Learning from user interviews

First time posted on the Trustpilot tech blog.

We do a lot of user interviews at Trustpilot. Our consumer-facing team speaks to users that write, read and share reviews on Trustpilot.com, and our business-facing teams talk with companies that use Trustpilot. From January–May 2017 alone we’ve interviewed 102 participants.

When we do user interviews a small team is always pressent, including the product manager, UX/Designer and at least one developer. These are people with very different skillsets and talking to users will bring different learnings. Maybe the PM hears something she has heard before validating an idea? Maybe the developer comes to think about a technical solution to the users problem?

So how do we distill and share learnings in the team when everybody observed different things and you must discover together on the core value of the learnings?

Delta Next

One of the tools we use to get a shared understanding after a user interview is Delta Next introduced to us by Jeff Patton.

The core of the model is to distill what you have learned and plan for what is next.

Right after the interview is done the interviewing team will meet up and fill out a Delta Next poster. It’s quite simple, starting from the top each team member will add Post-it notes to one section at a time while reading out loud what they add.

Let’s say you were testing to see if users would use a new feature, maybe you were right about the overall goal for the user, add that as a post-it in “We were right about…” but you were wrong about the call to action text on a button, then add that to “We were wrong about…”, simple as that!

Examples of Delta Next’s done by Milena Nikolova and Rasmus Vanggaard Thimm.

While you together with your team fill the poster with learnings (in form of post-it notes) all team members will build a shared understanding of what you all learned in the interview. Often it spikes off new ideas that you add in the bottom right corner and these ideas will be where you begin your next user interview.

When you are done filling out the Delta Next you will have a great representation of the user interview that you can share with managers or stakeholders, this way the learnings don’t die within the interviewing team.

Doing user interviews without building a shared understanding after the interview destroys the entire purpose of the interview, rather not do it then…

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