just acknowledge that thing that someone said right now, you can say “divorce.” The person will say “Yes, yes, yes.” If you build this connection with them and so you have to make an ethical decision because we have a lot of power to ask about a lot of stuff. I like to go into that a little bit because I think when they bring it up…I don’t want to hear about their divorce if I’m not working on a relationship thing I want to respect their privacy. But they’re bringing it up as something that is relevant.

I talked with someone about digital photography and they brought up their relationship ending and it was actually was relevant because it was about trying to document their new baby and share those images with relatives who weren’t around when the family structure was shifting. I didn’t ask about the relationship and they gave more information than I needed to hear, but they needed to share something and I was able to hear it, but not push into something that was not appropriate. I wanted them to feel heard and accepted but I also didn’t want to push into it. But it was relevant context to we’re trying to understand, what they were trying to share about doing the work or the process of the tools.

If someone brings it up they’re testing to see “Do you want to hear about it? Is it ok to share?”


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