Saturday, August 24, 2013

Interviewing Users by Steve Portigal, Rosenfeld Media

Steve Portigal is the founder of Portigal Consulting. Over the course of his career, he has interviewed hundreds of people, including families eating breakfast, hotel maintenance staff, architects, rock musicians, home-automation enthusiasts, credit-default swap traders, and radiologists.
He is fascinated by the stuff of a culture – its products, companies, consumers, media, and advertising.

The Book itself is a good and compact description of the entire interview process. It has 177 pages and is divided in 9 Chapters. It is well written and easy to read.

It is definitely a book you should read more then once to get all of it.

Portigal explains the whole process of interviewing:
  • from getting participants for the Interviews,
  • scheduling the Interviews,
  • prepare the Interviews (questions and tools like recording device and camera),
  • how to conduct the interview,
  • how to ask questions,
  • how to document the interview and
  • how to optimize the interview.
The Book has tips for novice and experienced readers. Portigal accompanies this tips with uses case studies and stories from the field.

I enjoyed the chapter about how to ask questions most. It is something you can use in so many situations (e. g. gathering requirements from users).

Portigal explains why it is so important for the interviewer to have the right mindset when starting an interview and to start the interview non biased.

You can get more information about the Book here.