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I need to conduct interviews with a target user group, before starting development. I need to do both:

  • Contextual inquiries for a technical installation (heatpump)
  • Regular interview, where there is no need to be in any specific place

Though the latter can happen in any location and any setting, common sense tells me that the setting means a lot.

  • I visited the interviewee on a Sunday afternoon. I assume people are least tired and have the most time, compared to other times during the week.
  • We did it in the living room, with nobody there, instead of the kitchen where the family was passing through.
  • We sat at a table. More relaxed and homely.
  • Had a cup of coffee. More relaxed and homely.

My question is two-fold:

  • What are some recommendations, considerations and discussions about the setting of an interview?
  • Since I am writing my thesis, and need to argue for these choices, I would greatly appreciate a source for this, preferably a scientific article
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I think context of the interview will be very important specially if you are doing usability testing sessions for things like apps that would be typically used on the go like on the train or at cafe's or even while walking rather than in a quiet room. there are 2 benefits to this.

  • the user feels relaxed in a casual setting and not as if they are being tested or being interviewed and would be more willing to respond openly.

  • you will be able to obverse how the user is using your app/website in the most typical out in the wild setting, with all the typical distractions around and you'll be able to see how the user multi tasks between using the app and doing other things.

hope this helps and good luck

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