Interviewing Users:
Spinning Data into Gold

A full-day workshop with Steve Portigal

September 28, 2011 – Seattle


Interviewing is undeniably one of the most valuable and commonly used user research tools. Yet it's often not used well, because:

  • It’s based on skills we think we have (talking or even listening)
  • It's not taught or reflected on, and
  • People tend to "wing it" rather than develop their skills.

Results may be inaccurate or reveal nothing new, suggesting the wrong design or business responses, or they may miss the crucial nuance that points to innovative breakthrough opportunities.

In this day-long session, we'll focus on the importance of rapport-building and listening and look at techniques for both. We will review different types of questions, and why you need to have a range of question types. This session will explore other contextual research methods that can be built on top of interviewing in a seamless way. We'll also suggest practice exercises for improving your own interviewing skills and how to engage others in your organization successfully in the interviewing experience.

Steve Portigal, author of the forthcoming The Art and Craft of User Research Interviewing, will use stories and examples from his 15 years of experience to show how interviewing can be incorporated into the design process, helping you learn the best and right information to inform and inspire your design.

What you'll learn

Participants in this workshop will:

  • Hone their observation and interviewing skills
  • Learn valuable best practices for planning and executing user research studies
  • Learn a creative process for synthesizing raw field data into insights and opportunities
  • Apply those insights strategically to generate diverse, innovative solutions

Who should attend

This workshop will benefit almost anyone involved in the creation of a product or service:

  • User researchers
  • Designers
  • User experience practitioners
  • Marketers
  • Directors and executives who are responsible for product strategy

About the presenter

Steve Portigal is the founder of Portigal Consulting, a bite-sized Bay Area firm that helps clients to discover and act on new insights about themselves and their customers.

Steve PortigalIn the past 15 years, Steve has interviewed hundreds of people, including families eating breakfast, hotel maintenance staff, architects, rock musicians, home-automation enthusiasts, credit-default swap traders, and radiologists.

His work has informed the development of mobile devices, medical information systems, music gear, wine packaging, financial services, corporate intranets, videoconferencing systems, and iPod accessories.

Steve writes regularly on topics from interaction design to pop culture for interactions, Core77, Ambidextrous, Johnny Holland, and the Portigal Consulting blog All This ChittahChattah. He is an avid photographer who has a Museum of Foreign Groceries in his home.

 When and where

September 28, 2011

$595 ($495 if you register by Sept. 9th)


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