User interviews are a design research method that consists of interviewing a participant, usually in a context related to the problem space. This method allows researchers to gain a deep understanding of the participants experience, behaviours, and needs.

 
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INTRODUCTION

A user interview is a method to understand an individual’s experience. It takes the form of an interview, often semi-structured, that probes the interviewee on their experience using a product or service, or completing a task Eg. What do you do when you wake up in the morning? User interviews can be used to dress open-ended generative research questions, or to gauge usability of an existing product. I enjoy user interviews as they have an intimate nature where a researcher can really get to know the interviewee, and the report between researcher and subject allows for users to be more open. They are also low barrier, and require very few resources to conduct! In this example, semi-structured interviews were used as a means to uncover user needs within the problem space of clothing consumption and use, prior to articulating the direction of the study/design. 

OBJECTIVES

  1. Develop understanding of participant’s habits and behaviours around clothing 
  2. Gain insight into clothing-related opportunities and pain-points 
  3. Gather a set of hypotheses for further exploration

PROCESS

I created a list of questions, and guided the conversation. Using a notebook and camera I had participants share personal stories about clothing, both emotional and tactical, and documented. I then synthesized the results and formulated insights based on the interviews.

PARTICIPANTS

10 interviewees over the course of my thesis, ranging from clothing wearers, to producers, to sustainability experts.  

 
 

INTERVIEW GUIDE

General

  • Tell me a bit about yourself
  • What do you do on an average day
  • What does your typical wardrobe consist of? 
  • Do you have a personal style, what is your style, what informs your style? 
  • Do you have favourite garments? 
  • What do you do when you want to purchase new garments? 
  • What do you spend the most on?
  • What do you think about the fashion industry?
  • Is there anything you would change about the fashion industry?

Habit

  • What do you think about when you purchase an item?
  • What item of clothing do you spend the most money on? 
  • What item of clothing do you throw out most frequently?

Function

  • What are the most important aspects of your clothing? 
  • What are the most frustrating aspects of your clothing? 
  • What do you feel is missing in the clothing industry?

Style

  • How would you define fashion? 
  • How would you define style? 
  • What is the item of clothing you want that is difficult to find?
  • What are the emotional and physical characteristics of that piece of clothing?
  • What clothing are you most attached to? 
  • What forms your attachment?